It is 5am, Tuesday, March 8th. My column is due today by 11am. What should I write about this week? A commentary on whether children should have homework, sparked by a friend’s Facebook post (yes, I am trawling my friends on social media for ideas. BEWARE!).
What appears to be the early onset of teenage sulking and door slamming on my 8-year-old? (It’s the chemicals they’re spraying on vegetables these days. My parenting skills are peerless) or the nuclear meltdown 4-year-olds are capable of at the bus stop in which ‘You’re the worst mother in the world’ is hurled at you because the water bottle is leaking.
This is what happens when you have such a rich and fulfilling life. There’s just too much to write about. Then I realised, ‘Hey it’s International Women’s Day.’ So perhaps ‘How to raise boys to be respectful of women?’ Or something about the washing detergent and watch companies who want to help #breakthebias? Should I urge you to avail of the amazing discount at your local salon, because a well-coiffed ‘lady garden’ screams gender equality.
Regular readers of my column will know there’s very little advice here. But, as a superwoman who’s Pinterest-worthy house and life are always in control, I believe I should share my advice today while I whip up tasteless, gluten-free quinoa muffins.
Whether you use Ariel, Surf or Ponvandu soap: share the load. And not just with your better half. With the kids too. My sons delight in stuffing dirty laundry in the washing machine. It may have to do with the fact that they stick dirty underwear in each other’s face and scream ‘SMELL IT’. Whatever works.
If someone (and by someone, I mean a man) says things like ‘I don’t know what all the fuss is about. I know plenty of women with successful jobs. Sexism? What does that even mean? Women are paid equally!’ smile benignly and say a prayer for them. Or hire a discreet and effective hitman.
When you hear yourself say stupid things, apologise. And never ever do it again. A few years ago, I said to my son ‘Why are you crying like a girl?’ Yes. ME. My appalling behaviour was compounded by the fact that I said this in front of a newly-made acquaintance who had two daughters. I apologised profusely. I am still cringing.
Accept that on some days you will be the pigeon and on others you will be the statue. Though, admittedly after children, you’ll realise that you’re doomed to spend much of the rest of your life as the statue.
The only person who notices your well-coiffed ‘lady garden’ is the lady who waxed it and of course you, who put up with the unspeakable pain of having your vagina smeared with hot wax. The person for whom it was intended as a birthday gift will not. Trust me.
Cut yourself some slack. Whether you’re working or staying at home: accept that some days you will be less than the best version of yourself. At work, with the kids or on both fronts. As my yoga instructor says ‘Reeeeeelax.’ And then pour yourself a glass of red wine. Note to self: follow your own advice.
(The writer is a former copywriter whose parenting philosophy is: if there’s no blood, don’t call me)