Run Like a Girl

My mother once complimented (or at least she meant it as a compliment) my former partner by saying she “worked like a man.” I suppose that implied something better than working like a woman.

My mother has never thought she was “good enough.” Or that “women’s work” was as important as “men’s work.” Handyman Dan “works hard” and without her supervision; caregiver Michelle can do little right. She is never impressed when I do the jobs Dan does, or work my father used to do around the property. It is not in the realm of her comprehension that I am capable, therefore she ignores the fact that I have pruned trees, hauled dirt, built a deer fence, emptied a storage unit and relocated the contents, driven across the country, painted the entire interior of a house, built a brick patio, created gardens, installed rain barrels, built a trail through the woods. All of it by myself.

She used to tell me I was a good mother—though living on opposite sides of the country as we did, she really had no idea if I was a good mother or not. But that was women’s work, and she understood it, so she complimented me. (The sentiment ended with my divorce, but I was still a damn good mother.) These days, I rarely even cook a meal that pleases her. She has wrapped me up in the status she gives herself: not good enough.

I work like a woman. A strong, capable woman. Make no mistake. And so does my daughter. The cycle is broken.

Be these girls! Be a woman! (Watch here.)

Run, throw, fight, work like a girl!

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7 thoughts on “Run Like a Girl

  1. Yesss! Your piece reminds me well of the ‘new woman’ endeavors I participated in during the 70’s…americans in Germany in those years..rewrite the rules always, a tough thing for men, others, perhaps…for sure in my case, but so worth the presence of full being.

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  2. Except that we do it differently, Todd. I don’t think I want to be lumped into an even bigger pool. I want to do it like a girl because I am a girl. And girls are amazing. Mostly I want to do it like me; and for that to be worthy in my mother’s eyes. I’ll settle for worthy in my own eyes, which is what it’s all about anyway, Alfie.

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  3. You truly are an incredible woman whom I admire mightily. I love your blogs. I love your insight. I remember well the stories you shared about your mom and I am so very proud of both of you — I also understand exactly where you are coming from in regards to your mom’s approval.

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