Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Working Mum, Wife, Fiancée, Girlfriend….Changing Roles & Challenges

Roles; we play so many in life. In my day job for example I’m a Support Worker; I support students at all levels in a College.  Millions of other women (and some guys) do the same job year in year out.  The learners might change from one year to the next but the issues remain the same: You’re faced with building confidence, nurturing skills, increasing knowledge and ensuring success.  It’s a delicate balancing act. Do the work for them and they learn nothing: Face them with too much and they despair: Get it right and they move forward.  There are qualifications for the job but way more important is a common sense attitude, a sense of humour and a willingness to inspire and motivate.  It’s a tough (and badly paid) job but some one has to do it.  It pays my bills (well almost) and allows me to bring up a family.  That brings me on to being a parent.

Like so many Mums I spent the time while my kids were in school supporting my daughters; homework, school assignments, friendship problems, bullying and guiding their growing up: You never switch off do you? For so long it seemed like it would never end:  In many ways it doesn’t, you just carry on being a parent even when they’re grown.  Though my youngest is now over 19 I still need to build in that special Mum & Daughter time. There are crises, there are rough times, there are moments of desperation. You never stop being a parent. For all that, that relationship is a truly special one and I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

Sadly my own Mum died a number of years ago.  She was MY support: I miss her still.  Where is that help when I most need it? in the song ‘Mama’ says; ‘You can’t hurry love; you just have to wait….’ Well, I guess I had to wait longer than most.  Growing up and puberty have come late for me: Sore boobs, growing pains, learning about how my amazing body works, kissing and dating boys: I could have done with Mom’s reassurance and comfort.  I’ve had to do with advice from friends.  Like so many of us do in the absence of ones we love,  I’ve muddled through.

All this also means I’ve come to true love late in life too.  Belatedly, I’ve realised I know next to nothing about relationships from a girl’s viewpoint; I understand little of how to be in love, how to have sex, how to be responsive, intimate and close to a man.  Like so many of us, love came completely unawares and though I went looking for it I didn’t expect to find it where I did.  I guess that if they gave out the manual I wasn’t in school that day or something.  Like it or not I’ve had to found out as I’ve gone along and the process of discovering what I do and don’t know has been an challenging one.

The most devastating gap in my knowledge was the least expected of all:  I found that I knew almost nothing about men and what makes them tick. Yes, I know how bizarre that sounds to people who’ve known me for ages, or who thought they did.  You would have thought that being nominally born in that gender and having the bits that go with it, I might at least have picked up some helpful hints along the way.  Sadly or maybe self-protectively I lived most the time in my head; a parallel universe in which I was the girl I should have been. In my mind I had girl friends not boy mates and went to an all girl school.  In real life I was shy and hid in corners, I didn’t do sports (save from loner stuff like orienteering). In my parallel universe I played team games like netball. I hung out with friends and had a great time going to parties. The trouble was that none of the stuff in my head was real life and in real life I dodged the problems and became disengaged.

So here I am with a boyfriend; a wonderful guy who loves me and who makes me incredibly happy.  I had no idea how deeply reassuring and satisfying it is to experience intimacy with a man; how protected you feel when in his arms; how right and natural it all seems.  What seemed like a chance meeting became a date and then a promising friendship. What appeared to be a lovely summer fling deepened into a longer term relationship.  Hoping that he loved me became a longing to be his fiancée and ultimately his wife.  I never expected any of this and as I write, I still feel amazed at how wonderful it all is.

A friend talked recently to me about her experience of marriage. She observed how the intensity of first love settles into the comfort of longer term togetherness. This I’ve yet to experience. The intensity and fire is so strong; it’s hard to imagine anything different.  Even so, as I get used to love and living with my boyfriend I’ve been fascinated by the new twists and turns in my role.  No longer just a Support Worker and a mother, I’m now a girlfriend and a fiancée in waiting. I have a life partner and husband to be. One who cross dresses too.  So the amazing guy whose kisses and caresses I love is also my bestie who I go clothes shopping with and share girly gossips over coffee.

My boyfriend bought me a lovely new makeup case at the weekend: Time to get organised!  For too long I’ve accumulated one item after another; lip glosses, moisturisers, primers and foundations; mascaras, lippy and eye liner; exfoliators and beauty serum; nail polishes and blusher.  Over the months, I’ve ended up with girly goody bags, freebies and duplicate items.  As I sorted out my beauty DIY kit I ended up showering my boyfriend with gifts; unwanted makeup pouches, duplicate sets of cosmetic brushes and duplicate mascaras of every variety. It was a little strange to realise that I was passing these on, not to my daughter, but to my boyfriend.  The reality of my new relationship is that I have a boyfriend who gazes at me as I dress and as I do my makeup; not just to appreciate and admire me but to watch and learn. The last thing I imagined when I fell in love was that I’d also become a purveyor of fashion advice and makeup tips.

My new role in life fascinates me.  It’s a challenge. I’m learning to deal with a relationship involving two other people: A regular guy who is proud to be one and loves all that guy stuff as well and stylishly dressed woman who loves to go out and party.  Dates with him are delightfully romantic and lovely; nights out with her are full of dancing and amazing fun.  It’s the perfect combination. I love both to bits, but in totally different ways. Sometimes this bugs me. With one, I’ll melt into his arms and throw myself open to kisses and caresses; with the other I’ll exchange a girly peck on the cheek, gossip and party. My boyfriend is convincing as a girl and I react instinctively to her (mixed pronouns again LOL).  Being touched in places where my boyfriend gets a seductive smile becomes a turn off and strange when it’s from my girl friend. Getting up and bouncing on that dance floor alongside HER suddenly seems a little odd when its with HIM. Why should that be? I’m being really honest here: I’m not sure.  Essentially the two are the same person yet it doesn’t feel that way. It’s puzzling.

Over the next few months I intend to blog more about this.  Feel free to contribute.  I’d love to hear from other girls who have cross dressing boyfriends or partners and cross dressing guys with supportive partners; it fascinates me. 


Jane xxx

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