In your child’s eyes, you will always be a good mother. Don’t beat yourself up about it!
This is a very common fear that most women experience throughout their lifetime but will always be afraid to share it. Remember that we are each unique individuals and how we raise our children should never be judged by another unless neglect or worse abuse takes place but this discussion is not about that. Whether you cook your meals from scratch or order in, your children are taken care of and that’s the most important thing. Every woman tries to provide the most nutritious meals to her family. Keep in mind that most can’t even afford to feed their children at all and are forced to use assistance, but that is life.
Regardless of what others think, we each do our very best to be a good mother to our children and being a mother of our generation is extremely hard. According to Marist Poll, 83% of U.S. residents believe it’s harder to raise a child today than it was in previous generations. This includes eight in ten households with children younger than 18. Although more than three-quarters of Americans across the age spectrum say the current generation is more difficult to bring up, older Americans tip the scales. A whopping 90% of those 60 years of age or older think this is the case, 82% between the ages of 45 and 59 agree, and 79% of Americans 30 to 44 years old share this view. A similar proportion of residents 29 years old or younger 78% say this is true.
I’m positive the same words must have been repeated by every woman since beginning of time. Every generation of women had similar thoughts that it was harder for them then when their parents were raising children of their own. The answer is no! Fewer women worked in the past and much less were sole providers of the family. Help was available because fewer women in the family had full time jobs and more were available to assist you with caring for your child or children. Women had help from their mothers, grandmother’s, aunts, cousins, and sisters showing them on how to properly care for the child. They helped with cooking, laundry and took care of the house while the new mother bonded with her child. Most women today are not as lucky and must learn lessons of life and motherhood on their own. Make their own discoveries as well as make their own mistakes, but women have done this for generations and managed very well.
We as women have so much more to worry about now besides being a full time mother which is number one priority on our list. We try to accommodate everything into one day because the day just doesn’t have enough hours in it for us to complete everything on our list. The good news is you don’t have to! Whoever told you that you have to is absolutely wrong! The kids laundry will be there tomorrow too. The dust will settle back on the furniture by evening anyway and you’ll have to do it again tomorrow. The pharmacy will be open past 5:00pm so you can fill that prescription for your husband after chore number 28 is completed on your list. That episode on Dr. Oz that you pre-recorded about a baby bouncer that’s being recalled that you really needed to watch can wait until morning unless purchasing that bouncer has become a priority on your list. Don’t forget to pay those bills! Yes the process of doing it online is much easier than what it used to be but it still needs to be squeezed into the schedule. Take a bit of time for yourself and get your hair done for date night with your hubby instead. Take an extra 10 minutes in the shower just relaxing under the hot water.
We must also work at keeping ourselves healthy and lean by eating right and exercising and teach our children about eating healthy from the start. This takes a lot of time and effort. There’s also your husband that expects his wife to make time for him at night because he worked all day and needs a bit of intimacy. The list of responsibilities can go on and on. Who has the time to do all of that on a daily basis? Yes, some mother’s will say that it is possible and can be done, but is there time in the day left for us mothers? Are you happy at the end of the day after dedicating all your time for the good of your family? No gratification besides a “thank you dinner was great” or “thanks mom for the cookies!” Do we want to dedicate our lives to only taking care of our family? Our husband’s famous words are “I work all week really hard to support this family, can’t I have some time for myself sometimes” Well doesn’t it work both ways? When do we get to come home and have dinner served to us then table cleared, dishes washed, kids bathed and in bed and we just hang on the couch and relax?? This just doesn’t happen and if it does the percentage is extremely low. This is just one of the things women consider when having children and dedicating their entire lives to them. Now don’t get me wrong, if that makes you happy, more power to you and keep doing what you’re doing! However, studies have shown that it doesn’t work for every woman and most will be afraid to speak up about this topic.
It looks easier than it seems!
Yes, perhaps it was much harder for mothers in the past with no access to disposable diapers because they were just too expensive at the time even if they existed in your lifetime. There were no pre-made formulas or mixes. Everyone had to create their own formula or even breast feed. That’s another choice we as women have pressure about now. Are we bad mother’s because we chose not to breast feed our children at birth? Some feel that if choosing the alternative is it in fact better for our children? Most will go the organic way and make the foods themselves for fear of feeding their children with harmful chemicals. The pressures from our parents to get married early and start a family early. The times were different back then and must simpler.
