NEW MUMMAS I The Modern Woman Cannot 'Have It All' Within Modern Society


My generation of 40 something women were told in secondary school that we could do anything we wanted with our future if we worked hard. That feminism ruled. 30 years later and I have realised that this is not the case. The choice to have kids alongside work changes everything.

My kids are the best thing that ever happened to me, bringing me moments of joy and happiness I never knew possible. Yet in the 5 years since the birth of my first child I often feel as if the human being that I used to be has been replaced with something of a machine. No time for rest, relaxation, pleasure. In fact I often don't even desire it. My life is a constant rush, simply prioritising and ticking off as many as possible of the essential items on my endless and constantly expanding to-do-list, until I pass out from exhaustion at bedtime. 

My work is intense, then around it I need to get the kids out the door in the morning, collect them from school, cook, manage the house (shopping, laundry, paperwork), help kids with homework, take them to after school classes, schedule our lives. Tired all day, I am constantly counting down the hours until bedtime. I find I have little time to teach my kids all the things that I wanted to show them. I force them to rush, and get annoyed when they won't.

This is the life of a working parent. It's not the kids' fault, it's the structure of the  society we live in. We are most of us just the little worker ants working for the benefit of the big boys. To my boss I am not a human being, merely an intuitive machine. If I could be replaced with a better, faster, more effective machine there would be no question in his mind. No emotion. Any niceties are exchanged purely to keep the status quo.

What did we burn our bras for? The opportunity to choose what we want to do. But is that actually possible in reality for women who want children?

Most of us in Western society are striving for bigger and better, and working harder and harder for it until we realise it's unachievable to have it all, but by that time it's often too late, we are tied into our lives, woven into a web of family and commitments, the weight of responsibility almost unbearably pressing down every day on our shoulders. I see this with so many of my peers: friends and family (whom I hardly see!), especially those like us without family nearby to help out.

Stress is literally killing us, with cancer rates sky rocketing.

So what can we do about it?

Take the bull by the horns and look outside of the world we are duped into desiring, and realise that happiness is not in the big house, the big TV, the huge garden that you never see because you are always at work, and are too busy to tidy and clean for the visitors who you never have time to invite.

Downsize. Spend time playing with your children, teaching them about the beauty of the natural world, preparing healthy food, taking time for relaxation and exercise, nourishing your own soul.

Maybe unrealistic: but this is what I strive towards achieving soon, and I hope to achieve it sooner rather than too late.

I am working hard now to achieve this as soon as I can.

Working towards this new goal of working less, of enjoying life more but owning less: I feel glad that my eyes have opened to this blinkered consumerist path that I was following, the path to self destruction. I just hope that the human race will also move in the same direction.

Guest Post by Anonymous

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