Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Three Promises

I must tell you, the response to yesterday's post about being Just A Mom has been overwhelming.

In my admittedly OCD way, after I posted it, I wanted to go back and revise it.  I wanted to add more stuff, delete some of it.  I decided it was better to leave it alone since it really reflected how I felt at the time without all the over analyzing I am doing now.

I wanted to clarify some of the things that were written, though.

First, all the statements made about the other women are based on what my friend has relayed from her boyfriend.  Eek....I'm not sure that they are referring to each other that way yet!  My bad if I'm granting titles not yet used.  He has been friends with this woman for years and knows her pretty well.  I don't know her personally, obviously.  Honestly, I know nothing about her.  And the post was not ever intended to be about judging her, it was a response to what she said about my friend.

Second, I have absolutely nothing against women like her. Nothing at all.  Hell, I went to law school.  Trust me when I say that I used to be one of them.  I miss getting my hair highlighted and nails done, I miss dreaming about my career.  I miss going to the gym and not having to worry about other people's needs all the time.  What I take issue with is her statement, not her.

Third, my point about being proud to Just be a Mom stems from the fact that regardless of what successes we as women ever have in our careers, once we have children, there are many people out there who seek to categorize us.  Pigeonhole us. Many of those doing that to us are....wait for it....other women.

Fourth, ultimately, to some degree they are right to categorize us.  Gasp!  Though there are most certainly moms who don't fall into this category, I'd have to say that almost all of us put our kids first.  No matter what.  There are women who don't.  Who put their careers first, who put their needs first, who put their wants first.  But I don't think most of us do.  I think most of us would drop anything work related if our families truly needed us.

So those are my clarifications.  Now I feel compelled to expand on the post.

We, as women, need to do a better job of ignoring people's opinions of us.  It's a hard thing to do.  We all want to believe that others see us as good people, as good mothers, as good workers.  We want to preserve that image in the heads of other people.  We don't want them to see the inner struggles we have.  We don't want them to know the choices were are faced with every day.  We don't want them to know how we are questioning ourselves.  We want to be confident. 

The real truth is that most of us aren't nearly as together as we want people to think we are.  We need to stop worrying so much about what everyone else thinks and focus more on what we know.  Only we know what goes on in our heads, in our careers, in our marriages, in our homes.  At the end of the day, that matters a hell of a lot more than what some stranger says in passing.

Furthermore, we need to stop beating ourselves up about everything.  We certainly don't need other people judging us.  We do it enough.  We question our career moves.  We wonder if we are doing the right thing, either by attempting to balance work and home or by giving up a career and staying home.  Which sends our children the right message?  Which sends our daughters the right message?  You are lying to yourself if you haven't asked yourself that question at least once. 

We over analyze our parenting.  Are we too strict, too controlling, too hovering?  Are we too relaxed, too mellow, too lazy?  Do we really know who our children are when they are not with us?  Do we know our husbands? 

I could go on for days about the ways that we torture ourselves as women, but I won't.  The point I am trying to make is that we need to stop.  We need to accept that there is no such thing as the perfect life.  There is no such thing as the perfectly balanced woman.  There is no such thing as the constantly happy marriage.  There is no such thing as a mother that doesn't occasionally imagine running away from her children.  These things don't make us inferior as women, wives or mothers.  They make us human.

I challenge all the women out there reading this today to make three promises.

1. I will care less about what other people think of me.
2. I will stop beating myself up about every single decision I make.
3. I will censor myself when I want to say or think something judgmental about another woman.

I am Kelly, and if you want to say that I am Just a Mom, that's fine with me. 

It doesn't matter.  I know that I am so much more than that.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Some of My Most Popular Posts