Last night we watched 'The Iron Lady', the movie about Margaret Thatcher, and there was a quote she said as a young woman which really struck me. She was talking about marriage and career and she told her future husband :
'One's life must matter ... beyond the washing and the cooking and the children. Once's life has to mean something. I cannot die washing up a tea cup.'
I love this quote. It says it all. Although she wanted to be a mother and a wife, she wanted her career too. She didn't want to lose herself in the roles of mother and wife, no matter how much she might have loved them - didn't want to be defined by them.
Not everyone who is a mother feels the need to work, or feels that constant pull between the two worlds. Some woman have to work, want to work, some love love love being home. I think it's important to honor all the ways in which we exercise our choices, if we have them, and how different everyone's idea of balance is - that there is no right or wrong - one size does not fit all. But that washing of the tea cup is not just about work vs home ... to me it's really about making sure that we remain whole, rounded and multi-faceted as women. That we don't neglect the other sides of ourselves once we become wives and mothers.
On this day where we celebrate Mothers and for some of us, ourselves as Mothers ... where our hearts are full for the friends and loved ones who want to be Mothers but who are not yet, or cannot be ... on this day let us also remember to mother ourselves. To make sure we put some blueberries on our plates when we make lunch for everyone else. That we get enough sleep and a little time to sit in the sun or go for a drive to the beach to sit and be. To read a favorite book or go out for dinner. That we nurture our own dreams and aspirations for these lives of ours. Over and above the roles we may take on for everyone else around us, let us keep a little mothering and caring for ourselves too ... to make sure we find time to do the things which feed our souls and keep us feeling passionate and excited about life and our futures. That bring us joy and that deep feeling of purpose.
May we pay attention to ourselves so that we can teach our children to strive for their dreams from a strong place where we are doing the same, not from a place of envy or tiredness because we never gave ourselves the time, or the chance.
Here's to Mothers everywhere ... to being the very best nurturers we can be ... and to living life wider than the bounds of where the tea cups are washed.