I’ve been a mother for 13 years now and I’ve changed my mind about it. I used to fear it until I got the hang of it and then somehow I liked it. Of course, in the absence of thought during the like stage I decided to have another baby in my mid 30s. Yes, good ‘ol sex got in the way. I love my children and the meaning of family; however, motherhood is extremely exhausting and with 2 teens and a 5 year old I’m finding challenge in the once manageable balancing act of career and motherhood.
I’ve been thinking about it recently because I lost that balance by moving back abroad. The rhythm was good until it spun too quickly and I fell off. I’ve gotten back up but I see feminism from primarily a “mommy” perspective.
Being a mother changes the deepest set views of what it means to be a woman and to want a career. I’m deeply grateful to what women have done for our freedom to express our womanhood – femininity – and capability but the older and wiser I get the more I love the fact that my husband works and I’m the artistic “trailing” wife (in the expat world) and mother.
Often we don’t give enough credit to mothers. Our society bangs us with the idea that we want children and family but when we have them it’s not always the roses promised but no one usually gives the hardliner truth. Parenting is damn hard and don’t judge it until you have a crack at it. I learned that while I’m thankful for the choice of having babies, it’s a full time job in the sense of constant awareness. My brain hurts. It’s reality we often sweep under the magic carpet.
It’s possible to balance it all but keeping that balance takes a lot of energy and eventually something gives. Women have proven they can have their cake and eat it too but I’ve found that it resembles more of the cake in your face scenario. American mothers too often forget to stop and smell the roses along the way. Like marriage, family is a “for better for worse commitment”. The most common challenge women face is a loss of identity.
My biggest wish this Mother’s Day is for women still searching for that “me” under the “mom” title is to find themselves this year by exploring who they are as women, the dreamers who had visions of self-experience without diapers, teen attitudes and parental responsibility. Redefining that through the transformation of motherhood is the best reward motherhood has offered me. I’ve grown beyond my expectations because I had to. It was part of maternal survival.
Happy Mother’s Day.