Monday, 24 September 2012

Do we need to have it all?

The topic of women and their position in the modern society is something I do think about a lot lately. Given that I'm in my thirties, a mother of a four-year old, a wife, a daughter, a sister, and a working woman for almost ten years now, it is only natural that I am considering this important issue.

Monday Morning
I find that more than ever before we - women - are finding ourselves in this impossible position that we need to fulfill too many social roles and, what's more, that we need to excel in all of them in order to make it count. We need to be perfect mothers or our children will end up as miserable sociopaths, drug users, homicidal maniacs, or generally unhappy people. We need to be perfect wives and keep our marriages together and our husbands happy. We need to be highly educated, professional and committed at our work place and work harder than our male colleagues for smaller salaries. We need to be there for our parents or siblings, unconditionally, mending and patching whatever needs to be tended to, helping and being there, listening if nothing else. And, we also need to be as good looking and youthful as possible, cultured and informed, working on ourselves all the time, perfecting, perfecting, perfecting to infinity and beyond.

Why? And, more importantly - who says so? Why all this pressure? I find that most of the time this comes from other women. And we are so quick when it comes to criticizing one other and dishing out judgement. Hell, I do it as often as the next person.

I think that we do not need to have it all. We really don't. What we need to do is try and do the best we can but even then we must not start out with this impossible premise that we need to be perfect in everything.

Also, we need to lose the guilt trip. Men really have an advantage over us there - they rarely ever have guilt trips. For a woman, this comes naturally. Especially in the Balkans. We are brought up that way, most of us anyway. And I don't think it is even a conscious decision on the part of our mothers.They just replicate this age old model and we happily play along, striving to be these perfect daughters. Until it becomes too much and we snap. I don't want that for my daughter. I want to do a better job at that than my mom did. (This does not mean that I don't absolutely love and respect my mom for everything she's done for me.)

Loosing the guilt, accepting that we cannot fix everything, trying the best we can - this should be enough. Enough for us and enough for the society. Less judging, more understanding and acceptance. Less tension and restlessness, more being at peace with who we are and where our lives are going. This needs to become my mantra anyway.


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