Image courtesy of publicdomainpictures.com / colmo
I lived a rather sheltered life when I was young.
I was married at the age of twenty and - to be honest - I had no clue what I was doing. I had never spent any time away from home, I had never done any housework or cooking for myself or anyone else and I had no clue how to run a household or manage a budget.
I thought at the time (heavily influenced by television) that these were the things that defined a woman - being a good wife and mother and doing it all with a big smile.
I never shook the feeling that I was constantly struggling to measure up to these expectations and failing miserably.
In my eyes, other women seemed to have it all together, holding down a job, looking great, keeping fit, keeping a perfect house, raising perfect children and putting great meals on the table every night.
Image courtesy of flickr.com
It took me many years to learn that my impressions were wrong. Other women weren't perfect either, and many of them experienced the same or similar struggles as me. I was trying for all that time to live up to an unrealistic and unnecessary image.
These days I embrace the reality that life wasn't meant to be perfect. I keep myself pretty fit, my home relatively clean and tidy, and feed myself healthy but very simple food and that's more than enough.
I direct my energies into other things that I'm good at and my family and friends appreciate me for it. I never commit myself to things I don't want to do and while I'm happy to learn new things, they are things I want to learn, not things I feel obligated to learn.
With this simple philosophy I have finally become comfortable in myself and happy with the skills and abilities I do have. One thing I hope I have passed on to my children is the importance of being true to themselves, following their heart, acknowledging their shortcomings and never trying to live up to unrealistic expectations.