Madonna is often described as “the mistress of re-invention”. From her early “Like a Virgin Days” right up to her current “Sticky and Sweet” tour, Madonna has changed her appearance and style in an attempt to suit society’s mood of the moment. Her success proves that most of the time, she gets it right. I would not like to wager how many times she has changed her hair, makeup and clothes, but I admire her ability to morph into what is almost another persona. She makes it look easy.
Sometimes in my life I do court change, wooing it as I attempt to make things happen to further my goals or those of my family. Other times, I avoid it like the plague, trying to keep the status quo at almost all costs. One thing I really don’t like is having change thrust upon me, and having to deal with the consequences. I’ve never been a huge fan of change, except when it brings a very clear benefit to me or my family.
Housewives face change all the time. Part of running a home means that you are dealing with the changes that affect everyone else in the family, and most of these end up affecting you. If your husband is offered a new role, you may have to move at short notice and cope with all the changes that brings for you and other family members. As your children grow up, your role changes as they do so. One minute you are the mum at the school gate, the next you are waving them goodbye from the door. Then they don’t want you to wave at all! All through our lives change happens, whether we are ready for it or not.
I’ve throughly enjoyed watching our son grow up, and over the last five years particularly, I’ve watched him develop an autonomy that is incredibly rewarding to see. On one hand this gives me a new freedom to pursue my own goals; on the other it changes my life so completely I sometimes find it quite bewildering.
I’m comforted to know that this is a change that every housewife with children goes through, and I’m excited by the opportunity it gives me to re-invent myself within my role as a housewife and writer. However, I’d be lying if I didn’t say it worried me on some levels - before I know it our son could be off to university and a life of his own. Having spent nearly two decades raising him, this represents a huge change for me.
So where does the 21st Century Housewife go from here? Onward and upward, definitely! It’s a case of “keep calm and carry on” and “enjoy the ride”. I like to think of this as a lovely new beginning.
But it still doesn’t stop me looking at my son from time to time and wondering how on earth he grew up so fast and where the time went. I’m incredibly proud of how well he has turned out. I’m looking forward to seeing him go off to sixth form college in September - whilst being incredibly grateful it is a fairly local one and that he can still live at home! It buys me some time to work on my re-invention, which I think may take a tiny bit longer than Madonna’s do!