My challenge is at an end and, surprisingly, Jon didn’t need to keep the nice people in white coats on speed dial while I undertook this challenge. While I partially expected myself to get obsessive and weird over this challenge, I was surprised to find it was actually more stabilizing for my mental health than not. The last couple weeks have been filled with receiving tough news, not the least of which was the news of my father’s health, and it was helpful to have something else to focus on. Completing the list of chores gave me small, manageable goals that I could control, which helped me to balance out the feelings of helplessness that otherwise plagued me.
Today, Jon, Kiddo, and I decided to have a Harry Potter movie marathon. I’ve loved Harry Potter since I was a kid, but I hate the shadow that has been cast over the franchise in recent years with J.K. Rowling’s transphobia, with a particular resurgence during this pride month. However, I do think this is one of those instances in which the art supersedes the creator and I refuse to let the hatred of J.K. Rowling define the fandom.
Moving on, today I found myself thinking about Molly Weasley. Matriarch of the Weasley family, Molly is strong, brave, loving, and a boss ass witch capable of murdering the fuck out of Bellatrix Lestrange.
Molly is an incredibly powerful witch who chooses to focus on her family and is willing to fight for what is right. She is also very welcoming and takes in Harry before she even realizes who he is; to her that first day at the train station, he’s a young boy who has been ostracized from his family just for being different and she immediately decides to accept him as one of her own, not because he’s the chosen one, but because he needs a family.
While I’ve always supported other women choosing to be stay-at-home moms, I realized that I had a huge bias against being categorized as one myself because I was worried that I would no longer be seen as an individual person. But, when I took the time to reflect on that by blogging throughout this challenge, I’ve realized that the people who are going to pigeonhole me are going to do it regardless of what I do. Some people will label me as “just a mom” if I stay home, and others will shame me for working if I get a job. I’m damned if I do and damned if I don’t, so why the fuck do I care what these judgmental assholes think?
Having anxiety means my brains spends an inordinate amount of time mulling over every little thing that could go wrong and due to trauma from my childhood, I am constantly scrutinizing every little thing I do because I don’t know what seemingly innocuous action could bring on a punishment.
But in doing this challenge, I feel like I’ve gained more confidence in myself and certainty in who I am. I can’t control how other people are going to categorize me, so I shouldn’t let myself be dictated by these categorizations, whether they are perceived or an actuality. Am I reading too much into a challenge that involved scrubbing the walls and baseboards of my house? Maybe. But this experiment also caused me to challenge my biases and self-demeaning thoughts that made me so resistant to fulfilling a typical gender role in my life, so it feels like a win.
What I’ve Learned
If I had to summarize my last two weeks in this challenge, this is what I’d say are my main takeaways:
- Other people’s opinions don’t matter as long as my son is happy and healthy.
- Chaos does not have to equal creativity.
- Cleaning is a lot easier than I thought it was and takes minimal effort to maintain once I’m through the deep clean.
- Jon had no idea our oven had a window in it.
Not everything is an earth-shattering revelation; sometimes they’re just funny.
I don’t know. As I said in yesterday’s post, I’m planning on keeping some of the cleaning list, namely the daily list plus a few extras. Blogging every day has also helped to kickstart my creativity because I enjoy the accomplishment I feel from doing it. I don’t think I’m going to continue blogging every day because I feel I don’t always have something interesting to say, but I think I would like to get back into writing every day, even if it’s only a sentence or two. I have a lot of projects on my plate, including multiple fanfic projects as well as a novel that I’ve had in my back pocket for a bit. I also had an idea for a collection of short pieces I’d like to do, and consistent writing has given me motivation to work on these projects despite all of the other stressors I have in my life right now.
Overall, this feels like it was a positive experience for me. Exhausting, sure, but ultimately I feel better having done it.
I know this is where I usually promote my Patreon, but…click here to learn more about The Trevor Project and find ways you can help support LGBTQ+ youth.
It’s what Molly Weasley would do.