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Tough chick

standard March 30, 2007 2 responses

Chris over here wrote a thought provoking post about little girls growing up to become just like their mothers. (It was also about shoes and made me realize that both C and I clearly need a lot more shoes. Really, a lot more.) I’ve been thinking about it all day.
In many, many ways, good ways, I am like my mother. We are both tough women. Smart, tough, independent women who don’t need anyone to take care of us. In my case, and I suspect in my mother’s case, that doesn’t mean that I don’t wish someone would take the reigns every so often.
It’s hard being the tough one. It means that you can never be the one who needs. Even when you are sick or tired, or say, pregnant, you still have to be the strong one, the one who can take care of herself and everyone around her. People expect you to weather all storms without bending, definitely without breaking. It’s not always fun.
The first time I broke down and cried at work, my co-worker’s jaws dropped and they just stared at me. Hours later one of them told me that they finally knew I was human. I didn’t cry again for years.
When we came home from the amnio a month ago I was supposed to lay still for the afternoon and take it easy for three days. M had a work crisis and instead of spending the afternoon entertaining C, he spent it on the phone and in the office. C and I held our own until she got frustrated and bit him. At that point I hauled myself off the couch to re-establish some sort of order. (I put everyone in time out. It felt great.) I spent the evening making M feel better about his debacle while ignoring the cramping in my stomach and the growing feeling that somehow I was yet again letting my needs be ignored.
Most of the time it’s wonderful to know that I can do anything, be anyone. I don’t need someone to support me. I don’t need any external validation to feel good about myself. I am a tough chick and I can take care of myself. But sometimes I wish I could let my guard down and have someone else be the caregiver, be the strong one, not often, just once in a blue moon or so.
At the ripe age of almost two, C is already showing signs of fierce independence and inner strength. She doesn’t let a little fall stop her from conquering an object to be climbed and her motto tends to be “my try harder”. I’m proud of her spirit and her strength. I don’t want her to rely on others for happiness. But at the same time I hope I can teach her that it’s not a bad thing to let people know that it’s ok to help, that it’s ok to be there. It gets pretty lonely if you don’t.

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2 responses

  • My, oh my, but it feels like you’ve slipped into my head. And heart. I relate to the strong woman, can do it myself thing. I wish weakness or willingness to be helped didn’t seem like a deviation from who people think I am. I don’t want to be helpless or high maintenance, but every once in a while I want to scream, “Just because I am strong enough to lift it, doesn’t mean I want to!” and “You know what? I feel tiny, tiny and fragile, would you just hold me?”

    I hope you are able to give your daughter the confidence to recognize, ask for and accept help.I am sure you will, and I am sure your strength will be an incredible blessing for her.

  • Shari

    I know this post is a couple of weeks old, but as I read this I could relate entirely. I’m not allowed weak moments, I’m expected to hold together my home, my family and my office. Being very pregnant at the moment I feel my needs slipping by the wayside. I need to be taking it easy, but you can only say I can’t do that so many times without feeling awful about yourself and noticing nobody remembers to care that you need a little extra right now. I’m often met with the “I just don’t know how to help you, now would you please solve my problem?” look. I cringe when people tell me how tough I am. I know I am, but sometimes I need help too.

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