I have been called many things in my time. Wife. Trailing spouse. Mum. Stay-at-home mum. Expat. Blogger. Friend. Banker. Daughter. Laura. To name but a few. I do not think I have ever been referred to as a lady of leisure.
A lady who is assumed to spend her time going for manicures, lunches, breakfasts, sipping champagne. You know, a lady of leisure.
Yet this week I have been floored by a conversation with one of my friends. Completely and utterly floored. She was asked in all seriousness was she a lady of leisure.
Yes. Someone who didn’t know her from Adam, with a knowing smirk on their face, turned to her and said; “so do you work, or are you a lady of leisure?”
My ears couldn’t quite believe it. I was appalled and affronted on her behalf.
Heck, I was appalled and affronted on my behalf.
A lady of leisure
I took to Google, just to see what the all knowing internet had to say about the definition of a lady of leisure.
Clear as mud right? Are we ever free of obligations to others? Who are “others” and what defines an obligation?!
I am not a lady of leisure
In any sense of the word, Wikipedia definition or ironically sneered.
Do I need to sit and list the things I do each day? Should I painstakingly list the claims on my time, the obligations I fulfil to others each and every day? Explain in minute detail the role I play, both my home and in the world in general?
For a start it really wouldn’t be that interesting to anyone. It’s not the most interesting small talk hearing about the fact that I spend hours in the car ferrying the kids to and from school, swimming lessons, playdates. No one wants to know that I go and do my shopping at Carrefour every Sunday. And that we will be out of food by Wednesday so I need to go again. Who cares about my (rubbish) meal planning and school lunch pack ups made each night?
On a need to know basis?
Those things are not need to know.
They are the mundane facts of my life. The pieces of my life that don’t get shared to the glossy hype of my social media pages.
They are simply the cogs that keep us turning. As normal for me to do as it is for my husband to get in the car and drive to work each day.
But more than that.
I do not need to justify my life.
When I am out and about, dashing here there and everywhere. When I am loading sweaty kids in and out of the car. The times I am on my own pushing a trolley through the supermarket. Where I am
jogging heaving myself round the park in my active wear. The times you see me glancing at my phone at soft play. Looking through the window and seeing me on a laptop. Sipping a coffee in Starbucks. The list goes on.
What you see is simply a snapshot of my life.
A moment in time.
The briefest of glimpses that may make me seem like a lady of leisure. A mother. A wife. Exasperated and tired.
I am not a lady of leisure
I am just me.
Doing what I need to do each day, over and over again. Sometimes it is mundane. Other times it’s glamourous.
Each and every time?
It’s just my life.
No labels required.