Anyone who’s on Instagram may feel that women must either be spaffing over cleaning spray or swimming in gin bottles and filth.
It’s reductive and infuriating.
On the one hand, there’s a swathe of women with bouncy ponytails and surgically white bedrooms who earnestly extol the virtues of buffing marble counter tops and micromanaging sock drawers. On the other, there’s ‘wine o’clock’, damp washing and nits.
Really? One or the other? So we’ve either crabbed in from the 1950s with hard eyebrows and white jeans or bundled in from a ’90s student bar still lighting our farts?
Yet again, women have been reduced to angels or devils and both are boring and bollocks because women are nuanced: grubby and tidy and lazy and sporty and loving and independent and funny and earnest.
This need for women to appear immaculate or incompetent doesn’t leave room for most of us. Most of us have piles of papers on our freshly-wiped kitchen table or wear mascara whilst we grit and gurn at the gym or snuggle under tea-stained textured throws.
Stop with the either/or: we are more than that because we are all of it.
Because I was writing for clicks, likes and blog stats, not fun
Because whenever I was enjoying a moment, I was planning my caption
Because I was telling Insta my anecdotes and not the group WhatsApp
Because I can’t play the games or like things for likes
Because I felt left out despite not wanting to go
Because I felt too self-conscious but not fussed to try
Because I know about strangers’ bathroom tiles but haven’t cleaned mine
Because I’d got sad about vile trolls and tired of the bile
Because I starting seeing myself in third person and she’s a bit of a twat
Because I’ve learnt lots and made friends and listened and thought but now I need quiet so I can pester my friends and rest up my phone battery and stop taking photos and laugh at my own jokes and write just for fun.
But perhaps I’ll pop on Twitter and let everyone know…
We are all in a museum cafe last weekend chowing on cake and cheese sandwiches and playing a game of Chinese Whispers when the Wig Wearer stopped dead. He looked stricken. The boys didn’t notice because they were spitting crumbs as they whispered mummy is the worst between themselves.
Me: ‘Bab. You alright?’
TWW: ‘I’ve just realised. This is the first time we’ve been out without a backpack.’
TWW: ‘No spare pants. No snacks. No bribes. No nappies. No toys.’
TWW: ‘We just came out with keys, joint account and our museum passes’
TWW: ‘Sal. We’ve made it.’
I suddenly felt naked and light and sad and relieved all at once.
And then a sugary hot breath is on me: ‘say daddy stinks of poo!’