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My mum said to me the other day that during her early married life with my father she was trying to be someone she wasn’t. When I asked her what she was trying to be, she replied “like your Dad’s sisters”, (my four paternal aunts). In other words, a fabulous cook, housewife and mother who was immaculately groomed with a lovely slim figure. My poor mum was very short and dumpy with red hair, freckles and she wore “coke bottle” bottom glasses. This got me thinking about what happens to us as women when we marry. Do you somehow lose a part of yourself and transform into a “Stepford Wife” or do you retain your independence at all costs?
It seems to me that amongst my group of female friends all in our 50’s we all feel that we have sacrificed a lot of ourselves throughout our married lives. Most of us are now “empty nesters” and are trying to re-acquaint ourselves with the girls we were before we became wives, housekeepers, co-breadwinners and mothers. We all seem to be looking for something new in our lives and rushing to the gym trying our hand at classes called Body Balance, CX Works and Zumba. We are trying to recapture our lithesome figures and those lost years of taxiing children to schools, sports training and dance classes and making it all about ourselves for a change.
I even told my 22 year old Uni student daughter recently that although we look forward to her coming home for visits we are rather enjoying our childless status. I just don’t want the stress and mess that she brings home – the “I’m too fat, my skin is so bad, I can’t get a boyfriend, I want to quit Uni and become a travel bum”! Not to mention the dirty washing and the expectation that she will get gourmet meals for the weekend. Don’t get me wrong I absolutely adore my 2 adult children and I thoroughly enjoy their company and the fact that we can speak to one another as adults. I just don’t want the stress anymore because unfortunately when your children hurt you do as well. It is the old maternal instinct.
When I do go to visit my 81 year old mum she is always in pyjamas, even though it’s lunch time. I asked her about the pyjamas and she said she just can’t be bothered getting dressed and that if people didn’t take her as she is then they can go to buggery. Harsh words I thought! I said that the bra-less look under her pyjama top was not a good look and did she want her neighbours and family seeing her sagging boobs. This did not deter her in the least because every weekend when myself or one of my brothers goes to visit she is in her pyjamas with the boobs looking like half deflated balloons. She is comfortable with herself as she is. She doesn’t need bras, attractive shoes, makeup or even her false teeth in!
I don’t get it. The painstaking trouble women of my age go to look presentable. Not to mention the amount of money we spend on clothing, slimming undergarments, beauty products, hair styles and colours, makeup……… The list goes on! Then it’s the gym classes, personal trainers, vitamin supplements and healthy foods. Some of us are going for organic fruit and vegies from the Farmer’s Markets, goat’s cheese, sour dough bread, muesli from the Health Shop. It is costing us a fortune to stay healthy and look good. But who are we trying to look good for. Is it our 50 something year old balding beer bellied hubbies? I don’t think so! From what I’ve been hearing from my girlfriends we are all well and truly past having hot sex with our husbands. We are over it! So maybe my mum is onto something. We all should walk around the house all day in our pj’s without showering, doing our hair, putting on makeup or putting our teeth in! I’m sure our hubbies will leave us alone then!
Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.
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