I read a very interesting post recently on the excellent Irish site 'The Anti-Room', which asks the question, 'can you be a mummy and a woman? (the question being based on something the writer's four-and-a-half year-old child said).
The basic premise of the article is to ask whether motherhood and womanhood are compatible? The writer suggests not - commenting that as mothers, are woman merely breeders, existing purely for the purpose of raising their young? There have been some vociferous responses.
This got me thinking: do women really have to give up their bodies, careers, financial independence, skinny jeans and festival tickets (based on the pelvic floor/toilet queue issue), just because they become a mother?
I think the reality for many is probably, yes (especially the festival tickets). It is surely a little naive to think that having children will not change you, your body, your circumstances or your outlook on life. I know some people seem to carry on regardless; celebrities in particular, but surely that's not the norm and nor should it be.
Having mulled this over while scrubbing the floor, darning some socks, pandering to everyone else's needs and weeping into my embroidery, I have come to the conclusion that, far from repressing it, motherhood actually benefits womanliness. I've certainly become a more confident woman since becoming a mother and have had a huge number of life-experiences which I simply wouldn't have had if I didn't have children (being vomited on at 30,000ft just one of many examples I could give). I'm probably more interesting, better organised, more resilient, make more of my time, set myself higher goals and am quite possibly a nicer person than before I became a mother.
So, can you be a mummy and a woman at the same time? Absolutely.
What do you think?
Image from www.annetaintor.com