Sunday, 31 May 2020

Being content with who we are . . .

Sometimes I think that women are their own worst enemies. Men think that we go to all the trouble of wearing makeup, dressing nicely, having our hair done etc. for them, but really, truth be known  . . . it’s probably more for the benefit of other women. We just cannot stand the thought of another woman looking at us and thinking silently to herself or out loud to a friend . . . “My goodness did you see that? She has really let herself go!” Oh sure, there is a tiny bit of ourselves that likes to look good for a man, but mostly it is for other women . . . at least that is what I think. I could be wrong and often am!

Magazines like Hello, Glamour and Heat have huge sales.  You know, the sort of reading material I am talking about.   Reading material that effortlessly blends sermons on how to improve your self esteem with double-page spreads of air-brushed 16-year-olds that we all end up thinking we have to look like, but never possibly could, mixed together with bitchy spying on the latest celebrities, whom spend a fortune looking the way they do and whom we all end up thinking we have to look like as well!

And then there are those IG accounts presenting perfectly appointed homes, beautifully decorated by women who are also young and beautiful and perfectly put together, with perfectly put together children, and meals that look like they just came out of high end restaurants.


There is a huge myth flying around that you can have it all . . . career, family, happy and fulfilling relationships, clean and tidy homes, etc. I call it the Superwoman myth, because, just like the Superwoman of the comic books, she just doesn’t exist other than somewhere in somebody’s imagination. I think it’s very . . . very rare that you can have all those things successfully. One of them always seems to suffer at the expense of something else.

Not too long after the birth of my fifth child, I allowed myself to be cajoled into going to work fulltime. I had been a stay at home mom up to that point, and everything had run rather smoothly. We didn't have a lot of money however and my husband felt that if I took a job then we would be able to give our children better things, and perhaps our lives would be better in some way.

The first woman that I hired to babysit my wee one ended up being a bit unhinged . . .  a total nut-job.  Thankfully I figured that one out before anything untoward happened to my baby, and I was able to find a loving and kind woman with a child of her own of the same age to watch him while I was at work.

I was up at 5:30 every morning and to work by 6:30, so my oldest boy had to make sure his younger sisters and brother got off to school ok, and the baby to the sitters. He was 16 at the time and more than just a little resentful of having to do all of that. Really . . . it was not fair of us to expect him to. It wasn't until years later that I found out the horrible truth, that he had left most of that responsibility to his youngest sister who was only 11 years old at the time. I was home every day by 3:30. I thought that was good  because I could be there for when the children got home from school.

I have to confess that I fell into bed with exhaustion by 8:30 every night.

Those few hours in-between getting home and going to bed were filled with doing laundry, cleaning, cooking supper, and doing my bookwork for the day (we owned our own business).  I also had to bake my muffins and make my sandwiches for the next day as well.  (It was a coffee shop, our business.) I am quite sure, in looking back, that those few hours between work and sleep were not  really quality time spent with my children.

I do know that there are hundreds of women out there who just don't have the option of staying home, and my heart goes out to them. It really does.  There are also women who would rather be at work than at home, and that's okay too. Some women find it relatively easy to juggle work and family life. That just was not me, and it wasn't what I had ever wanted to do or to be.

My own mother had gone out to work when my brother started school. As a child I had missed her being home. As the oldest child in our family, a lot of responsability had fallen to me. I had to take care of my younger brother and sister after school, do housework, get supper going, etc. There was a part of me that had always resented the fact that I couldn't join after-school clubs, hang out with my friends after school, etc. I had always told myself that I wouldn't do that to my own children. I wasn't going to steal their childhood for financial gain,  and there I was . . .  doing just that.

I did this for about two and a half years. I can assure you that any financial gain we may have experienced was certainly not worth the ground we lost together as a family. It took quite a number of years to get that back, if indeed we ever totally did. In all truth if I had to do it all over again, I would never have tried to work full time at all. It just wasn't worth it for us, or for me.

It took me a long time to realize that trying to look like the pop and film stars of this world was a lost cause for me. It just was never going to happen on my budget, nor did I want to spend most of my time in the self involvement that it takes to look that way. These women literally must have to spend most of their waking hours exercising and primping, not to mention spending a small fortune to that end. There is so much more to do in life that can bring us so much more fulfilment and happiness, than dwelling on oneself and how you may or may not look to the outside world. I’d rather content myself with working on my insides and becoming a better person.

I have come to the conclusion that, personally . . .  I just cannot do everything, and do it all well. I can do some of the things I do really well, and some not so well, and that’s totally okay. I have learned to prioritize and decide which are the things in my life that are the most important and that really deserve my fullest attention. If some things don’t get done today, then I don’t panic. It’s not really that important. I dress neatly and tidily, and I keep myself clean. I do wear a bit of makeup, but I don’t obsess on any of it. I have learned to be content with how I look and with what I have . . .  and most importantly, with who I am.