Don’t beat yourself up about not taking your child to the park every day or buying him or her a toy that every child in his class already has. Don’t feel guilty or allow your children to make you feel guilty. I’m sure there’s something that you’ve purchased for your child that most kids don’t have like that electric scooter that costs $300.00 while the other kids are using their feet, your child is sporting a new electric scooter. You may have rewarded your child in a different manner which is still great because we are creative moms and we think of our own way to please our children even in the smallest ways. It’s not always about the money you spend on them.
Until your kids reach the appropriate age of being left alone, they will remain by your side ultimately 24 hours a day 7 days a week and sometimes it feels longer. Most single friends of mine can’t understand how difficult even a trip to Target can be when you have to bring your children along for the ride. Yes you can stick them in the cart and buy a cheap toy to keep them busy but sometimes that trick doesn’t always work. You just get to the store and they have to use the bathroom, so you take them to the bathroom. A process that can sometimes take up to 30 minutes because when we get there, they no longer have to go! We start to shop and once again the kids are in need of something like a pretzel they saw at the front of the store and I’m checking out the towels all the way in the back. My point being, every errand can sometimes turn into a major project and your kids will never make it easier on you. You just have to laugh it off and hope for a better trip the next time around. With that said, the time you spend together regardless of what you’re doing is quality time that you will remember years down the line. Appreciate it now and don’t feel guilty if you feel not enough time is spent or appropriate places were not visited together.
Your child will understand why you’re not home and always working
If you’re not out partying with your girlfriends every night after work or out with a different guy every weekend, then your child will understand why mom is never around and always working. Not every family consists of a mother, a father and a child. Some children experience life with only one parent. A single mother’s life is the hardest of all. She can never use a term that most mother’s use and most of the time get away with and that is “Wait until your father gets home!” For single mother’s they are the mother and the father built into one. There will be times your child will love you and there will be times they will hate you and wish you were dead. Just remember don’t mean it and are purely upset because you had to take the necessary steps in disciplining them like a father would. Don’t get upset, it’s only normal! I myself remember doing that when growing up but I never meant it and sort of regret it now. We each learn our lessons in life at our own pace. Some learn quickly and early on in life while others learn their lessons later in life. There’s no difference when it happens, the point is that it happens and when it does perhaps when they are parents themselves, they will see there was an important reason for doing what you did.
Leaving the nest
At a prime age of moving out and we never know when they’ll be ready to take that step, letting go is a mother’s worst nightmare. We want our children to remain by our sides forever, but we know they must spread their own wings and fly. Just because you didn’t cry it doesn’t mean you don’t love your child the same way a mother who cried does. This just means you’ve accepted him leaving the nest at some point in his life and you’ve prepared yourself for this moment for when it does come. Love is expressed in many ways and your child knows just how you express yours. This doesn’t mean you can’t pack him a nice going away gift that he will love. Use your own judgment as to what to pack. Only you know your child that well. Ask your friends for advice, you’ll be surprised but they’re probably thinking the same thing you are. My child is going to love me now!
Are we all meant to be mothers?
According to research conducted at Rockefeller University in New York, their studies suggest there’s such a thing as a “mom gene”. Research was conducted using mice and the end result showed that no all women have the need or desire to be mothers. This is no indication that one they are mother’s no won’t be good mothers. This just simply means that their need is just not as strong and there are other things in life they desire as well as being a mother.
The study, published last week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, took a group of healthy mice mothers and injected a molecule that silenced their estrogen receptor alpha in one specific area of the brain.
Ana Ribeiro, an author of the study and postdoctoral fellow at Rockefeller University, explains: “Once the gene was silenced, not only did the moms not nurse or lick their baby pups, but they wouldn’t even move the baby mice back into the cage or fight off a strange intruder. In other words, our study shows that, without this gene, the skills to be ‘a good mom’ were lost.”
“Boys and girls are not born fathers and mothers. They are taught how to be parents,” says Amy Blackstone, chair of the department of sociology at the University of Maine, who studies adults who voluntarily remain childless. “I also worry that this discovery could stall the wonderful progress we’ve made towards granting gay men parenting rights. Being female is not a pre-requisite to being a good parent.”
We can’t all be judged the same way nor do we need to be judged at all. We have a million things hanging on our shoulders and most won’t even ask for help. We need to support them instead of judge them for their parenting skills or the fact they want no children of their own at all. Some may say its selfish while others feel it’s a choice that’s right for them. There’s no reason for justification!