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Parental Paradox

Here’s a paradox for you:
“I Was A Really  Good Mom Before I Had Kids”.
That’s actually the title of the book.  Intriguing, right?  Well,  if not, then stop reading.  If so, then you’re probably a mom, or a parent at least, who knows what this means.
I’m not sure I would have understood this in my pre-kid life.  Sure, I’d fathom, I’d guess, I’d hypothesize.  But until you live it, you really cannot fully appreciate such a statement.  It’s like my first Mother’s Day as a mother realizing DAMN, this holiday is important.  I need a validation day on the calendar for all – uh hum, husbands – to recognize and react to.  When you’re narrating something second or third perspective you can only understand a limited amount, regardless of how empathetic and observant you are.  Once your perspective becomes first person account, you truly fall on your knees in the light of the truth.
Although I sing the praises of this book’s title for immediately shining light on all the book entails in that single phrase, it’s not even my favorite quote.  I’ve only just begun the book, but so far my favorite quote is:
“I love being a mom; I just hate doing it.”
Does this sound terrible to anyone?  It kind of does to me but it still doesn’t stop me from raising my hand in admittance to fully embracing its Truth.  Yeah, yeah, I do know mothers who really do seem blissfully thankful for all the minutes they spend with their children, who seem to need no time alone or time away or more time in general.  I am as suspicious of those women as I was of the girls in college who jumped from boyfriend to boyfriend who could never be alone.  As someone who enjoys her independence, and who is arguably a little selfish of that time, I have a hard time connecting with those selfless woman who can sacrifice every part of themselves.  I can’t do it.  And I don’t want to do it.  I also can’t believe that’s how they really feel.
Thank God for paradoxes because without those seemingly contradictory sayings, I think I’d feel a bit more lost and confused in motherhood.  Irony, anyone?
One quote not riddled with contradiction:  “I can’t believe I gave up nine months of drinking for this.”
Of course the quotes I’ve chosen from this book do not rule my daily life.  But they often go unsaid by other moms/parents out of guilt or embarrassment.  I’m often riddled with (self-inflicted) mom guilt for one reason or another, but I’m not afflicted with the latter.  Why should I be ashamed for wanting to be both a mom and a strong person with my own goals and hobbies?  I want that for ME and I want my girls to see me not only as their servant mom, but as a person as well.
At this point, I’d like to exalt my eternal love for my darling little girls.  Them, and this book.  Cheers.

4 responses to “Parental Paradox”

  1. llxt llxt says:

    Hear hear! I've always felt that the I can only be a good parent if I'm first fulfilling my own needs. It's sort of like the disaster instructions no one listens to on an airplane: Put on your own mask first, then put on theirs. 😉

    • Lindi Lindi says:

      hahahahah! You're the disaster instructions on the airplane no one listens to! I'm going to think of your life as a panel drawing with red Xs across it.

  2. Avatar The Tailor says:

    Great piece. An honest view of parenting.

  3. Avatar ebbillings says:

    Very funny! As a kid-less woman, it's nice to know that it's possible to retain a sense of self after giving birth.

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