She looks like an ordinary woman, except maybe her quick smile and honest eyes. Before long you notice her children, the whole lot of them. Now she’s a mother, and from the looks of it, she has her hands full; she has your sympathy. Then you start to talk to her. She’s kind and smart. The more you talk, though, you notice that you start to hear some of her interests but the list keeps going. Wait a minute. She’s a mom, right? She doesn’t have time to be doing all that stuff. What about being a mom, being there for the kids?
This might be how I describe a selfish mom. At least, it’s how I might, hypothetically speaking, describe myself if I were to meet her for the first time. How should I feel about this? How do you feel when you realize that your commitments in the day take the focus off of the kids? Maybe this doesn’t happen to you, but you’ve probably met women like this.
Are mothers so stereotyped that we have a guilt complex if we don’t fit the bill? Isn’t that why working mothers often experience or receive so much grief?
I know mothers who seem like the “perfect” mom. They have lots of kids, homeschool all of them (though some send them to school), and every moment of their life seems to be for and with their kids or the family as a whole. I admire that . . . because that’s not something I can do.
First, I was a young woman. Then I became a wife and mother. Always, I will be a woman through it all. I cannot imagine my life when I forget that I have my own being to nurture, too. The wife and mother that I am suffers when the woman that I am is not loved, supported, growing. Can you relate to that?
Rather than calling ourselves selfish, why don’t we just say that we’re wonderful women, and as such, we make better mothers. Maybe then the “perfect” moms can pause and take a breath for themselves. Or maybe they are so perfect because they already know how to do so in each breath, and I just didn’t notice, being too busy judging and all.
Let’s sit back and enjoy the day, our kids, all the shtuff we do for everything and everybody. While you’re at it, mark a day in your calendar for a date with yourself. Do something nice for you. I plan to go to a writing workshop on Sunday, that will make my second one. Indulgent? Perhaps. Necessary? Absolutely.