Nobody Ever Told Me

Growing up I would marvel at the works of the women in my life, especially that of my grandmothers. I was surrounded by women who were excellent wives and even greater nurturers of their children and grandchildren. They took care of everything. They kept neat homes and were terrific cooks, and they never complained. You see, they were graceful women. The kind of women who could walk into a room and be seen but not heard. The kind of women who wore smiles regardless of what the day might bring because to crack in front of their husbands and children was, in their minds, a sign of weakness. They were the kind of women that really just went with the flow; they offered up no complaint or argument even if they knew a better way or more realistic solution to a problem. They were the type of women who kept themselves busy even if it meant creating something to do. They made work and family life look easy and beautiful.

And then I grew up.

I am now a wife and a mother. I find that most of my experiences thus far have not been the same as my grandmothers. Things are not so easy and everyday ain’t so beautiful. Some days, I don’t feel as graceful as my grandmothers and I am learning how not to be ashamed of this. No one ever told me just how hard I’d have to fight to maintain my own happiness in a marriage while also trying to make my husband happy. But I now find myself in a place where I am no longer afraid to tell my husband when I am angry or simply not happy with something. I am not ashamed about ordering takeout on those days where I feel completely exhausted and I do not attempt to make myself look busy just to appease him. If I’m tired, I allow myself to be just that. It is most times difficult for me to wear that smile as my grandmothers did. No one ever told me that feeling this type of way would be okay.

No one ever told me that when I became a mother that my mind, body, and soul would experience so many changes. After giving birth, I couldn’t even wear the same deodorant for crying out loud! Although being a mom to a 6 year old is a whole lot of fun, it’s not easy. Some days, I’m just down right tired and I don’t feel like trips to the park or watching the Cartoon network. I just want to rest. Am I wrong? No one ever told me that the feelings and thoughts that I sometimes have as related to parenting was okay.

I become increasingly irritated when thinking back on how my grandmothers’ lives appeared to be and feeling as though mine doesn’t quite match up. Where did I go wrong? Or, was it just that in being the graceful women they were that they also became masters of disguise?

Well, one thing is for sure. The commonalities and shared experiences of women are not all that different. Whether or not we choose to disguise who we are or what we feel, makes us no more or less graceful than what we choose to be. The fact remains that we all cry, experience pain, have been met with major disappointments, and yet we remain. I am learning day by day to be unapologetically ME. I cannot make excuses for who I am, how I think, or what I feel. A life of authenticity is what I am seeking after and I accept that this new way of life may come with its share of consequences. Most will not understand it and that IS okay!

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Beautiful - India Arie