Motherhood and all it entails is not for the faint hearted. If you are fiercely ambitious and career driven then under no circumstances have a baby. The crux of the problem lies with the overwhelming responsibility of being a mom. Motherhood and all its connotations are terrifying to say the least.
No longer are you an individual with hopes and dreams, you are mom. You are the punch bag for confused emotions, the chef for hungry bellies, the shoulder to cry on when someone is hurt, you are the one who picks up the pieces, the laundry, the empty plates, the laundry.
Gender equality doesn’t exist for the majority of people and that is a fact. I can only hope by the time my daughters become adults, society will have changed for the better or perhaps I will be honest with them and tell them they can’t have it all.
In my back catalogue of memories, my mom had many different lifetimes within one life. When we are small we don’t see moms as people do we?
I don’t think I ever considered her feelings until I was an adult myself. It is only when we develop adult relationships do we consider the personality, the needs and the wants of our parents.
My mom pretty much raised us four by herself. My dad was a loving and caring man, the backbone of the family and a huge stabilizing force. But his work was his life.
Seven days a week, I can guarantee you that 95% of his brain would be consumed with work issues. But each generation attempts to fix the mistakes of the past and from my moms point of view, she had a great life compared to her own mother. And us kids had an amazing upbringing in comparison to hers.
Back then the pressure to have it all didn’t exist, her job was to make sure we were well taken care of and we were. But even now, whenever I moan to my own mom about my lack of career because so much of my time is taken up with children, she hints that I am being selfish. That my time will come, that they are only young for a short time.
Call me selfish but for me the hardest part of being a mom is putting my own needs and wants on hold. Yes I could go out and get a full time job but the logistical nightmare of day to day life would be ultimately mine. I am the one who will have to fix any issues, sort out after school care, deal with the fall out from being there all the time for my three children to squeezing in a days worth of conversations in an hour before bedtime.
My husband is CEO of his own start up company. He travels and works hard but it means I have a lot of time as a solo mom. This is not a choice but it’s the way it is. The bigger the company becomes the more travel he will have to do and the more frustrated I will get at having to hold it all together, doing exactly what is expected of me.
My job entails cooking, doing laundry, cleaning and putting a stop to arguments before they get physical. I am a mom, this is my role but I never in a million years thought it would consume all of me. I know there is so much more to me than being a mom, I just hope I get the chance to prove it and wouldn’t it be awesome to be that mom who managed to forge a successful writing career whilst raising three children.
Looking back now I remember the frustration my mom felt when she wanted so desperately to be back in the adult world, to be using her brain and be respected by her peers. She did a back to nursing course and started working as a public health nurse. My dad would have been happy for her to always be at home, but now I see in myself that same frustration.
That yearning to spend more time with adults, to make a difference outside the home, to have something else to talk about other than toddler tantrums, fussy eaters and how the laundry is never ending.
I am so bored of the mundaneness of it all. I take my hat off to all the moms out there struggling to find their identity after years of sleepless nights. I take my hat off to all the working moms grappling with the guilt of spending so much time away from their babies.
I take my hat off to all the moms out there with challenging children, children with special needs, children whose medical history means every waking hour is racked with worry, moms whose stress levels are tested on a daily basis, wondering will it ever get easier and wondering how their moms survived.
But that’s it isn’t it? Our moms survived, without them and their sage advice we would be flailing around unsure of what the hell we are doing. I salute you mom and everything you did for us. I am in awe of you.