You’re probably thinking mom’s aren’t the only parent right? Correct, but I’ve noticed that although times have changed and most households require dual income the mother is supposed to be a child’s everything. Which is odd because one would think that since the mother performed the essential act of gestating then birthing the child that they’ve done quite enough. Wait! Now the child has been born and mommy has to feed it too. UNICEF says, “breast is best.” No alcohol, no makeup, etc. People refer to it as the 4th trimester. There are incredible and numerous benefits in nursing an infant. Women who take up this journey are amazing. The problem lies within the never ending list of expectations of what mothers “should” do.
In our culture it is not unusual for a woman to devote her life to her children. Which might sound good, but in practice leaves many feeling drained and miserable. In 2017 most mothers have to sustain at least a part time job to assist with household expenses. After clocking out they go home and put on several other hats to keep the children going. They serve as chef, maid, nurse, friend, tutor and nanny. All the aforementioned positions in any other circumstance would require monetary compensation. In the case of being a mother people assume that a healthy & happy child is payment enough. Or that in old age they will be “paid back” for all that they invested in their child(ren).
The thing is one cannot pour from an empty cup. You are of no use to anyone (including yourself) when you’re exhausted and frustrated. My advice is to take some time to yourself. If you don’t have an actively present partner, then delegate duties to family members (hello grandparents!) or don’t feel bad for dropping them off at daycare/ after school program if you can afford it. A few hours (days) won’t hurt! Make yourself a priority, whether that involves daily exercise, a movie, happy hour, etc. Take the time to tend to your needs, and develop your interests. You take the chance to relax and become a much better individual for it.
I haven’t come across a single mom who doesn’t want the best for her child or at the very least doesn’t wish to harm them. So odds are that you’re doing the best you can. Ask for help when you need it and don’t be ashamed to admit that motherhood isn’t always a walk in the park. We salute you and remember your children love and appreciate you even when they may not be able to express it.