Why do we seem to continue to put each other down as mothers? Are we that insecure about our own approach that we need to find a weak spot elsewhere and pounce? What defines a “bad” mother or “good” mother? What is the definition of a selfish mother?
We don’t have a direct answer to these questions, but by the reaction to a recent statement by Giselle Bundchen, admitting you have needs and desires above and beyond your children became the poster child for selfish mothering. In a recent article by CNN.com, Kelly Wallace helps to point out that this label couldn’t be more wrong. Giselle was quoted as saying “put yourself first.” I suppose at face value, one might assume that a beautiful and successful supermodel might not be more concerned with her looks or financial gain over her children. WRONG! What she, and many of us working moms are saying, is it’s OK to still be you and be a mom, and in fact enhances the entire experience!
“You know how they say on the plane you have to put the oxygen mask on first and then put it on your child?” Bundchen told “The Sunday Times” in an interview about why she believes motherhood is her most important job. “So I think it is the same, as a mum, to take care of myself.”
She’s right! If you don’t take time for yourself, and nurture your needs, how can you be equipped to take care of someone else? I’m surprised by some of the reactions I saw, name calling and accusations of abandoning children. I personally do not feel my children need my undivided attention 24 hours a day. As they grow, I’m proud that I am fostering independence. I know I’ve done my job as a mom when my boys are laughing and playing and enjoying life. I agree with Wallace’s sentiment of “you go girl, Giselle.”
I let many things fall by the wayside and am now feeling like it’s time for me to put some focus back on me again. Is it selfish to want to get a haircut, go shopping alone, or meet a friend for coffee? If you continuously deprive yourself of some moments of peace and relaxation, is that healthy? I think we are putting way too much pressure on ourselves to be the perfect mother. Our goal at Blissfulmamas is to support one another and remind each other that you’re doing an amazing job and that you can balance family, career, and ME.
Our careers and friends in life gives us confidence to be a strong and happy mothers. Does this mean that I don’t feel my children are a priority? Absolutely not, most days, my kids do come first but there are days where I need to refuel. This is not an idea or privilege of the wealthy, it’s important for all moms. It doesn’t much matter how you spend your alone time, just that you give yourself a pat on the back and remind yourself that you are important too. On days when I can’t escape the house, I might go outside and walk around my yard while the kids nap. Sometimes I let the kids play alone, gasp, and catch up on a tv show on my laptop. I also have help, I have a wonderful childcare giver, a husband, and parents who pitch in. I can’t do it all on my own, and I am grateful for the moments like now, sitting on a train typing away. No matter our circumstances, we all deserve a break now and then to foster our own inner spirits and desires, this will only trickle down the line to our children and inspire them to do the same. If you truly feel that all needs are met in caring for your children, that’s great and this article probably isn’t speaking to you. We all need to do what makes us the best moms possible, we all have a different route and approach, I just happen to agree with Giselle. Rather than continue to promote more hate and shame, lets say thank you to another working mom who is finding a way to balance it all!