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published: 2009-10-12

This weekend, we celebrated my man’s 39th b-day. As it was the first b-day he decided to celebrate, I felt it deserved some attention which therefore resulted in a frantic weekend. I had put my mind to buying him a Mexican plant. Of course this plant (+ pot) turned out to be over 100 kilos and taller than I am. A true challenge to my organizational skills. Not to mention our son wanting to do his share (buy watercolours, crayons, cards, make cupcakes etc). And there was some balloon-blowing to do. Next up: it’s my parents’ anniversary today. And my sister’s turning 40 soon. Her husband is organizing a surprise party and, well, it’s a lot of work. My other sister had a baby and I want to see my nephew as often as I can. This morning my cousin emailed me. Her husband is turning 50 and they’re putting a scrapbook together. At the daycare center this week it’s teacher day. And there’s a parent evening.
It would seem life is a neverending stream of jubileum b-days, anniversaries, weddings and so on. It’s fun and rewarding, but how does one do it all? Write a good (preferably great) novel, be a mother, friend, sister, neighbour and so forth. I’m starting to think it’s a conspiracy. All these events and especially them having to be done a certain way, are aimed at making women who are really good at that kind of thing (making songs, baking cakes, remembering to write the thank-you notes, buying The Best Present ever and so on) feel good about themselves. Result: it leaves women like me feeling miserably incompetent. I guess it’s all part of the same game. You choose to settle with a man and have kids, this means you increase the scope of your family, aswell as ties to your neighbourhood and community. But at times, I’m struck by the paralyzing thought “one can’t have both”. “One can’t be a bestselling author AND have a happy family + friends.” This thought scares the hell out of me.

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