Tuesday, 2 July 2013

fighting the stereotype - biting back

basic principles of life..........work hard, be honest, treat people as you wish to be treated, manage with what you have, love always and never give up!  

These were values that I learnt growing up, not from those people that should have been important but from the few people that were and still are.  I grew up having dreams and ambitions as any little girl or boy should, but they were either shot down in flames...("you can't be a hairdresser, get a real job!") or were put way too far out of my reach that they were just impossible.  This blog is not in any way a 'woe is me' type blog but rather this is what I got given and how I have dealt with it.

I lost my father to a Brain Tumour when I was eight years old, and it caused my world to implode!  No longer was I the centre of anyone's universe and the one person who had always encouraged me be whoever I wanted to was not there any more.  So life was going to be what I made it, good bad or ugly!

I am and have never been a snob, I like to see everyone's point of view but sometimes just sometimes I have to have my say!  For years I was the quiet young lady to wouldn't say boo to a goose, who would say nothing to being walked over, then a few years ago I was told something that I will never forget "if people don't like you, that's their problem not yours!" and they were right, ever since I have tried where possible to stand up for myself and can finally breathe as I no longer tie myself in knots trying to be someone I'm not.  I know I'm not everyone's cup of tea and have lost people in my life due to no longer doing as I was told or just going along with things, but you know what ? I am so much happier for it!

Social networking sites, media and general gossip have been alive with talk about certain groups of people recently, and I tend to try and not get into debates with anyone other than my friends and family as conversations in text can and usually will be taken out of context and I really can't be bothered with the drama.  So why not blog about it ? I mean I am the only one talking so no interruptions, and any comments that are too nasty can be deleted!

Definition of stereotype

noun

  • 1a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing:the stereotype of the woman as the carersexual and racial stereotypes
 a person or thing that conforms to a widely held but oversimplified image of the class or type to which they belong:don’t treat anyone as a stereotype
That is me! A walking stereotype!!!! well I fit into several so does that make me a stereotypererrrrrer? lol

  • grew up on a council estate
  • in a single parent family
  • my parent was disabled so didn't work
  • didn't go into higher education
  • spent time being a single parent
  • spent time claiming benefits to get by as a single parent
  • now lives in social housing on a council estate
  • is a stay at home mum

oh and two more just for good measure

  • is blonde
  • and female
now that list looks awesome doesn't it?  sadly they were/are all me.  When I say sadly I do not mean for me but anyone who has an opinion on any of the above!  I think it's best to go through the above individually to make things a little clearer........

  • up until I was seven I lived in the Isle of man, where my amazing hard working dad was a warehouse manager.  We dropped everything over there for the opportunity to move here for my dad to run a farm ( his family trade up until I was a baby and after serving his time in the armed forces) , alas when we got here the farm had fallen through and we were left potless and homeless.  Now some may ask why we should be entitled to social housing? well my parents were English and had moved to the Isle of Man to start a new life together and had worked hard all their lives so why not?  And before you may think that we were on benefits we weren't, my dad secured himself a very good job pretty much straight away to support us.
  • yes I grew up in a single parent family, that sort of happens when you lose one of them!
  • my mum is disabled with rheumatoid arthritis and is very much entitled to benefits, she does however do voluntary work.  And if your husband dies without any life insurance you're pretty much limited money wise.
  • I left home at fifteen, and without any better advice went straight into work to pay rent and feed myself.
  • yes I was a single parent when my son was eight months old, no shame in that at al
    • l.....but I worked 3 days a week 10 hours a day to pay the bills
  • and yes I was entitled to some benefits as a single parent, I didn't like it but the same as any type of parent will agree my son came first and feeding/clothing him was my priority!
  • And now ? Well my husband our two beautiful children and myself live in a housing association property, we were not given it on a plate infact it was a lucky fluke we managed to find a mutual exchange.
  • And finally I am a stay at home mum, yes it was a decision me and my husband made together after the birth of Isabelle and yes we live week to week but we are very happy with our decision! 

We don't have bags of money stashed under the bed for cinema sized plasma tv's or Caribbean holidays, infact we have tv that was very kindly given to us when we could no longer stand the illuminous picture on our very old and second hand one.  We have only ever been on one family holiday two years ago to Cornwall for a week in the rain! But we loved every minute of it together.  Me and Sean hope one day to be in a position to buy our house, and if we do it may well be a long time off, when Isabelle starts school next september I will be going back to work and hopefully take some pressure off Sean.

But am I moaning ? Erm not at all! Am  I the happiest I have ever been? erm yep.....

So next time you hear someone moan about any of the above stereotypes please remember we are not all given the same opportunities in life or dealt the same cards, but some of us just get on with it and appreciate what we have.

Emma x