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I CONFESS: Not easy being a woman


Barbados Nation

I CONFESS: Not easy being a woman

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A WOMAN’S LIFE is not easy. It is even more difficult when she is an employee, mother and wife.

Your employer expects you to get to work on time and perform at your best each day regardless of whatever is going on in your personal life.

Your children expect you to be there for them whenever they want you. You are supposed to cook, clean, wash, iron, counsel, advise or just listen and be a shoulder to lean on. To them you have no other life but them; therefore, you don’t have any excuse not to be there.

As for your husband, he expects you to help pay the bills, take care of the house, discipline the children, and be his sex partner. And when he wants sex, the fact that your day was a complete mess between your job and the children is a non-issue.

So as a woman you are supposed to be there for loved ones 24/7 and give each of them 100 per cent of your time and energy. Your personal aspirations no longer matter.

Is there any wonder why there are so many separations and divorces after ten, 15, 20 years of marriage?

Truth

The truth is that a lot of women just can’t continue living under so much stress. I know, because I couldn’t do it anymore. And I can tell you I am much better off today.

My advice to every young woman is to think long and hard about what you really want to achieve before you decide to marry. Give even greater thought to becoming a mother. Don’t rush into anything.

Believe me, pregnancy and marriage can completely derail your life if you’re not ready for them. You can wind up middle-aged and feeling as if you were robbed of your youth and happiness.

That happened to me.

My life became complicated when at 20 years old I had my first child. I was love-struck, now experimenting with sex, and didn’t protect myself.

With that child I had to look for work to provide for her and myself. My family, especially my mother, was very disappointed in me and did nothing to help me even when they could.

My mother always told me I should get an education, then think about men and children. That’s why she punished me for ignoring her advice.

As my boyfriend’s mother worked full-time, she never had the time for her either. My child’s father, too, distanced himself and soon became scarce. So I ended up with full responsibility and only his monthly cash injection.

My days involved taking my daughter to the nursery on mornings, then catching a van to work; not taking a lunch hour so I could leave at 3:30 p.m. to collect her on evenings. I went nowhere and did nothing but read or watch TV and videos as I had no one to look after her.

Most nights I cried myself to sleep. I grew to hate everyone around me because they refused to help me. I realised I had messed up, but I could not take their indifference anymore.

That hate led me to leave home and rent a place. That was another big mistake. Like becoming pregnant it happened without considering the consequences.

So, having moved out of my mother’s house where I was only required to pay one bill, I was then faced with rent and utilities. Suddenly I could no longer save and always had to ensure not to spend more than I earned.

Then I made another mistake: I got a new boyfriend. He helped pay the bills but wanted nuff sex. It was as if the money he spent gave him this right. 

After seven months I begged to return home. I felt overwhelmed. I was 23 years old and miserable. So I apologised to my mother for everything and she allowed me back.  

Changed my life

Then I changed my life. I gave my life to Christ.

Five years passed before I even considered another relationship but as the guy was a churchgoer like me, I took him seriously. Eighteen months afterwards we married, and four years later had two children.  

For the next 16 years my life was all about my children and husband’s needs. Then my husband had an affair and blamed me for it because he claimed I was neglecting him. The fact I was going all the time did not matter.

At 46 years old going on 47, I decided I had had enough disappointment in my life. My oldest daughter was out living her life, and my youngest two were past the worst, so I decided to take back my life. I left my husband and our two children and moved into an apartment.

It was a tough decision but I had to do it to stop myself from going crazy.

Three years on I have no regrets. I have been focusing on developing me and doing some of the things I yearned for but never had time to do.

For those who think I am selfish, remember: you only live once, so why live according to other people’s strictures? Oh no – slavery done!

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