I find myself being pulled in a lot of different directions lately. In addition to my already tonnage of hobbies and commitments, I have a small business that I am trying to maintain and a marriage that I try to nurture. Amazingly, what seems to send me over the edge(sometimes) is the Bonnie and Clyde partnership of my two young children. The former are things that I do for myself and to keep a sense of my identity. The latter is a period of the day that I've decided is purely there to test me.
I was always prepared for children, but without closely-aged siblings of my own, I was unprepared for the natural feeding-off-of-each other that occurs between a 2 and 4 1/2 year old. "Mommy, Juice!," "Mommy, more cookies please!," "Mommy, Harrison took my doll!," "Mommy, can I ______?!" "Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!" These commands are usually screamed within 3 seconds of each other or just as I am sitting down to finally eat my own meal. Now, I know it's not on purpose and eventually, they'll outgrow it, but children are naturally selfish. It's official, I am a woman with a masters degree, but in my children's eyes, I am merely a housekeeper that they refer to as "Mommy."
Now comes the bad part: What if I want to be selfish? What, then? I can't tell you how many people have frowned at the idea of moms needing a break. I admit it, some days I need a break, (some days I need several!), so I'll go to a movie or try on countless unnecessary purses at the department store or even travel for a weekend visit to see friends. And it doesn't mean that I love my children any less; actually, it helps me be a better mother because I've added my own needs to the list. It's important to recharge your batteries by reading a book, writing, reflecting, expressing and allowing yourself some self discovery beyond motherhood. So does this make me a bad mother? Maybe in some people's eyes.
Don't get me wrong, I am very thankful for my babies, but moms have to give up alot when raising families. There's alot of yourself and your dreams that you put on hold and other parts of you that you worry will no longer be there once your children are grown and no longer need you. Plus, there is the common and ignorant theory out among society that every female has only the life goal of reproducing and once this is achieved, she can cook and clean to her heart's content! I'm sure some moms are aghast at my bold comments, but day in and day out of meeting everyone else's demands and maybe during a 5 day spread you'll get a tiny shred of your own needs in, it begins to wear on you!
So here I am, doing little more than venting and ready to be openly criticized for wanting just as much for myself as I do for my family. Because in the end, I'm still me and I want my little worker bees to see that "Mommy" didn't give up on herself and that I always kept trying to improve. You know, that will probably be one of the most important lessons I can teach them, to be true to themselves and always try. So yep, just like all moms, I've got alot going on, and boy, am I not perfect! But I'm a hard worker and right now I'm working hard to be a good mother, a good wife and a good dreamer.