A TALE OF RED ROSES AND REAL FIFTY/FIFTY
Every year at this time, everyone is talking about Mother’s Day. Flowers are bought and wild gifts are bought and tinkered with. Everyone is thinking about the same thing. Mum loves flowers and chocolate anyway, breakfast in bed is a must. And poor mum must also be freed from the housework on this one Sunday. As a woman in 2019, are you really happy with these gestures? I don’t know. And although my headline seems to suggest otherwise, I can’t really speak for all mothers. That’s why I’m just talking about myself today. A new mum. Mother’s Days experienced: 2.
I have to say that my relationship with this day has always been a bit difficult. Even as a child I had a problem with the origin of this day, its history and its development. From the symbol of an idea that no one really wanted to do justice to, to the blind consumption without meaning.
So instead of waiting for breakfast in bed and looking forward to my obligatory flower bouquet, I’ve been thinking about what I really want from society, politics and myself.
- I WANT TO BE A WOMAN, NOT A CLICHE
I am a mother who works full time and so does my husband. Our daughter is cared for by others for the majority of the week. There’s no doubt about it. Bad mother, career-obsessed, why did I even have a child if I did not want to be with him then? I am regularly asked about the compatibility of the situation whereas my husband never is. If I stayed at home, I would have a quiet life, be a stupid housewife, living off the state, I would be called a mother hen and the like. Judgment is often made quickly, without knowing or wanting to see what lies behind a situation.
Is it really appropriate in our time to measure the quality of upbringing, coexistence, and family by whether the mother is a housewife or not? I certainly don’t think so! I wish to remain a woman, to be a woman, and not just be reduced to my role as a mother.
- I WANT TO TRULY BE HALF/HALF
In most families I know, the mother is in charge of the housework. We are a minor exception because my husband is a much neater soul than I could ever be. But apart from the housework, many of the duties associated with raising a child automatically fall to the mother. Full stop. That is the case!
One small example: if the offspring falls ill and has to be picked up from nursery or school, it is the mother who is called. About that there is no doubt. And that is true even if the father’s phone number is the first in the list because he works just around the corner, for example. Apparently, only the mother is trusted to drop everything immediately and go to pick up the child straight away.
On the other hand, our landlord, for example, always contacts my husband when he needs something. I continue to ask myself, “Why?” He has never actively contacted him and has never transferred the rent. These tasks are all allocated to me as I’ve already failed in terms of housework 😉 – but I’m only the second choice when it comes to clarifying an important detail.
I would like a rethink, away from classic role models, towards reality. It’s not about women or men, it’s about interests and strengths. It is about sharing responsibilities fairly, not about one day a year free from housework…
- I WANT TO HAVE REAL OPPORTUNITIES
In many jobs, mothers are still not taken very seriously. When you return from parental leave, it is usually difficult to progress professionally. Often this is not due to performance, lack of commitment or lack of flexibility, but to a small but most crucial detail: part-time work. In many areas, the greatest unwritten law still applies, i.e. only those who work full-time can advance. This circumstance takes away the opportunity for many well-educated women to do what they are really good at. But compromise is usually the worse solution for both sides. “New” technologies mean many occupations are no longer dependent on fixed worked places, and models such as “job sharing” also allow part-time workers to climb the corporate ladder.
So I would like real opportunities for us mothers. Because these help 100 times more than a mother’s order of merit.
- I WANT ME TIME
Some days I wish I could stop time. Most of the time its days when I realize how transient everything is. How quickly a baby has become a toddler and a real little personality. And how many things are over forever? The unbelievably lovely smell of a newborn baby, the feeling when the little thing smiles for the first time and the infinite pride when I see my cheeky little monkey confidently marching to kindergarten.
And yet two hearts beat in my chest. The mum who wants to spend so much quality time with my family and the women who long for girls’ nights out, dancing all night long and too many frozen daiquiris. Then I think about how nice it would be to go on holiday with my girls – just like that, and without any guilty conscience. And now comes the totally crazy thought: why not just do it?
So I would like a girls trip with my two girls. Without men, without children – just like in the past. Only we will exchange the budget hotel for the Balance Resort in Stegersbach 😉 When are we leaving?
But now comes the icing on the cake, as they say: it’s important for me that we enjoy the time we spend together. Shutting out everyday life and doing what we really enjoy when we want, and not when the calendar says we can.
That’s why I’ve saved my last and greatest wish until last: let Mother’s Day be just Mother’s Day. Let’s forget the flowers, breakfast in bed, the cards with sayings like “mothers are like buttons, they hold everything together” and “a free day for mum”.
Let’s just go eat ice cream. Because if we are honest, a good dose of ice cream makes everything wonderful 🙂