Sunday, 2 June 2013

Coming up for air

I watched this film recently called The Private Life of Pippa Lee. It's about a middle age woman who lives a very suburban, sedate and slow life. She is portrayed as a somewhat submissive and bland housewife, who's life is devoted to her sick husband and grown up high achieving twins.

However, we are taken back in flashbacks to her life before she met her husband and it is revealed that she was actually a tearaway teen, posing for raunchy lesbian photo shoots, experimenting with a cocktail of drugs amongst the Bohemia of New York. There she was free to think and do as she pleased, no one judged her, in fact most men were in awe of her.

Then we are taken back to 30 years later where she is leading this humdrum and sepia life. The person she was has been washed away and replaced by mother and wife of...

I felt like this for a while. I know that I am more fortunate than most others and in many ways my life is good, perfect almost. I have a great partner, two gorgeous kids, a lovely home that is filled with nice food and furniture (yes in that order).

But I still couldn't help think that in some ways becoming a mum (apart from if you are The Duchess of Cambridge or Kim Kardashian) made you sort of invisible. It's like being given this blank canvas, but unable to fill it.

I'm not blaming anyone but myself really, no one makes me wear drab and boring baggy clothes, objects if I don't wear make up or put my wet hair up in a pony tail. My eyebrows are that unkempt I make the Gallagher brothers monobrow look quite tidy: and a yeti takes more care of it's body hair than I do. But I don't think anyone noticed, more shockingly I don't think anyone cared.

Now to be honest, I'm not really a vain person, I use my physical appearance to try and get across a point really. Is there really a sign over my head that says "I'm a mother now, please take no notice of me".

For those of you who are stay at home mums, do you ever feel uncomfortable telling people that's what you are? You get I felt that look as though you had just said "I sit on my arse and do nothing". It's an almost pitiful look to which you  then spend the next half an hour justifying my role and in doing so boring everyone as you regale them with woes of how much washing and cleaning you do alongside trying to ensure you children do not become cbeebie zombies.

I recently started doing a bit of catering work for someone, helping out at events, weddings etc etc, and I feel so rejuvenated. it was like I had been underwater for a while and now I've finally come up for air. The real me is coming back out again, I am blossoming like a sunflower, blooming like a am..HAPPY, because I feel like I have a sense of self worth. I am not just a mum, I'm Leah, who helps Maynards Farm with their catering. I'm not earning enough that will buy us house, Lord even a doll's house, but to me, the money is a great sidebar. I'm back to my old waitressing days of putting money in a pot and it's fun. This is more about reaching in a pulling out the Leah that once was, not just pre-kids but pre everything that has happened in my life. Like I said, I can't really blame anyone, no one forces you to give up your identity, situations occur and it just kind of happens. 

And more importantly I don't blame my kids, in fact, they are the reason that I'm on this quest again. For years I lost myself, there has been a low flame in my eyes, but now that fire is burning again, because I want my children to see the best of me. 

I don't think I'm quite ready for a full time job yet, I still enjoy my time with the kids (I'm lucky to get that - my fellow full time working mum's out there - I salute you), but just this little door opener has meant that the sign now reads "I'm a mother, now take notice!!"

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