It’s Mother’s Day tomorrow and I’m looking forward to a day that has a bit of time and space in it.
I remember what was going on this time last year – I stayed at home with my four month old son whilst Gregg was at a party.
A party that he would be worse for wear from on Mother’s Day and would leave me a bit disappointed as he struggled to get out of bed and didn’t make me feel the most special of all mamas for having survived up to my first Mother’s Day.
I’m not saying this to shame Gregg or have any pity from you all – I’m aware that being disappointed at not being treated like a princess on this arbitrary day is such a first world problem!
Plus, I’ve known for a while how Greggs generally feels about ‘special’ days.
He’s ambivalent about them.
And it generally works in my favour.
He doesn’t expect a big song and dance on his birthday and isn’t fussed about having massive presents at Christmas or grand declarations on Valentine’s Day.
It’s just not him and I’ve always known that.
And so I’ve realised that I’ve got a choice with these ‘special’ days – I can expect him to ‘get’ what I want and feel let down when it doesn’t all work out as I’d like. Or I can acknowledge the situation and be clear if there’s something I want.
This doesn’t mean he doesn’t have any responsibility to make an effort. I know he’s bought me a card which he’ll make special in his own way, with perhaps a handprint from Jenson and a kind word about what he thinks of me as a mum.
Who knows, he may have even gotten me a present.
And I’m sure, even if I hadn’t said that I wanted breakfast in bed, this would have been something he would have done for me.
But I know that if I want to get what I want – on Mother’s Day or any other day, I need to step forward and use my words to ask for it.
And this, for me, is a deep act of feminism.
You see, I don’t know where it comes from, but I’ve felt scared of speaking up about what I really want for most of my life.
I don’t quite know where it comes from and part of it is fear of asking for what I want and being let down.
But a lot of my silence stems from my impression of what an ‘attractive’ women (attractive to men, now I think about it) should be like.
And in my mind, she shouldn’t be loud or outspoken.
She shouldn’t be ‘too much’ – asking for more than the other can give them.
She should be dainty and docile and quiet.
Not needy in the slightest.
But I’m casting that aside.
I want to be loud and outspoken.
I want to ask for what I want, even if it is too much for people to give me.
I want to be bold in going for what I want.
Heck, I want to take up space, to be feisty and loud and needy.
This isn’t in order for Gregg to grant my every wish (although I think he will tomorrow – breakfast in bed and a lie in are the pinnacles of my hopes for Mother’s Day!).
This is in order for me to grant my own wishes. To act out of the knowledge that I have the agency to create the most wonderful life possible for myself.