Inspired by Raising my Boychick I thought I should untangle my conflicting female role models (or 'mole waddles' as I once said in a drunken debate - note to self: I have no head for alcohol since becoming a Mum).
Don't you just love a woman just responds to winning a Nobel prize with 'Oh, Christ'. Yes, Doris Lessing has balls to spare. This video of her hearing about the Nobel prize always raises a smile.
I love Doris Lessing, she has incisive intelligence, she fights for her ideals, bites the hands that feed her, she is rude, she is articulate and she is brilliant. She writes what she believes in and, boy, does she do it well!
Hold on, you may ask, didn't she abandon her kids when she left Southern Africa? Yes, and she has never apologised or sought to justify her decision. How can this woman be a role model? As a parent she definitely is not!
Let me explain my other role model. Frances is not famous, she does not aspire to be. She is just a friend of mine who I have not seen for a few years since she went to live in a deserted part of Kerry in rural Ireland. She is, however, my other role model. Just seeing her and her son together just made me realise how rewarding parenting could be.
What is so special about Frances as a Mum? Like Doris, she worked things out for herself. She read and she read, not baby manuals but about human development about psychology and about the things that underpin how we really work, then she got stuck in and enjoyed! I have never seen such joy at parenthood; she took the time to explore life afresh through her son's eyes.
My role models are conflicting and I don't aspire to fully emulate either. I do hope that I emulate their clarity and intelligence, I hope that I can blow raspberries in the face of convention when it runs counter to my family's best interests. I hope to have integrity at all times, to see beauty and to realise that there is always something to learn. Yes, I seem to have problems with conventional role models/ mole waddles but I can be inspired by, and celebrate, the diversity of amazing women out there (in my own way).