What makes me a woman?

21 October 2015

Dear Friend,

A while ago I wrote a piece about 'periods' and I was overwhelmed by the response the post got. Obviously this is a hot topic with many women suffering in silence. After several months of problems I had a procedure to try and alleviate some of my symptoms but unfortunately, it wasn't a total success. I have been offered an alternative; hysterectomy. 

I wasn't shocked, I had expected this outcome as I had done the unthinkable and completed my own research on the Internet (what on earth did people do pre-internet?) What I didn't expect was my reaction...
Will I still be a woman? 




feel a huge amount of shame for my self indulgent behavior. It's only a body part and one I won't need again so why am I so attached to it? 

I know my response is purely emotional...


I will be womb less. My ability to carry children will have gone. The place where I held my boys for nine months will no longer exist. It is intrinsically linked to my concept of motherhood. To letting go of probably the best period (no pun intended) of my life,  the end of my child bearing years and it has happened too soon, I am not ready for this yet. I am only 42, this happens to women in their 50's doesn't it?

Hubby's response to my panic was typically blunt; well if a man has a vasectomy does that mean he is no longer a man? Brilliant logic that can not be argued with of course. 

The stupid thing is that I don't actually want any more children. Our family is complete. But the fact that the option of more children will have been taken away, gone forever, unnerves me! I think I liked the idea that there was always a chance...

What is it that makes me a woman I don't honestly know! I don't want to go down the road of gender stereotypes (like Caitlin Jenner who in a recent Vanity fair article incurred the wrath of many feminist writers.) 

Unlike Jenner I don't think being a woman is about corseted breasts, high heels, make up, big hair and being emotional (e.g. Jessica Rabbit). My idea of being a woman is looking after your family, standing up for your rights, following your own path and never giving up on what you believe. 

Faced with the prospect of severe pain every month for possibly the next ten years or having a hysterectomy my choice is clear. I just need my heart to catch up with my brain.

What is your idea of being a woman?

Read more of my Hysterectomy diary...

Book corner: The little rabbit who liked to say MOO

20 October 2015

Dear friend,

I was invited to take part in the Love to read linky by the fabulous Angela over at Days in Bed. I was thrilled to be invited as this is right up my street. As a Primary School teacher I recognise the value and importance  of reading with your children. Reading and understanding language is central to learning.


We have a house full of children's books. This is especially important to me as my kids are growing up bilingual. Every trip back to the UK I buy more books and I am lucky to be able to borrow from my school library too. Hubby is not such a book worm so we make up for our lack of Dutch language books with trips to the library which luckily is at the end of our street.




Ways children torture their parents

14 October 2015

Dear friend,

Today whilst making lunch for my kids they sat playing on the Nintendo DS and the iPad. Yes I know screen time is the devil, bla, bla, bla. Anyway I digress. After about 5 minutes I snapped and screamed; which one of you is that? Turn the bloody sound down it is like a form of torture! 

If your kids have these things too then you’ll understand, the constant repetition of tinny techno music drives me totally insane. It climbs into my brain and blocks up my synapses so I just can't think!


But actually it did get me thinking. I could seriously sign my kids up for the FBI. Withholding information? My two will get any information out of the most hardened criminals in 2 minutes. In their short time on earth they have perfected the art of parental torture. 




Photography @My_Dutch_Angle

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