I’ve been meaning to talk about guilt for some time now.
It just keeps coming up. I hear the word everywhere – don’t you? “Oh I feel so guilty now but sure I’ll eat less tomorrow…” or “Oh I can’t not go I’d feel awful “, “Addicted to Netflix? LOL – me too – guilty as charged!”
We’re joking, but we probably mean it. We feel guilty.
I was wondering what to post this year – and I found that I’ve done quite a few bits already and would probably wind up just repeating myself!! Plus the weather’s so lovely, y’know, at this very moment, so I really do want to get to the beach… (#practicewhatipreachetc)
So – if you’re in a reading /bookmarking-then-running-away mood here are links to my most recent “Happy Mothers Day – or maybe not??” on Family FriendlyHQ and “Are you a good enough mother?”) which you may have read before if you been signed up to my blog since last year. In both, particularly the latter, you’ll find links to others – all for the day that’s in it.
“I have ignored all the shelves – the ones I’d usually stop at – and ignored the adverts online and on the TV. If only my online searches could restrict Mother’s Day content, sure don’t they know everything about us? They listen in, yet, apparently, they haven’t heard that my mum is dead”.
A heartfelt, gorgeous piece.
Or maybe you’d rather just lie down after a feed of icecream??
You’ll see a lot of posts today giving you the grim figures about the gender pay gap (it’s real), physical assault in intimate relationships (it’s real, and it happens more to women), judgement on image (yes, real, and still happening more to women, and yes, even by women, I know, but please look at the “why” before using it as an excuse for poor behaviour), sexualisation (just look at almost every ad, ever), normalisation of violence against women in porn (please don’t tell me women enjoy it),the low representation of women in positions of power, authority, management, STEM jobs and so on, and so on… ad nauseum
This week I heard, for the first time, the origin of the iconic witch-on-a-broomstick image – and it’s AWESOME!
I have often wondered what the whole broom thing was about. I idly mused that it might be a phallic thing. Then I’d dismiss that, assuming that my brain was going off trying to find sex at the bottom of everything – #typicaltherapist…
What strikes me this week is how quietly it’s slipping by, we’re nearly in November. And not much has been said. Is it par for the course? Child loss is one of those things we don’t talk about – that women (and men) often “bear” in stoic silence and secret, private agony. One would think, given the referendum and outpouring of grief and concern for women and their babies that there would have been more said this month. Or maybe it’s because so much has already been said – maybe there is a collective compassion fatigue? Are we just exhausted from it? Because loss is exhausting, there’s no doubt about that. Or maybe there are just too many other things going on this month – it certainly has been busy in the media.
I have a friend – well, I know and admire a woman who might yet be a friend – and this morning I woke to find an email from her in my inbox, with a recording attached. She’s a journalist and normally an email from her means she’s writing a piece and is interested in my professional opinion on the topic. We’ve been back and forth-ing for a couple of years and, as you do, we’ve been rearranging the boundaries a little more each time.
A friend and I used to write a blog together a few years ago now and this is where this post originally appeared – on Mother’s Day, 2015 (feels like last year – 2 years tops!!) Not a whole lot has changed since then when it comes to parenting and the gnawing fear of not getting it right (whatever “right” is!!). We are acutely aware of how much judgement is out there, and how it seeps into moms’ heads and hearts.
So for the day that’s in it, here it is again:
Ah, Mothers Day – a day to celebrate all that is Mother (or Mom, Mommy, Mama, Mam, Mum, or “*grunts!!” – depending on how your offspring refer to you).
We all know that parenting is one of the most demanding and difficult jobs there are – and there’s no training! (What’s that about?!). As you can imagine, there are lots of parents out there fretting, wondering if they’re doing it ‘right’.
If you’ve clicked on this you’re probably a mother (or know a mother), so we’ve devised a super-scientific questionnaire based on our collective 40 years’ personal and professional experience to help to decide whether or not you’re a ‘good’ mother.
Yay us – what a year! A lot has happened this year. A lot of it really, really terrible. We’ve talked about Weinstein, #MeToo, Rape Culture, Porn, Women and the church, our own entertainment industry and its grim history of sexual misconduct. Our next challenges are to respectfully debate Repeal the 8th, to continue to #changetheconversation, to keep up the momentum of reform for ourselves, our partners, our children. It’s clear that terrible things have happened.