What is a mom?
If you look up ‘mother’ and ‘mom’ you get definitions like this:
The top definition on Urban Dictionary for Mom is: The woman who loves you unconditionally from birth, the one who puts her kids before herself and the one who you can always count on above everyone else.
Merriam Webster defines mother in a few ways: A female parent/woman in authority – Source, origin – Maternal tenderness or affection
From where I stand, in my mom shoes, I feel very conflicted about the all too apparent difference in these two definitions. One is the origin of the word and the others is (basically) society’s expectation of me.
My issue begins at the line “the one who puts her kids before herself”. How can I do that and still TRULY and FULLY be counted on?
Do I not have needs and dreams myself? What about the logic of putting on your own oxygen mask before anyone else’s? I can’t fully put someone before myself or I cease to exist. And if that happens, what do I really have to give?
As a mother it is expected of me to disappear almost completely on any social level, at least until my child has aged out of my house. Why? Who is that healthy for?
Why is it mothers are judged for having a life outside of their children? Are we not living in a time when it is generally understood in ANY relationship it’s healthy to have separate enjoyments, hobbies, friends, activities, etc.?
Isn’t it fair to assume mothers are just as diverse and unique as the rest of us? At what point do they stop getting to be individuals? Why is that?
What does that sacrifice TEACH a child at the end of it all?
In my eyes, one of my main responsibilities and priorities is to teach my child that he has the ability within himself to be happy and chase after what it is he dreams of. Set those goals and crush them. Then set some more.
How can I tell him all about the importance of being your true self and aspiring to fulfill your space in this world, if I myself am making a daily decision to be smaller and less than.
So I am determined to be his example. The right way.
By putting myself first.
And loving him unconditionally with a rock solid foundation built out of my own hopes and dreams and happiness.