It never occurred to me that there were any limits for women during my childhood. My strong, stoick mother had it all: an off-farm teaching career that was as much vocation as occupation; family; weekly squash competitions; a trumpet; horse riding; a massive garden encircling a newly-built home and the farm.
But I did confuse what it is to “have it all” with “do it all”.
It was Mum and we kids who raised the calves before and after school, Mum who built the calf shed out of hand-mixed concrete and recycled iron, Mum who managed the finances.
She was no matyr but she did work smart and very hard. Everything was organised to the nth degree and time was a precious commodity.
Now Mum lives on the other side of the state but something of her continues to live on here, too. While I had no doubt that women can do anything, even after a neighbour told me girls were only good for getting married, I suspect the thought has never even crossed my daughter’s mind.
Times are changing, yes, but my mother’s legacy will endure for generations.