Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Balancing Pearls

Had I been raised in a privileged family, where love was given without measure, and had there been this option, I would have preferred to always remain an adored little girl.

Being a woman is tough! Saying women should be born with a manual with detailed how-to instructions is an understatement. For one person to adequately handle the role of mother (and many times father too), wife and companion, sister, friend, mentor, employee, cook, nurse, maid, and much more, is an even very tall order. Isn’t it a laugh how we are still called the ‘weaker’ sex? I have often found myself on the verge of tears and had what my teenage daughter calls ‘balancing’. These are the tears that you desperately try to hold in, even when they insist on filling your eyes and hanging there precariously, threatening to drop and make you bawl like a little baby in front of your near and dear, who hold you in high esteem.

Talking of bawling babies, the situation described above occurred many times after the birth of my daughter. Her endless colicky cries would get the better of me and the ‘balancing tears’ would suddenly appear. I would try to remain strong, trying to cough up then swallow the lump that threatened to choke the living daylights out of me. It was almost always a failed venture and I would end up holding the baby tightly and crying my eyes out. Everyone else thought it was absolutely hilarious.

As my daughter grew, all her illnesses, though I always took her to the best doctors, were met with feelings of helplessness, and yes, you guessed right, tears and more tears. Everyone said, ‘be strong, this is normal’. And I asked myself, what is normal about a sick child with a fever of 40C muttering intelligible words?

My daughter is now a self-sufficient teenager; I have help in the house, a wonderful friend and companion, and a challenging job. Life’s experiences have taught me, and like many a woman, I have been twisted this way and that, and emerged strong, even a role model to some. However, when I’m overwhelmed and everything seems to shout to be done NOW, I still get that familiar helpless feeling as I run around with seven balls in the air; making sure breakfast is on the table, dressing and putting on my make up at the same time (yes, I sometimes end up with half a made up face!), fighting with my 6 year old son to get ready for school, giving instructions for dinner, while at the same time trying to be on time so my boss doesn’t get his undies in a knot. At these moments my trusted friend, ‘balancing tears’ and I get reacquainted. It wouldn’t surprise me to hear that several other women go through this. I no longer find the tears quite as threatening and demeaning as they used to be. In fact, there is a certain comfort in knowing that even when things seem to be going haywire, I still care for me.
© 12 Sep 07

1 comment:

Prousette said...

I like that term balancing tears; they have been making a prominent appearance in my life more often than I would like but being a woman is indeed very tough!