It was this image that hit me. This image that sent a small, but sharp chill down my spine. A worrisome chill that made me, ‘feel bad’ or ‘guilty’ for doing something for myself. Maybe it’s a mother’s instinct, maybe it’s society. It’s still fashionable to blame society right, instead of the individual. That’s easier. I don’t know what it is, but whatever it is, it sucks.
That feeling that you’re a bad parent because you are puting a need of yours above that of your child’s. I know I can’t be alone. Even as I sit here and write this, I am VERY aware of my baby’s soft coos as she wakes from her morning snooze, slowely turning into cries. But, it’s a feeling of perseverance that keeps me at the keys. It’s the feeling of guilt that makes me want to run to her every hiccup, therefore abandoning my keyboard. But should we?
As mothers, a new mother myself, I did not understand the complexity of motherhood until, well, I was one. Should we run to every cry, every coo, every gurgle? No, I don’t think so. Should we put some things above our children’s every whim and wham? Yes. As I struggle to not race up the stairs to stare at that beautiful drooling face, I am reminded of just who I am bettering by not spending every waking moment with her. I am bettering the both of us. If I am happy and fulfilled, in turn, she will be too.
Even though it feels as though I am at war with ‘mother-nature’, am I? Or are we at war with something else, with what someone else deems appropriate or inappropriate, ergo society. Those that tout, ‘my children are my life’, ‘my children are my job’, ‘I’m a mom, that’s it and I like it that way’. I have to ask, do you? Or is there something missing, a piece unfulfilled, a journey kept in the back closet collecting dust and cobwebs. As much as my child is my world and my life and she certainly is a lot of work; she is not my work. She can’t be.
I don’t think wanting something for myself makes me a bad or selfish mother, I think it makes me better. I think it makes my child better. I want it all, I always have and I always will. And someone telling me that I can’t have it all or that I have to choose is heart-breaking and I can’t accept that.
After all, falling asleep infront of the TV every once in a while never hurt anyone, right?