I love my children dearly. I love them and want them to have everything. I give up many things in order for them to have things I didn’t have when I was their age. My biggest wish is for them to have more, experience more and do better in their endeavors than I have.
However, one thing I do not agree with is Martyrdom Mommyhood. There are moms who give to their children to the extent they themselves are unhappy. They stay in unhappy marriages to give their children two parent homes. They isolate themselves from adult friendships because their kids cry when they leave or because they are afraid to leave them with anyone else. They give up their favorite activities, hobbies, or work (in essence sacrificing their individual identity) because they can not find a balance between family time and personal time. They always go where their kids want to go, eat what the kids want to eat, listen to what the kids want to listen to and talk about what the kids want to talk about. They sacrifice their individual identity to become MOM.
A mother’s biggest job for her kids is to be a role model. How can a mom teach a child to be a well-rounded person if they themselves are only one-sided? How can she encourage her child to explore their capabilities and interests in their lives if she stifles her own? How can children learn about healthy relationships (marriage and friendship) if their mother doesn’t teach them relationships take hard work and time?
It is good and right to sacrifice for your children. Just consider how much of a sacrifice you are making and whether it might actually be taking away from your child’s experience.
- Are you happy in your marriage? If not, are you working to make it better or just allowing things to happen without speaking up for yourself?
- Do you occasionally meet friends to talk and have fun? Do you HAVE any friends?
- Do you occasionally spend time away from the kids to do things you enjoy such as hobbies, activities or work? Do you spend ANY time away from the kids?
- Do you have goals or accomplishments you work towards (other than being a mom) which you are proud of?
If you can’t answer Yes to any of these questions…you should rethink who you are as an individual in respect to your family. If you don’t know who you are without them…how can you teach them who they can be without you?