Women need women. Or at least this woman does. I was raised in a strong matriarchal setting that believed in clearly defined confines of right and wrong and good and bad. Where hard work and due diligence guaranteed you were always doing things right and being good. My mother led by strong example and I struggled to follow . I think every child fights to find their own way, but when your mother is on the ‘right’ path, any step away seems, in differing degrees, wrong. Even after putting teenage rebellion behind me, my life felt too messy to fit between the lines. My intention was to stay on the ‘right path’, but my natural inclination was to veer left. When I inevitably found myself in some sort of debacle I would wonder what my mother would do, which unfortunately, just added to my misery when I realized she would never have gotten herself into this kind of mess in the first place. Still, who do you call when you’re desperate but your mother?
In order to effectively offer advice or even sincere sympathy I feel that you need to be familiar with the terrain and I’m not exaggerating when I say that my mother didn’t stray from the straight and narrow. I’m sure she must have wondered how on earth someone so responsible and organized could have raised such a chaotic and disordered daughter but she knew enough not to kick someone when they were down and she would always offer the same instruction.
Put the kettle on, have a cup of tea and then plan your next move.
Sometimes I listened and sometimes I hung up the phone and fell into a crying heap onto the floor, but either way, I needed to get it all out. I needed to admit that I was not pulling off right and good. That I was hopelessly lost and felt all alone.
Social media tends to celebrate perfect moments . Beautiful well-behaved children, creative and nutritional meals, elegant and tastefully decorated homes and gorgeous tight little bodies in coordinating outfits . All inspirational examples of potential landmarks on the road map of the ‘right path’. And don’t get me wrong, I love celebrating all those things with the women in my life when they reach them – but what about the times the kids are failing math? The dinner is burned? The dog has tracked muddy footprints all over your rug and the only part of your body that is tight is your shoulders and the closest you got to coordination is your socks (with each other)? Those times need to be out there too. Women need to take a moment to confess that we are not always pulling off right and good…that sometimes we don’t even know which way right and good is. Which is ok, because then when we get lost maybe we won’t feel so alone.
Now unlike my mother, I am experienced in a wide variety of epic fails but I’m also proud of some ingenious successes. Some entries will be tentative how to’s and others will be definitive what not to do’s. Sometimes I will be taking a moment to plan my next move and other times I will no doubt be one step away from a crying heap on the floor. The point is, women need women; to celebrate successes and to confess to failure …So put the kettle on
A woman is like a tea bag – you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water. ~Eleanor Roosevelt