Last night over pomegranate mojitos and a glass of chardonnay, my girlfriend and I were chit chatting about....well... this here bloggy blog. (PS - I asked her permission to share our conversation here. I don't run around blasting all your secrets on the internet every time we converse. I swear). She beautifully articulated to me her struggle with the short hours she has after work that she has to share with herself, her daughter, and her husband... then she said to me, "That's the first time I've been able to articulate that clearly, because I don't need to sugar coat it". Don't you love the power of non-judgment? How much more powerful would be be as a group if moms could stop judging one another and get together? I mean, should anyone ever have to sugar coat that she feels torn between her self and her kid? Who doesn't? Why does it have to be a secret?
And yet, every mom I know has been in the same shoes. "How's the baby?" Pause. "Oh, she's sooo amazing, sweet, I just love her so much, being a mom is amazing". OK, great, true, authentic... but like, "The baby is amazing and I'm in love with her and if I don't get 15 minutes to myself to let my mind and body rest I am probably going to write a Dear John letter and blast outta here next week..." Can't that be a fair part of the dialogue too?
So we talked about how hard it is to get that (dreaded word alert) "BALANCE" (GAG GAGA HORROR ICKY POO POO ICING). I offered, "Do you have to choose? How about doing your own thing one night, and letting her watch Elmo, and then playing with her another night when you feel more refreshed? How about trying to do what feels good to you each night, what feels right at the time, on that day?"
She voiced her fear that her selfishness would butt in and she would find herself taking every single night to herself, and not spending any of the time with her bubba girl. My response? "Do you think that would feel good to you night after night?" The beauty of being loving parents is that our feel good compasses will guide us toward that balance.
If we could have frank, true dialogue about our needs as women, without fear of judgment, maybe we could get to a point where children are used to seeing their parents as adults, to also experience their parents unconditional love... and most importantly, grow up with role models who value themselves equally to their other family members - is that overly dramatic? To imagine that daughters who see their mamas as women might have a better shot at giving themselves the same consideration when they grow up....?
How are you, mamas? Papas? Are you feeling good or sublimated to your parenting role?