You'll have to forgive me ahead of time if I ramble but I have been thinking about these things for two full days now and wanted to get them "out there" for discussion. Yesterday I was talking with my friend Heidi and we were discussing the highs and lows of being a mother. One day prior to this an old friend, who doesn't have children, posted a comment on her facebook page implying moms are lying when they say their kids are the best thing that ever happened to them and they love their compromised life in which they've lost their identity. Hmm.
Is this true? Are we all just lying to ourselves and the rest of the world? Do we love our kids but secretly resent that we've given up careers, personal space, personal time and the freedom to be spontaneous? I don't think so.
I'm certain there are those women out there but the ones I come in contact are genuinely happy women. They are well rounded and rooted in their church, family, and community. Their children don't take away from their life but instead add a richness and fullness that is incomparable.
Here's where I see the dichotomy that exists in motherhood and that doesn't translate if you don't have kids:
- 100% fulfilled and 100% depleted at any given moment and most times simultaneously
- We think our children are perfect angels and quite possibly the anti-Christ
- We think we're never as good as our best friend, neighbor, sister, whoever but also know that our family would be lost without us
- We wear more hats and carry more responsibility than one job would ever ask of an employee and do it without any pay and very little sleep yet wonder if we're contributing enough
I'm sure you can think of a whole lot more but you get it don't you? With all these grey areas how can a person without children understand how these little midgets who are such drains can completely leave you breathless with love and adoration; how they enrich and deepen your life in a way that no book, no job, no vacation, no title or promotion could ever do.
Hey, I'm always the first to admit it ain't glamorous ("ain't" used for effect) and most times I'm ready to get my drunk on by 10am but I love my kids, I love my life and there is truly nothing I would rather do more than spend my day chasing them around and telling them to get off the counter and stay out of the cat's food. I'll take a day away with a girlfriend or Hot Jeff at any given moment but only for a day because I have some terrorists who need me to make them Mickey Mouse shaped pancakes.
postscript: I make these statements as a mother who doesn't work outside of the home. However, my oldest friend Traci, does work outside of the home, full time, and I believe these things are true for her as well. Her son means everything to her. She's a wonderful example of balance. With that said, the "facebook comments" were directed, I believe, towards mothers who choose to stay home and obviously forfeit their talents and education.
Email me your comments, musings and feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org! I'd love to hear your thoughts on this topic whether you agree or disagree.