We say mother, but this text can be directed to parents in general. Parents who want to spend more time with their children, who want to enjoy more unique moments, but end up spending more time at work. Fathers who are realizing that today they need to play, change diapers and participate in education as much as mothers do. We know about social changes and the role of women. Especially their place in the job market, which, since the last century, has changed women’s lives, along with motherhood.
Have you ever stopped and thought about the meaning of the mother for you and for society, and which words represent them? Unconditional love? Dedication? Abdication? Renunciation? Selfless giving? Loyalty? Support? Achievement? Most words represent an unconditional surrender, full dedication, a holy and practically perfect being. One who should always be in a good mood, have energy, and endless patience and understanding.
This was practically the way women were raised in the past, in which all their efforts were focused on getting married and taking care of the house and their children. That view that they only serve to raise kids and care for the family, to be the foundation of everything inside the home. Keep the house organized, sew, clean and cook, while also taking care of their children, to the point that many felt overwhelmed and suffered in silence with little to no recognition of their hard work. It wasn’t common for husbands to help, and there were very few exceptions, in which women were able to invest in other aspects of life, other than family and motherhood.
The accumulation of women’s roles in today’s society
But times have changed, what was difficult before, today, is almost impossible! It is not enough to raise children well, healthy, well-mannered, and with good grades. We need to be good mothers and excellent professionals in the workforce. Having a support network, and be well-connected, having good friendships, being emotionally and financially independent. Have good management of our time to read, do physical activity or have a hobby, be fit and have our appearance well taken care of. Having a good marriage, with a partner who values us, who supports us professionally, who is loving and shares housework and the upbringing of the children. Phew, I got exhausted just typing this.
With the entry of women into the job market, which is a task that demands time, execution, and preparation, instead of value and acknowledgment, the demands have only increased. Expectations are now at an all-time high and no matter how hard we work, it does not seem we make any progress. [Quick acknowledgment that we do have a woman of color as Vice-President which is AMAZING! Yet, most moms still feel they are going nowhere.]
And when a woman feels tired or realizes that they can’t do everything perfectly, they start to feel bad and guilty, they see themselves as bad mothers, bad wives, bad professionals because we all have our limits because, after all, we are still humans. When did we fail to understand that a woman is a person and not a supernatural being? That they keep doing all the hard work while some partners are only there to get the benefits?
First, spouses should be aware that they need to help their wives/partners with their children or hire childcare professionals to help them. Let’s acknowledge that it is not fair to throw all workload on those who take the role of mothers. And moms, I have selected a few tips that may help you see that you are not the problem, you are the glue that keeps everything together:
You are not a bad mother for having a busy life
Do not measure your value as a mother according to the number of hours that you dedicate to your little one. Value the quality of attention you give to them, your connection, and your love for your little ones. Don’t feel guilty about sharing the mother’s “duties” with a professional who can and will give their undivided attention and age-appropriate stimulation to your little ones. In fact, it is essential for you to have time for yourself – you will be a better mother if you are fulfilled and not frustrated.
Educate through conversations
Make time to talk, guide, and direct your children about the good and the ideal. But give them autonomy too, and do not allow your child – or spouse – to be too dependent on you. Raise your little ones so they can deal with life’s problems and learn how to problem-solve on their own. This will give you more time and better quality of life not just for you, but for them too. I can assure you of that!
Do not turn gifts into rewards
Do not nurture the thought of making up for the time you are not with your little ones by giving them material gifts. As much as you are a mother, you are also a person who needs to have a professional and social life like any other. More important than giving expensive gifts to make up for the time you can’t be with them, is actually being fully present when you are. The present of being present, listening to them, dialoguing, spending quality time together, and enjoying the precious moment.
Protect your time and do not allow others to disrespect your time
Society continues to demand more and more from women, and few partners and families understand how difficult it is to manage everyone and everything. They do not reflect on the accumulation of tasks that fall upon women. They continue to perpetuate the demands and fail to see time has changed. Don’t allow this to happen and don’t be undermined by it! Stand up and let them know about the importance of having time for yourself and to have a “normal” life free of outrageous demands, for your own health. Don’t be ashamed to hire a nanny, a housecleaner, a chef.. seek to establish your support network, and stand firm with your decisions. Do not be apologetic.
You are a wonderful woman! Look how many things you can handle, look at everything you do. You are a strong woman not only for raising your children but for dedicating yourself to the maximum in doing the best on all fronts. You are also human. Don’t feel bad and don’t even think about feeling guilty when not being to accommodate everyone’s demands and needs. Value yourself and your time. And don’t forget to make time for your love life; feeling loved is necessary, receiving love is also necessary. It can be to you and from you 🙂 It’s okay to be or feel vulnerable, sp don’t see this as weakness or a bad thing. You are also worthy of attention and care.