Because I decided to take on a foster dog, I have a pretty full house. I always do this. I plan parties, celebrations, take on responsibilities and other get-togethers with the zeal of a much more sociable person than I actually am. The date looms ever closer and my anxiety rises ever higher. Then the day arrives and everything is fine. How can I possibly be a successful Mom without having essential party planning skills that don’t also stress me out?
I had a discussion with my Mom, and my best friend Margie was there also, which I began by stating that I’m a bad mother. Where do I get that idea from? It’s because I don’t have freshly baked cookies and healthy snacks waiting after school (you might recall my comment about fruit leather), and I’m a lazy-ass Mom when it comes to following through on a threat. For example, I will ask my son if he has cleaned his room and he will reply Yes. But do I verify this? No, and he knows it! And when I find out he is lying, I’m pissed off, but seldom does it come to a grounding or privilege restriction (because that requires follow-through!). I can’t keep track of who is not allowed to do what. That’s the reality of my situation.
Margie said she has a similar impression of herself. This was all pretty shocking to my mother, who thinks we have it all figured out, we bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan, and so forth. And of course I always flip the situation and ask myself how many fathers worry about being a good role model and balancing work & life. Not many, I’ll bet. Does that make them better working parents? Yes it does. Men have always gone to work, and they have lots of examples to choose from.
Women have 3 models, I think:
1. Work from home/stay at home. Inevitably, the career suffers.
2. Work full time and hire childcare. Career ends up being moderately successful.
3. Work work work like there’s no tomorrow. Don’t see kids/husband much. Career wildly successful. (There aren’t any successful business people who achieved success by spending a lot of time with their family.)
** You’ll notice I worked a numbered list into this post!
There must be other options for Moms out there.