My father walked her down the hall corridor standing tall and proud as he had done 27 years ago when they both walked down the church aisle after promising vows to love each other in sickness and in health. He held onto mum as she put one foot in front of the other, holding her tenderly as she gave a thumbs up as she reached the end. Mum had cancer, it had played cat and mouse with her for 8 long years. It entered the breast, then over the course of the 8 years it travelled further afield to her lungs and bones. This short walk together was to be one of their last. He did not see her bald head, her crippled back, her left breast missing, her steroid appearance. He saw Mary, his wife and mother of his two daughters and she was splendid in his eyes….
A different era back then. A simpler time, a time when it was ok just to be a mother. No media reports from so called cossetted celebrities tweeting how you should work out in high heels, how yes you too can have an empire if you only dream big enough, a size zero figure. Why is it not enough anymore just to be a mother. Every day we are reminded of our lack. A society raising the bar on what mothers and women are supposed to look like and act like. We are our own worst enemies, how many times a day do I feel inadequate, my appearance, my social skills, my clothes. My own marriage failed, why as daft as it sounds ,one of the reasons because I could not shift my post baby weight, I tried everything, my husband saw me and saw lack My self esteem plummeted. Instead of supporting his wife through this unique time when your identity changes from woman to mother, he would say wow what a fat back you have, and maybe you should exercise more. He then went on to seek “solace” in the arms of another.
Now I am an intelligent woman, I have a degree and heaps of other diplomas and even I am influenced by what society expects mothers and women to be. Every day I see Kim Kardashian in the news, is this what I am supposed to be like. I don’t know anymore, and if I am confused then what about my 9 year old daughter. In this game of life dictated by media and society, how can I say to her she is perfectly fine as she is. How can I say have respect for others and they will have respect for you, don’t be selfish play fair and nice, be kind to others….when the rest of the world is playing a different game.