What Does It Take to Be a Good Mom?

“The mother-women seemed to prevail that summer at Grand Isle. It was easy to know them, fluttering about with extended, protecting wings when any harm, real or imaginary, threatened their precious brood. They were women who idolized their children, worshiped their husbands, and esteemed it a holy privilege to efface themselves as individuals and grow wings as ministering angels.” ~~The Awakening
“I would give up the unessential; I would give my money, I would give my life for my children; but I wouldn’t give myself.”~~Edna Pontellier, The Awakening

There are two stereotypical types of mothers: Those who will give up everything for their children and those who will give up nothing. Before having Miss L, I was firmly on Team Edna–except for the suicide, of course. And the affairs. And the…where was I going with this? Oh, right… I could never understand how someone could just quit her job, give up her social life, and stop caring about anything other than the sticky, crying child.

Then I had Miss L. Suddenly I couldn’t understand how someone could just go to work, hang out with friends, and care about world events when there was a snuggly, sweet-smelling baby to tend to. My hair got straggly. I didn’t return phone calls or emails. Mr. A went without sex.

Eventually maternity leave ended and I was thrust back into my old world. Thank god. I was starting to smell.

But it turned out, I was also thrust into a new world: that of a working mother in Washington, D.C., where parenting is a competitive sport. The Enda Pontellier method of parenting simply won’t do (that’s ok, because I have serious doubts about her morals, anyway). But neither can I become a mother-woman of Grand Isle, letting my child become the all-encompassing force in my life. I owe Mr. A more than that. I owe myself more than that. Hell, I owe Miss L more than that–because I want more for her in life than just being a mom, as wonderful and fulfilling as that is.

So here it is, my journey as an individual and a mom, trying to find the balance between living life just for me and living life just for my child. Trying to be a no drama kind of momma.

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One Response to What Does It Take to Be a Good Mom?

  1. Mary says:

    What an interesting perspective! I hope you keep writing.

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