If my husband is happy, and I am happy,  if we are both content with our lot  . . . then nothing else matters. That’s as it should be. I take great joy in the simple things of life and I have them in great abundance. I am a simple woman, and very content to be such. My children are all grown up and are doing well and raising families of their own.  I can only hope that each of them are happy in their own ways, and healthy . . . and content. That's all any mother really wants at the end of the day.

I guess its all about balance.  About finding out the things in life which bring us the most joy and then focusing on them. Anything else is merely icing on the cake.  Sometimes we enjoy the icing and sometimes it okay to leave the icing off.  The most important thing is  . . .  the cake.

Life is not really about being perfect, its about being content and finding joy in that state of contentment. That's just my thoughts  . . .

A thought to carry with you  . . .

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•。★★ 。* 。
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˚ ˛ •˛• ˚ | 田田 |門 ★

The heart of man
is very much like the sea.
It has its storms,
it has its tides,
and in its depths,
it has its pearls also.
~Vincent Van Gogh
•。★★ 。* 。•。★★ 。* 。 

In The English Kitchen today  . . .  Quick & Easy Rhubarb Cake.  Deliciously old fashioned.

I wish for you a wonderful Sunday.  Be blessed and don't forget! 

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 And I do too!  


  1. It's always better to be yourself than a copy of someone else. I have never or will be a fashion statement. I like all things comfortable and that is not very pretty. But I'm happy being me.

    1. I think you have a real beauty that shines from within Pam! I love seeing you in photographs. You have a smile that lights up the page! xoxo

  2. I think we just have to do what makes us feel good in our skin if we can.
    We're all different.
    And some can do more..some have worded all your feelings so always:)

    Did you watch Little Fires Everywhere?
    House gone wrong.

    1. I am about halfway through Little Fires! About 3 episodes in. Not sure what to think yet about Reese Witherspoon's character, but I think the acting is brilliant! xoxo

  3. I was a stay at home mom for lots of years but not all of them. My daughter wants to be one too but she is educated and feels she would be wasting her education staying at home. The good thing is she is a teacher so she has time with my grand. I think this stay at home order opened up some eyes to what they are missing. I am not talking about just women. Sometimes being tucked at home with no where to go makes a difference.

    1. It has been a real blessing to many Cathy, the stay at home order. Love and hugs, xoxo

  4. Yea, it was my husband's cracky idea I go to work when my youngest was 8 too...however I was homeschooling her full time and her 2 siblings I did about half their courses...they going to high school for 3 or 4 classes a day. I only worked part time. I decided early on to not make a profit as I knew I needed to be home. My youngest was an ill child too. I worked for a store that carried some of everything though I worked in fabrics, so was able to even get some food items etc. I should have stayed home. After 2 years and his not getting home from work on time and my either being late to work, or having to leave my 2 girls alone for a time till he got home...I quit. In retrospect, if men cannot make enough money to support the family, then it is they who should seek another part time job. Because I found they NEVER do help much at all when you just take on even more responsibility and less sleep, etc. Some of these things should be decided before marriage. Sorry you were caught in a similar situation!! Motherhood and home ARE A FULL TIME JOB!! If a woman has extra time, there are always jobs one can do from so many do these days, using the computer/internet anyway.
    Sending hugs, Elizabeth xoxo

    1. I think if you have a husband and a family that are supportive, it can work out quite well, but nobody can wear all the hats Elizabeth and do it well! Love and hugs. xoxo

  5. I really loved reading this one. I feel much like you do. However, I do try to look nice each day for my Husband. I wouldn't say I primp, I just try to put make-up on and do my hair. I don't think it would matter to him if I didn't but I feel better.
    I was raised in a home where my Mom was up and dressed and looked ready for the day. She started working when I was 12 and I was the only girl and at that time my two brothers were out of the home. I learned then how to work and take care of the house.
    I too had to work for several years while raising my kids. I never wanted to work, but it became necessary. I learned a lot about myself and grew in some way with my job opportunity as a nurse. However, I always felt sad that I wasn't home with the kids. My oldest sons had to do a lot of extra stuff because of that. In some ways it turned out good because, I had them doing some of the cooking and now they all love to cook.
    I do believe that being a mother is a full time job and that is what I always wanted to do. We do have a lot in common on how we think.
    I loved reading your thoughts on this one.
    Sending loving thoughts and hugs your way!

    1. You are such a beautiful woman LeAnn, I think you would look great in a paper bag! We all do what we need to do to get by! Love and hugs, xoxo


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