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Are you constantly feeling the need to be perfect? Do you find yourself stretching all the time? Stop: You need to read this.
I have always thought that I am a calm and fairly placid person until I became a mother. Motherhood has made me realise that I fare poorly when it comes to being patient or even calm when my home constantly looks like it has been hit by a tornado all the time.
I have realised that I can actually scream at a cute looking little baby and interestingly, also be manipulated by the way she melts my heart. Motherhood is a constant roller coaster ride where a woman goes from achingly heart-melting and loving emotions to the very extreme of being tested for patience. This added with the need to keep calm, look presentable, manage the house and also keep a steady face at work is something that is hard to perfect.
Then there are those moments when you feel that you really need to complete that painting, finish reading that book or catch up on yourself. I seemed to be stretching myself in all directions and still not getting anywhere. I wanted to perfect the art of being everything.
One day when I was enjoying my much needed me-time with a friend at her home, she asked me conversationally – ‘But why do you want to perfect being everything? You are doing your best, is not that enough?’
She then told me her story. As a youngster she has always looked for approval. Maybe it was her strict upbringing or whatever, she always doubted herself unless people told her otherwise. She grew up like that always looking for approval even when her heart said that what she has to offer is good enough.
I remember one day, when we were invited over for dinner at her place and she had made home-made pizza for the children. It was the healthiest and most flavourful pizza that I had ever tasted. One of the guests did not like jalapenos and respectfully removed those from her slices. No offence intended! This led her to believe that she was not good enough. She failed to see what she was worth because someone was allergic to jalapenos. This was ridiculous!
She went on through most of her adult life like this and one say she found that she was stretching herself all over far too much. In the process of perfecting her act as an artist, a mother, a wife, a cook, a teacher, and whatever other role that she had played she was stressing herself out too much. Her mind since it was tuned to look for approval constantly judged her to the point when she actually could not take it anymore. This led to a depression and the wise realisation that it is not necessary to perfect the act of whatever you do. Do the best that you can and then let go!
Sometimes in life it is important to accept the mess, she told me. Some mess are meant to be lived in.
After her realisation, one day she looked at her house. Her three children were playing football inside the house while her precious Ming vase that stood in the countertop looked seriously threatened. There was water on the floor because one child had dropped a glass of water. Her husband interestingly was playing the goal keeper standing by the sofa! All of them were cheering and radiating happiness. Their happiness proved that she provided them a comfortable home where they can be themselves without fear. Yes, the lessons on cleanliness can wait. The dishes in the sink can wait. But this moment should not be interrupted. Her thoughts were broken when her eldest child said ‘Momma Catch! and threw the ball towards her. Her youngest baby however came over and held the Ming vase saying – ‘No, wait this is momma’s favourite vase.’ She looked at her youngest with a surprised appreciation while catching the ball and throwing it back.
Sometimes we need to loosen the reins not only on others but also on ourselves. It is not wise to constantly worry about the house that is not clean. There are children, it is natural there will be a mess sometimes. Do not be so worked out on deadlines, manage them when you can and if you cannot, explain, she told me. I am sure your boss would understand.
Lastly do not stretch yourself all over. You are doing the best that you can and that is enough. Perfection is something that is unattainable because there will always be someone better than you. Love yourself the way you are and hold your head high because you are you.
Image via Pixabay
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A Social Media Content Writer by profession. A writer by heart. A genuine foodie. Simple by nature. Love to read, create paintings and cook. Have impossible dreams. At the moment, engaged in making those dreams read more...
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
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Darlings makes some excellent points about domestic violence . For such a movie to not follow through with a resolution that won't be problematic, is disappointing.
I watched Darlings last weekend, staying on top of its release on Netflix. It was a long-awaited respite from the recent flicks. I wanted badly to jump into its praise and will praise it, for something has to be said for the powerhouse performances it is packed with. But I will not be able to in a way that I really had wanted to.
I wanted to say that this is a must-watch on domestic violence that I stand behind and a needed and nuanced social portrayal. But unfortunately, I can’t. For I found Darlings to be deeply problematic when it comes to the portrayal of domestic violence and how that should be dealt with.
Before we rush to the ‘you must be having a problem because a man was hit’ or ‘much worse happens to women’ conclusions, that is not what my issue is. I have seen the praises and criticisms, and the criticisms of criticisms. I know, from having had close associations with non-profits and activists who fight domestic violence not just in India but globally, that much worse happens to women. I have written a book with case studies and statistics on that. Neither do I have any moral qualms around violence getting tackled with violence (that will be another post some day).
Gender stereotypes, though a by-product of the patriarchal society that we have always lived in, are now so intricately woven into our conditioning that despite our progressive thinking, we are unable to break free from them.
Repeatedly crossing, while on my morning walk ̶ a sticky, vine-coloured patch on the walkway, painted by jamuns that have fallen from the jamun tree, crushed by the impact of their fall, and perhaps, inadvertently trampled upon by walkers, awakens memories of the mulberry tree that stood in my parents’ house when I was growing up. Right at the entrance of the house, the tree caused a similar red and violet chaos on the floor, which greeted us each time we entered the gate.
Today, as I walked by this red-violet patch, I was reminded of an incident that my mother had narrated to me several times. It had taken place shortly after her marriage and her arrival in this house from her hometown.