Monday, 20 August 2012

Frightened of the Feminine

I badly need to buy some clothes. My husband has made it clear he doesn't like me going out in my paint-stained sweats and baggy top, because I'm 'representing'.

So, today, my usual 'going out' outfit (jeans and decent top) was in the wash. Hubby was at work, and I did toy with the idea of going out looking like a rat hanging out a midden, because hey, he's at work, he'll never know.

But I didn't. I knew he'd be disappointed in me, so I didn't. Unfortunately, the only decent thing I had to put on, was a dress.

I put it on, and felt ridiculous, but I went out in it anyway. I felt ridiculous, because any time I put on something vaguely attractive, I feel like I'm living a lie, that I'm play-acting.

'That's not me' I think to myself 'I look stupid, I'm being ridiculous' are other thoughts that run through my mind.

When it comes to shopping, the thoughts are even more pervasive:

'Nothing will fit.'

'I have no right to be here'

'I don't deserve this'

'I'm in the way.'

I know that confidence comes partly with practice. I know that many people say 'fake it 'til you make it'

That seems scary though, which is why the only thing that gave the confidence to keep the dress on, and not change back into the familiar bagginess and androgynous asexual nature of my usual attire, was to take a long, shapeless cardi, and frump it up. Just a bit.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012


Guilt seems to be a prevalent emotion for a mother, especially a Catholic one. I feel guilty if we miss Mass, and guilty if we go and the twins cause a disturbance.

I feel guilty if I spend too much time playing with the twins, and not enough doing housework, like I'm not pulling my weight. On the other hand, if I do too much cleaning, and not enough playing, I worry my kids are being neglected, and aren't having enough fun.

I feel guilty if I spend too much on groceries, but also guilty if I buy a generic product because it's cheaper, even though I know my husband prefers the branded.

I feel guilty about buying anything for myself, especially clothes. Then again, I feel guilty about my husband coming home to a paint-stained, sweats-clad, ugly, shapeless blob.

I'm pretty sure some guilty feelings are ok, if they spur us to better actions, but I don't know how to get rid of the silly ones.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

You Just Do.

I've long been one of life's stressers and fretters. Many nights I've lain, like Woodstock on top of Snoopy's kennel, wondering just how I'm going to get everything done that I need or want to do. As time passes, it's became increasingly clear to me that you Just Do It.

We can build the smallest task up in our minds until it becomes a huge intimidating thing. For me, it's been decluttering, and painting the garden fence. It seemed gargantuan, impossible, I didn't know where to start.

So I rolled my sleeves up, took a deep breath, and started.

I started, because it's all I could do. I had no great plan, but I knew I had to start somewhere, and it worked.

I set out just to paint one fence panel, that wasn't so bad, so I painted another, then another, and now half the garden fence is painted. The rest doesn't look nearly so big and scary.

The same with decluttering. It's amazing how you stand, surrounded by stuff, slightly crazed and stressed wondering how on earth to begin.

So you begin, and you fill one box with stuff. Things become clearer, you can move, and sort, and before you know it, one box has become 7.

I think this attitude holds true for many things, especially when you're a parent. Motherhood requires action, not philosophising.

How do you cope with new-borns? I don't know how, you just do.

How do you cope with more than one child? I don't know how, you just do.

How do you get things done? I don't know how, you just do.

How do you cope with toddlers? I don't kn... (well, actually, you do your best to wear them out)

Sometimes, the best form of relaxation, is action.