Saturday February 1 2014

Diary of a working married mother :Standing all in your skin

I have friends whom I would say are pretty rich. I visit and I am stunned by the number of accessories in their homes. I envy (sometimes) that the wife has her separate car so she does not have to take a taxi on some days or schedule her day along her husband’s so they can make the most use of one car, like we do.

There are those whose children are in international schools and who have separate piano lessons over the weekend. The family every once in a while travels to Nairobi or Dubai for the holidays. It takes my breath away. But even though I admire all this, I have never been intimidated by what they have. I know that we respect each other and are friends not because of the money.

In the same way, I admire the friends who might earn half of what I do, but do not feel any less important when they are with me. They might compliment something I have, but it will be genuine and not with a tone of self-pity. I like that they, for example, some might borrow some money from me, but never hide away because they have taken a while to pay it. Also, they make sure to give it back and do not assume that because I could afford to give them the amount fairly easily, I do not need it.

I believe it is important to stand tall in your skin regardless of what you are in life. Some of us have struck it big and are living a very comfortable life. But some of us have struggled and do not have perhaps even half of what we thought we could have got. But that is life, it deals us such blows and we need to find a way to accept it with grace and do what we can for our families.
My belief in this is what has got me a little irritated with an acquaintance of mine. We met at a school function, talked about how our children get along well and exchanged numbers at the end of the day. Before I left, she asked me to drop some of the people she had come along with, home, since she did not have a car. I was very happy to do so.

The last few weeks though, she has been trying to have our children meet up and play which is really nice. However, she always beeps and never calls me. And every time we talk she asks of when her children shall come over. It is never about when we shall go over. My feeling is that because she thinks we are better off than her, I should bear the expenses in this relationship.

It is frustrating. I would like her to realise we want to visit her place too, even if she might think it not as good as ours. We want to walk and not necessarily use the car. We are comfortable with them wherever they are. What matters is a good relationship not the amount of money any of us has.