Does the above look like you? Looks like me last night, trying to deal with my son’s inability to get his homework done on time. If you are at home with a baby (God bless you), then this might seem far away. But, as I sit here at 6am forcing my son to do a study guide for his test today, I think back to when he was a baby and his path to the young man he is today.
There are all types of mothers as you know. The ones that use a pacifier, the ones that use pampers, the ones that let their baby cry themselves to sleep and the ones who do their kid’s science project (that would be me). At the end of the day, we are all the same. We love our children more than anything on this planet, and we want them to be happy and successful.
I read this article by Erica Jong in the WSJ about attachment parenting and about the guilt mothers have about being perfect. And, as she says, “Unless you’ve been living on another planet, we’ve endured an orgy of motherphilia for at least the last two decades”. Everything, it seems, is about the children these days. Mother be damned — she has to put her life on hold.
I’m not saying that the women who have quit their jobs to be full time moms are bad. What I’m realizing is that as a mom, you have to find your balance (See last Thursday), and not forget about who you are. And, to stop beating yourself up for not being at every soccer game, or every parent potluck, or for getting a sitter so you can remember why you like your husband.
The endless driving to activities and playdates, and the constant barrage of stimulation that we thrust upon our children is only going to hurt them in the end. It’s like this never ending fight to have the smartest and most sophisticated child. And, in the end, they really just turn out about the same. I’m here to tell you this, because I was THAT mother. I had my son in every playgroup, every music together, mom & tot program, museum trips . . . something almost every day. All with the mindset of having the most well-rounded intelligent child ever. And, here I sit, while my son is painstakingly trying to get his homework done. The difference here is that I’m writing this post and he is getting his work done on his own (instead of me hovering making sure he is doing everything perfectly).
As a mom, we should strive to do our best with what we have. Make your own rules about how you parent and remember that as a parent, we want to teach our children how to be their best — and we do that by example, not by running ourselves ragged. Our children will be better for it and will be independent thinkers and will learn how to do things on their own. This is the best gift we can give them.