There is so much to say about what being a woman means to me. I feel the weight of impossible expectations on what my answer should be every where I turn. Society tells me staying at home is wasteful and useless; I should look for fulfillment and identity in a career. “Me time is so important,” because “if momma isn’t happy, no one is.” Social Media has created an expectation of a picture-perfect lifestyle, all the time. Handmade baby clothes made from organic fabrics, homemade, healthy dinners from backyard gardens, high school sweethearts who never fight, with children who never argue or throw a fit. The parties and homes are filled with DIY décor. Exercise is priority. Homeschool is the only option, if you love your children, but can also permanently damage them due to lack of social skills. Stretch marks should be something to be proud of or nonexistent. There are breast-fed babies in cloth diapers, who are treated exclusively by oils and were delivered by a midwife, at a birthing center. The church wants us to be fully committed to serving our Savior, our family, the church, our community, and also overseas missions work. Women seem to be well-read, well-off, and well-fed. It can be challenging, to say the least, to find our identity in all of it. Sometimes so many opinions and judgements can be overwhelming.
Somehow, I lucked out. By the goodness and the grace of God, I have been led by the most incredible women. Women who are confident in their womanhood, and who make me confident in mine. Scheduled C-sections and breastfed and homebirths and formula. Gluten-free, dairy-free, all organic, but also McDonald’s. Serving the home, the church, and the city, but also binge-watching the newest Netflix show. They make their relationship with Jesus priority, pursue their husbands passionately, and raise their children intentionally. Their parties and gifts are thoughtful and specific for whomever they are for. Just walking into their home makes you feel loved and included. Their kids are well-behaved and well-mannered, but remind me that tantrums are for everyone. They are “yes” people. They quote scripture and Nacho Libre. They believe in push-up bras, leopard prints, and lots of liquid eyeliner, but also waiting until marriage to sleep with someone. They will laugh with you, cook for you, cry with you and pray for you. They have tattoos and body-piercings, but never use the f-word. They only know deep-rooted, invested relationships, so small-talk might include “where do you plan on spending eternity?” They are confident and capable and everything I want to be when I grow up.
Since I was little, I would watch them in the kitchen preparing dinner. Then they would remove their apron, slip on their heels, and serve us our meal. We would eat and chat, and when dinner was over, the men and the kids would busy themselves, and the women would linger around the table with their coffee and dessert. They talked for hours, about everything. Politics, sex, what to buy at the dollar store, kids, tv shows, new recipes, party ideas, prayer requests, dreams, marriage, etc. Even then, I soaked it up. Even then, I wanted more. Even then I craved the next time. So my hope is that this blog can capture the wisdom shared around the table over coffee and cake. For me, for my Leia Darling, for anyone who is looking. I hope and pray that it brings us confidence and encouragement on this crazy journey of discovering how to master womanhood. There are lots of different opinions and voices shaping us and guiding us, but I’m realizing more and more Mama Knows Best.