I’m not really the bin your bra and not shave your legs (oh wait, when was the last time I shaved my legs) type but I do love strong and powerful women.
I actually wanted to be a journalist, I studied journalism and planned to be a journalist. But what happened? A man. He changed that for me, I ended up staying where I was, rather than chasing a journalism job in a rural city which was in 2006, one of the only ways to get into media. A dying industry now at least for newspapers, but there are lots of journalists now writing for online publications, probably earning less, but also doing speaking tours and writing books.
When Ripley was little I read Jacinta Tynan’s book Mother Zen and I just LOVED it. She advocates for finding joy in motherhood and questioned why so many mothers talk about it so negatively. I agree! I feel that it is society who speaks so negatively about it and mothers / women believe it. It’s about expectations and how a woman should look, talk and feel. Society is telling mothers that its hard, that their babies should do certain things, at certain times.
Minimalism for me is the way out of this. It’s been a tool to say, you know what, my baby doesn’t sleep, he hasn’t crawled yet, so what. I have tried to fit in my own interests and it is very difficult, but one thing I haven’t questioned is that it is me who puts aside my interests instead of my husband. Hang on a minute…
Enter Tracey Spicer, what a legend. I’m reading her book The Girl Stripped Bare and wow, it’s written so well, and is easy to digest with my tired sleepless brain. I read it while feeding Ripley endlessly (yes he is 2 years old and I’m still feeding him). Tracey advocates for women being equal, she also advocates for women not wearing make up and dressing up just to meet society’s expectations. Thank you Tracey! Thank you for being bold and brave.
One of the ways I am learning to take care of myself is to nurture my hobbies and interests. I actually find this very very hard. I grew up thinking I wasn’t that intelligent, just a good ‘all rounder’ and it’s shadowed me through my whole career. I’ve let ex-bosses manipulate and bully me, been made redundant and replaced (ummm illegal!) and I just didn’t do anything about it. It makes me feel sick to know I wasn’t strong enough, but who’s fault is that? It sure as hell isn’t mine!
But now I know and realise, I can do better, I can do things differently. It starts with finding the right balance of being a mother and pursuing my interests. There isn’t a magical solution, it’s a balance, which means teetering sometimes too far one way or the other. It’s about recognising where the most balanced spot is on that see saw and trying to stay there.
And minimalism is like the guidebook for me – it’s about training my brain to recognise what is important and what is not (looks / material possessions) and moving towards what I value, and away from what others value.