One night a little over two weeks ago, when my husband came home from work, I met him at the door with our daughter. I put my arms around him and hugged him and quickly noticed that Nwando was jostling for space too. This was very funny as she was trying to get me out of the way so that she could hug her daddy too. While the Mister and I laughed, I held on even tighter and she struggled even harder. After a short while, I moved aside so she could give him her own share of the hugs. She quickly clambered up his body (an advantage she has over me seeing as I’m a lot heavier than she is) and wrapped her arms and legs around him. As soon as she had secured her position, she said, “This mummy took all the space.”
Her father and I burst into laughter at that.
Very quickly, I realized that what had just happened was very similar to what happens when two women fight over a man. They expend all their energy while, in most cases, he sits back, puts his feet up and laps up all the attention.
I have never been able to understand why a woman would put herself out for a man when she knows he has another and would so valiantly fight to keep him. She uses every tricks in the book and sometimes, she succeeds, but at what cost, really?
I have never understood why she would conveniently forget she’s hurting another by her actions and then, cry foul when another woman is the other woman in her ‘exclusive’ relationship. All is fair in love and war, right?
No one understands a woman better than a woman but most times, we are our own worst enemies. It is sad because in so many cases, we do better when we present a united front than when we are at loggerheads with each other. In so many ways, we bear the same crosses and fight similar battles in our various lives. So, one would think that we’d help each other more.
I find it really pathetic when a woman goes to another and brags about what her husband bought her even when she may have bought them herself. It is even more pathetic when the second woman allows a seed of discontent to be sown in her and starts to think that her own husband is less than perfect for not buying something similar for her. Of course, friends should share their joys with one another but when one’s sole intent is to paint her life in better colors than it actually wears or to make another envious, there is no true friendship between them.
That friend of yours got fat after she had her three children. She has saggy, jiggly, dangly and wobbly bits that cannot easily be reined in and her once-flat tummy gradually became flabby and ridden with stretch marks. But, those are not her immediate worries. She has even embraced her new body and somehow found a way to love it. So, she doesn’t obsess over her food or over sweating in some gym or over some exercise video.
But, when you who are supposed to understand, considering you have body image issues of your own, make a point of bluntly pointing those ‘flaws’ to her, you just may be adding to her worries. It didn’t matter that you cloaked your mockery of her in ‘friendly’ concern. She heard you loud and clear.
You see her only when she’s fully clothed. Yet, you have a lot of negative comments to make about her body. She’s suddenly worried that her husband who sees all of her, warts, girdles and all may be secretly thinking the same. She’s suddenly wondering, “Could that be why he comes home late these days?”
It is one thing for true friends to tease each other about their bodies without doing any harm and another for strangers disguised as friends to make tactless comments that do more harm than good.
I also, honestly, don’t understand why women find it difficult to work with each other in offices. Someone would always be more beautiful and better dressed. So, what is the fuss about that new girl displacing you in the office as the hottest chic? All the guys are falling all over her now instead of you. So? How would resenting her and/or treating her badly make her less than she is? Really, how would being jealous of the fact that a younger colleague has a husband and beautiful children take those blessings away from her?
Who better understands a woman’s need to be done early with work than a fellow woman? She has to get home, after all and, in most cases, still take care of her family.
She, definitely, doesn’t want to be ill throughout her pregnancy or have to take time off work because her children need to go to the hospital. She prays to get stronger and for her babies not be sick but that’s not the case. Those are the crosses she bears. Now, she’s added a dread for work to her list of worries… all because of you. A little sympathy and lots of understanding from you is what she needs…. you are a woman and have been there, after all.
I have made very good female friends over the years and with a number of those friends, I share a lasting friendship and a terrific bond. No matter how much more easy-going friendships with guys, sometimes, are, I know that they would never understand my need to chatter about nothing, sometimes. They also won’t chatter back about the same thing over and over again without getting bored.
They might not understand why a scene in a movie might get me all teary-eyed or why the sight of a baby taking his first steps always makes me deliriously happy.
They would never understand why my moods may sometimes not be ‘normal’.
If I ever told them certain hormones make me a particular way sometimes, they would just shake their heads, turn up their noses and think I’m making excuses.
They, certainly, would not understand why my clothes don’t fit properly around that time of the month. There’s such a thing as PMS, guys!
My girls would know that mood swings could just be my way of rebelling against nature for that time of the month. They would even suspect that just maybe, I have another bun in my oven even if I’m too busy being cranky to think of that possibility. They would know that soon enough, I’d be me again. So, they would be patient (mostly) and may even hold my hands. I would do the same for them too. That’s true friendship. We didn’t have to be born by the same mother to be sisters too.
If women learnt to get along a lot better and forgot about fighting, with each other, those silly wars we seem to thrive on, there would be a lot more happiness to go round.
This morning, at some point while writing this, I took a little break that found me hugging my husband again and generally being silly . I felt a tug and looked down to find Nwando wanting some of the love too… Again. I laughed and just moved aside for her to hug her father. Instead, she turned to me and burrowed her face into my stomach and held on tight. That was really great.
Writer: I’m a wife and mother plus everything in between. I am woman.
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