Thursday, July 18, 2024

Mom is Not On-Call 24/7.

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( Too many mothers are made to believe they must be any and everything to their children. If they can’t answer every call, they are negligent as a mother. We are told once we have children motherhood is now our identity, and whoever we were before this state is irrelevant. The demand is more polarizing than marriage by far. There are some women, not all, that are turned off by the idea of being mothers because they feel they must sacrifice who that are completely. The reverence of the ideal of motherhood can clash very hard with the reality of the role. Some mothers find themselves lashing out, because fathers don’t seem to incur the same kind of pressure. Well, in truth fathers process parenting rather differently from mother. If we observe them with the children, and their methods of handling things, some moms find that fathers very well may demand expectation of their kids much sooner than we do. There is nothing wrong with the difference in parenting as we are different. However, mom carried and gave birth to baby.

Sometimes mom will feel obligated to neglect herself for the sake of her children at any age to appease more than accommodate them. It is a hard pill to swallow, but part of the responsibility of being a mom is not sacrificing identify, nor being at the demanding-call of our children. We are human beings, and that is a respect our children must learn. It is our responsibility to teach that lesson, or we risk our children growing up with unrealistic demands and expectations of their mother.

There is a bond formed in the womb between mother and child. When that baby comes into the world, they learn very quickly if they cry mom will come running. If baby is hungry they will be fed, if they are soiled they will be cleaned up, and if they just want mommy to hold them…she will do so. When baby comes home, we can feel that child in our bones. Sometimes mothers wake up in the night, and the child isn’t crying she just knows there is a need. Babies are smarter than we acknowledge, and they recognize our willingness to jump for them quickly. This is where the on-call mentality begins. When baby cries for no reason too many mothers have neglected eating, going to the restroom, and bathing to run to baby that had no issue. As the children grow that behavior becomes more pronounced. Mothers find themselves hiding from their children, can’t take a moment to go to the restroom, and making multiple meals because of the child’s preference verses their needs. We want them to be happy, so we respond to every call.

Some mothers do things for their children that the child can clearly do for themselves, because that’s being a supportive mom so we are told. Many mothers are shamed by being told they are mean or harsh if they don’t do everything for their child. Some of us clear tables, make beds, put up toys, and even bathe children that can do all of these things for themselves, when mom says she needs a moment, isn’t feeling well, has to go to the bathroom, or she’s eating the child doesn’t seem to understand she has a right to these spaces. No, all the child knows is answer me, and do for me right now.  Give me what I want right now, or I’ll have a tantrum in the middle of the floor.

Mom, we are human beings. We are not on call for anyone 24/7 to the point that we lose and neglect self. A part of our children learning patience, independence, responsibility, and compassion is to learn these lessons through us. It is our responsibility to teach them that we love them, but they must also love us. When they are babies, and nothing is wrong with them, but they are crying and you have to go to the restroom…use the restroom. Take the time to sit down and eat your food, and demand it be done in peace. As your children grow up allow them to feel like active members of the family. When they can clean up behind themselves demand that they do such. You are not the maid of your children. This gives them a sense of responsibility at an early age. When you need to rest…do so. If your children have assignments, and activities, for school teach them to value your time by putting everything in order. They must learn to do things in a timely manner because the world nor the house revolves around them. It is understood that there are times when you will be on standby because they are sick or have a great need. However, your children must learn to respect you as a person with needs just like them.

If this is not established when children are young, they become adults that put unrealistic expectations on their mother. They become selfish in the sense that they don’t care about what is going on with your life you need to help them, watch their kids, problem solve, and answer every phone call.  They see you as a crutch, and life can’t function properly if mom won’t jump every time they whine as if they are still the same baby in the crib. This robs you of the peace you deserve, and the opportunity to have a healthy relationship with your children or your significant other.

Teaching your child to respect you based on who you are, and what you do, for them does not make you a bad mother. Expecting your child to perform the tasks that they can at the level they are able is not being mean to them. Demanding that they respect your humanity, and the boundaries you set is not being cruel. Insisting that you 6 year old knock on a door before entering your bedroom, or not walking in the bathroom on you doesn’t make you mean. These are things that are a part of raising your precious little one to be a productive, respectful member of society. You have a life when they are children, teenagers, and adults. You must demand they acknowledge that fact. This is another aspect of teaching them how to love well. The first team your child will be a part of is their family, and you must drive the concept of teamwork home for them. Love your children with all your heart, but demand that they acknowledge who you are and learn to treat you with love, respect, and kindness.

Staff Writer; Christian Starr

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