Just an Ordinary Woman

Just an Ordinary Woman

I want to see if I’m in one of the latest glamour magazines on sale this week. I mean honestly, I deserve to be on one of those pages. After all … I am a woman. Right! But, unfortunately, just an ordinary woman.

I can’t get past the latest “Desperate Housewife” advertisement with all those ladies in red. Is that really what the stereotypical desperate housewife looks like? After-hours, I assume! I mean with all the domestic work she has to do for the day, the outfit seems rather far-fetched.

Not that all women are just housewives. They can do the chores before work, go to gym and find themselves a shower away from their plush office and executive chair. Like in the soaps on TV.

So often people ask women what they do. The answers vary from sole supporter of a family to so many different categories that housewife and executive are merely small fractions in the equation. They may be extremes in your eyes because either you’re educated with a certificate or degree … or, you’re just a housewife doing menial chores and raising your children. But wait … there’s more!

There’s the type of woman that actually works long, exhausting hours without pay. Hubby brings in the money and … let’s say no more. Then there’s the type of woman who works long hours doing the mundane, pedestrian chores and her share in the community. She earns money baking, making clothes, typing or looking after other women’s children while they work. There are no benefits or material rewards … just the basic fee to keep her supporting the family.

The woman that spends her time in the field cultivating crops and looking after the livestock is also somewhere in this equation.

And somehow it’s these women who are never seen in magazines or on television. Unless it’s in an advertisement of a product or service that the ordinary women may need to make their lives easier. And these ordinary women are not the desperate housewives you see on television, though they share the same brand name.

Housewife or executive, teacher or minister, they all have one thing in common: motherhood (if that is the choice they decide to make). And motherhood in itself is a career. A mother has to look out for the emotional welfare of her children satisfying their needs and raising them to become responsible adults.

When we stop to look at all the careers a mother practices without qualification on paper, we have to take a deep breath and then pause.

Motherhood entails being an accountant, a sports agent or manager, sports coach, or promotion manager. It also requires experience in nursing, psychology and health education; being a dietician and nutritionist. A mother should have her own mini pharmacy, and have a license to be an emergency driver to hospitals or the veterinarian. She can be an amusement and recreation officer, taxi driver, video camera operator, photographer and travel agent. A mother is a hairdresser, cosmetologist, fashion consultant, and tailor. She is an animal trainer, housekeeper, landlady, fence erector, interior decorator and landscape artist. Mothers bake, cook, order out, host, serve and clean. They are laundry specialists, painters, filing clerks, social workers, answering services and public relations officers. They are data base administrators, home management advisors, teachers, pastors, producers, judges, lawyers and financial analysts.

But above all, mothers are women. And each woman has her own load and burden to carry. Perhaps it’s infidelity, cancer, poverty …

With Mother’s Day comes the annual family blessings that each member bestows upon her … often not to genuinely give thanks or show respect … but, merely to uphold a public holiday. It also helps her the next day to answer those inquisitive questions of how her family spoilt her on the one specific and yet very small and insignificant day of her year and life. Compared to the laboriousness of her existence, one Mother’s Day is just not enough.

There are good mothers and selfish mothers, healthy mothers and … But, let’s not spend any time going there! That’s content for a whole new article. It’s in being who we are to the best of our ability that really makes the difference.

Give respect, honour, love, compassion, commitment and understanding. Make every day mother’s day. And do note there are no capital letters attached to the day, because it’s not the day that should be celebrated, but the woman behind all her sacrifices …

Albert D. Sant