Woman-ing Postpartum: It’s A Blessing And A Curse To Be This Free
Considering its Women’s History Month, I’ve been trying to wrap my head around how hard women have had to struggle in this country let alone the world to get to where we are now. As a very proud feminist I can understand that there is still a lot of work to be done in our country for women to truly be equal. However, being a woman who was a first generation born American I have to also say that I have it pretty easy compared to the women in my history’s gene pool. Before becoming a mother I lived on my own, made my own decisions, took care of myself, and answered to no one. I was the first woman in my family that could say that. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to find myself, before becoming a wife and a mother. Living on my own and having to “adult” without anyones help was tough and absolutely necessary in my journey. I had difficult days and I had lonely days, but they were my own. One of the things that made my husband fall in love with me was my independence and work ethic. In a sea of cowards, he was the one who didn’t back down because I didn’t need him. I can’t tell you how many times I was told that it was intimidating for men to settle down with a woman who was so independent. I’m sure the way I cuss like a sailor and overall essence of crazy had something to do with it too, but I like to think it was my added independence and badassery that scared them all away. The thing is, I wouldn’t be the woman I am today if it hadn’t been for all the blood, sweat, and tears of the women who came before me. Not just in my family, but in the world in general. We have opportunities today that women fifty years ago didn’t have, and we have choices today that women in the past have died for. However, it’s a blessing and a curse sometimes to be this free.
Again, there is still so much work to be done before I can say I feel equal in my own company, let alone the country; that is a much longer story for another time. All I will say now is, about fourish years ago if I had had a penis I would’ve been president of something already at my job. Maybe not quite a president, but I would’ve been given my own shop or region, period. Besides the common hypocrisies and discrimination because of my lady parts, the opportunities for women today appear boundless, in comparison to our mothers or grandmothers. I say that it is a blessing and a curse to be this free, because the responsibilities multiply once a woman spawns a human into the world. You not only have to be this unstoppable force of a woman in your world (work, family, friends, significant other), you also have to be a super mom. We can have it all, can’t we? Our womanhood, our career, love life, motherhood, and sanity? Isn’t this what we’ve all been fighting for? Equality. I’m going to piss a lot of women off by saying this (and my former kidless self), but how can we have it all without losing our minds and ourselves a little bit along the way? As a working mother in todays world, I am fortunate enough to wear a variety of hats on a daily basis; mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, employee. The list goes on, and the responsibilities and hats vary from day to day. Also, the amounts of chocolate and alcohol to keep my sanity increases from day to day as well. In my strong, independent, and feminist heart I say, “Hell yeah, we can do it all.” However, in my exhausted and overwhelmed mommy brain I say, “I don’t want it all, ALL the time.” I want to be a present and nurturing mother, a loving wife, a thoughtful friend, and a baller at work, but there is only one of me. On most days with trying to be so many things, and wearing so many hats I forget where my hat is. Sometimes I don’t even remember what it looked like or how I ever found one to cover my ridiculously large head. I forget who I am every now and again or who I was, before everything else came along. Does that make me selfish? Does that make me an awful mother, a cold wife, a forgetful friend, and a mediocre employee? Sometimes, the answer to all of those questions is yes. I have the freedom, choice, ability, and capability to be all those things and wear all those hats, but sometimes I just want to be Melvi.
There are days where I feel like I’m kicking life’s ass! I’m being a rockstar mom, everything is on schedule, sold some round rubber for the folks who pay me, and came home to my adoring husband and I can hear the applause and fireworks going off in my head, thinking to myself “Nailed It!” Then there are days where I’m fumbling through my morning routine, I can’t find a bra, my kids shoes or my sanity and then my husband yells, “LOVE YOU!” because I didn’t hear him the first time, because I’m thinking about a million things I haven’t done and the list just grows by the minute. I sometimes think about how different my life would be and how mentally stable I could be if I didn’t have to rush to a job every morning. If I didn’t have to try and prove to myself that I can be this superwoman. Would I be a better mother, a better wife, a more thoughtful friend? The answer is, no. I have a lot of stay at home mom friends, and the grass isn’t greener in their yard. Well, technically it is, because our turd of a dog likes to kick and dig like a lunatic, but that isn’t the point. I have mom friends in every working category. Some who are full time stay at home moms, some who freelance, some who have part time jobs, and some who have full time jobs like myself. We are all equally as bat shit crazy as the next one, and we all work really hard. I’m not just talking about the mother hat, versus the working mother hat, it isn’t that black and white. I’m talking about everything that motherhood adds to an already hectic woman’s life.
Through a bajillion years women have accomplished and proven that we can do as much or more than men. My whole life it has been my dream to become this hot mess of a mom, who tries to do it all, and now I’m here and I just want to take a nap. All because those strong and hard headed biddies from back in the day fought for me to have the choice to become whatever I wanted. So I did. I became a woman who lives for her daughter, who is an average wife, who has become a mediocre employee, and a friend who only texts/calls when she’s in between job sites. I’m the opposite of perfect in every possible way, and you know what, I’m finally okay with it. You show me a woman, who is a mother who has her shit together all the time, and I’ll show you a liar. Oy, the days are only going to get crazier and busier as my little girl grows. My responsibilities and duties as a mother, wife, friend, employee, and daughter will never go away. But, being a woman who attempts to tackle all of those things and chooses never to back down is just going to have to be enough. There will be days when all the stars align and I’m giving the “Mother of the Year” award to myself, and there will be days when my kid is late for school, my husbands annoyed with me, and not even the dog will want to lay with me. I have the choice and no choice all the same to keep working hard at all of my jobs, and try to be a decent role model for my little girl. Hopefully she’s not as stubborn and headstrong as her mother or maybe she should be? Either way, I’ll just have to stock up on caffeine, girls nights, and chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate. When I actually get the chance to sit and enjoy my glass of wine and piece (box) of chocolate, I’ll look up to the sky and give the women of our past a little toast for giving me the opportunity to have it all, and give them the finger when I’ve finally caught a buzz, and my husband wants to get frisky with me, then the dog starts barking at his own farts and wakes the baby. Then I remember its Sunday night, I have to go to work tomorrow morning, what the hell am I doing drinking?
Happy Women’s History Month Ladies! May the lady and mommy force be with you.