Today on the Cucumber Sandwich Circuit we headed out to our favourite watering hole for din-dins. Looking around the table it was pleasant to see fewer Handbags and more Lipsticks than last time. We had all bonded. Well..most of us. There was a handbag or two absent and a Lipstick I love sorely missed. R, was off in the wild somewhere getting certified to launch something fantastic. You will be the first to know once she launches – after all we love her and support her. Especially as she’s moving into the food arena… But shhh, I’ve said far too much already.
As we wined (bubbles no less) and dined (I had a beautiful confit duck risotto that was crockery licking’ good, but no licking, I’m afraid… Not with this crowd), conversation turned to our beloved arch-enemy; the “real Housewives of nonsense/Timbuctu/who gives a crap”. They are really doing us a disservice. We actually sit quite civilly for meals, help each other out in times of carpooling strife and know how to pop a bottle of bubbles without wasting a drop. We are the real housewives, darling.
We are both the lifeblood and the pump through which it flows of our homes. We schedule mentally and literally for everyone taking in variables such as meals, clean attire, transportation and supervision into consideration. No mean feat. And we do it constantly, in our sleep and quite thankless. But here’s the thing most people don’t get. We love it. Yes, we love it.
You know how your friend is in this new relationship and all of a sudden she’s moving across the country for him, you find yourself shaking your head at the company she now keeps and shuddering at the places she now frequents? You say to yourself “God, she’s changed, I hope it lasts”. Then you meet the guy and then you realise, “ah sure, he’s worth it”. Your friend will still meet you every now and then for a cheeky girly night out. But the objective of the night has changed. The excitement and adrenaline rush for her will be the big lead up to this night out – wearing heels, the cute impractical dress, the newly manicured hands and pedicured feet, face fully made-up and having an extra sip of the bubbles.
Well, the guy your friend is in love with? He is called Family Life. And boy, does she love him.
Back when I was a marriage is-just-legalised-prostitution brand of “feminist”, I don’t think I knew or understood what those simpering silly marriage-types were bleating on about. I was going to be the best damn Obstetrician/Gynaecologist the world had ever seen and in a Big fancy hospital, have a shoe collection that would make Carrie Bradshaw weep, and lovers Samantha could only dream about (in much less volume, of course). No man was going to tell me what to do. He was going to cook his own meals, change his own share of diapers. He could do his own share of Parental Leave ( I called it Parental leave, before parental leave KNEW it was Parental leave, cos calling it maternity leave is misogynistic to the Nth degree). My marriage was going to be equal – 2 equal minds, each pulling their own weight, in every way, every day. If I needed to do it for the greater good, then so could he.
What could make such a heart change?
Love. Quite simply I fell in love with the Life Babycakes and I were creating. It was the baby, before babies, and after babies, it was still the most important child of all. Oh how I fell deep in love and wanted it to grow and succeed. And so along the way, I shed my skin.
Build a life worthy of it, Ladies, and tell me you don’t love it.
So yes, I proudly say the neo-mumma feminist has risen. This ia my own brand of feminism.
This Neo-mumma phoenix is no shrinking. She still says what’s on her mind and dances to the beat of her own drum. Except now she dances in unison and only for love. Pure love. Love for her Babycakes. Love for her little Bobby and Ben. No sacrificing, just making decisions to build a life of love.
So here I am – Not some hot-shot loubuo, wearing OB/GYN, stomping around the halls of “Fancy Big” hospital, just a Momma-GP wearing a pair of stylish, sensible ballet flats that good aul’ Audrey would approve of. No tight custom made suits, instead a nice dress that makes my little Bobby say to his pals “Hey, did you see my mommy’s dress? She’s beautiful”. No weekends taking my son to spend running through hospital records in the bowels of a hospital, while I try to gather data for some research paper, in order to prove I am worthy of something or other. No, Weekend I just take my boys to a park or clean up the kitchen after baking a batch of cupcakes that a team of preppies have declared to be “the best cupcakes in the whole world”. I’m not collecting accolades at a medical symposium but my son’s teacher chased after me today to make sure I got the invitation for the “Thank you for volunteering” morning tea hosted by the head of the school. And have I mentioned, my homemade apple-pies sold out in seconds of hitting the sweets booth of the Bush Dance, earning me the title “crazy-apple pie lady”?
Yes, I am the neo-mumma. Hear me roar, while I take out the washing and forget to bring it in before the rain. While I gather with the Lipsticks at McDonalds for happy meals and an indoor centre play-date. And hear me roar, when my get my 30 minute meal on the dinner on time.
I am by no means perfect but to my Babycakes, Bobby & Ben I am flawless.