Our actions do not define us. We cannot let our mistakes no matter how horrible overwhelm everything else that we do in our lives.
“Appropriation occurs when a style leads to racist generalisations but is deemed cool or funny when the priviledged take it for themselves. It occurs when the appropriator is not aware of the deep significance of the culture they are partaking in.” – Amandla Stenberg
I went to visit my friend whom I hadn’t seen in ages. I was dismayed to see that she had become an absolute domestic goddess.
* * *
I struggle with the domestic part of being a mom and wife. I may not totally suck at both but I am most certainly kind of domestically challenged. I might not be the queen of idlers but I am not so blessed.
* * *
My friend’s kids were spick and span. The wooden floors gleamed. There were mouthwatering baking and cooking smells wafting from the kitchen. There were fresh flowers in the lounge tastefully arranged. She was immaculate and did not look she had done anything at all.
* * *
I absolutely hate wooden floors; they have a tendency to get water stains and never gleam for long. My kids generally have stained edges. Flowers do not fare well even tacky plastic ones. cooking and baking and a clean house? Not likely.
* * *
I have never liked housework and I only clean because I can’t stand the dirt. Chaos reign well and truly in my home. I clean and an hour later it looks as though a bomb has gone of in the vicinity of my house. During weekends when they do not have to go to school, the kids are clean for like five minutes after they have taken a bath before they start looking like they intentionally had mud baths. I do not have the heart to stop their frolicking in the mud, making mud pies and all associated activities which might or might not include brawling.
* * *
I love baking and when the mood strikes me I can bake a mean souffle. But swamped as I am with all the domesticity that does sometime define my life I feel less inclined and charitable enough to whip up interesting deserts. Domestic goddesses like Martha Stewart and Bree Van de Kamp make me feel bad. They are well turned out all the time. They can get red wine stains out of anything. They can fold fitted sheets all the time. I mean seriously! I end up just stuffing them in the linen cupboard rolled up before I can strangle myself in frustration.
I watched Niegella Lawson’s show and almost cried. She makes everything look so effortless. Nothing seems to faze her and life’s little horrors never seem to happen to her. Impossibly high standards.
* * *
I am a working mother. Not an excuse but some of motherly duties are going to suck. As are some of my wifely duties. I come from work knackered and just want to slob around for a minute or thirty and those goddesses drive my tired being from the sofa to drag myself around the house putting it to rights hoping I will get round to having some me time as soon as the kids are in bed. My life is difficult enough without being told how to be a goddess and made to feel worthless and inadequate.
* * *
No matter what I will still absolutely hate doing laundry.
I still hate cooking.
I will not watch cooking shows.
I will not listen to domestic goddesses especially if they are my friends.
I am not a domestic goddess and will never be and that’s okay.
I was dismayed today when I was told I was a s***** mother. Well not me specifically but people like me.
* * *
One young woman said once she had gotten married and started having children, she was going to stop working and devote her entire existence to rearing her brood. In her opinion, women who work and leave their children with maids or daycare have no business having babies.
* * *
I felt like I had been slapped. I love my kids and I love my job. Should I have to choose? Can’t I have my cake and eat it? I suddenly understood the chagrined and pitying looks I get when I drop off my kids at school. In my work clothes every week day, it is pretty clear where I will be going. The speed with which I hustle the kids out of the car and into class and back, shows I am one of the Bracket .
* * *
The school run at whatever time is murder and I look back at it during the weekend and wonder how I survived it. I start work at 8am but have to drop off the kids on the way. The first one off is the kindergarten one whose school gates open at 7:30am (if we are lucky) and I have to wait until they do. The Next is just a block over but the traffic by then will be so horrendous it will be 8 minutes after before I can drop her off. She starts school at 07:45am and a minute later she will be on punishment for being late. Then I have to fight and get back into the flow of traffic and get to work in 15 minutes.
* * *
So why not drop off the 07:45 first? It will take me 40 more minutes to get to work instead of just the 15.
* * *
I went for a sports day at my daughter’s school where I had produced my almost successful attempt at banana muffins for the teas and one of the teachers said, “You are the type of mother we like. Not one of those career women.” And I thought, wow. It just so happened to be one of my days off otherwise I would have dropped in for a few minutes and promptly gone back to work. The female teacher was at work though and she was judging career women.
* * *
I love my kids and will have some more. I will probably be a basket case by the time they leave home, with school runs, bake sales, PTA meeting when I am knackered from all the above and a day at work but I will not apologize for who I am. And then they will leave the nest. And Who will I be?
I have days when I need a lift because I feel really down. These quotes have helped me get by more than once:
1. The streets aint made for everyone thats why they made sidewalks. – Cookie, Empire
2. Mistakes are the price we pay for knowledge. Jock, Jock of the Bushveld
3. When you pray for the rain, get ready to deal with the mud. The Equalizer
4. The first law of thermodynamics; nothing is lost, only changed.
… to wake up one day and not feel like doing anything.
… to love the villain in a movie; some of them are so likable you just cant help it.
… to know all the kings, banner men etc from the Games of thrones and have no idea of who is actually ruling in the real world.
… to consider ice cream a food group.
…to find Olivia Pope annoying and still
… to hate the words: amazing, effortless, trendy, energy, dos, don’t.
… to feel irrationally upset for no apparent reason.
… to be totally offended when winter is officially over and you haven’t shaved your legs yet.
…to speak fondly of celebs as if they you were a part of their families.
And a happy new year to the new you…
“A people without a positive history are like a vehicle without an engine. Their emotions can not be easily controlled and channeled in a recognizable direction. They always live in the shadow of a more successful society.
Black Consciousness is not a negative, hating thing. It’s a positive black self-confidence involving no hatred of anyone, not even the Nazis – only of what they represent.
The first step therefore is to make the black man come to himself; to pump back life into his empty shell; to infuse him with pride and dignity, to remind him of his complicity in the crime of allowing himself to be misused and therefore letting evil reign supreme in the country of his birth. “ Steve Bantu Biko