My son is grown now, but I guess parents, especially moms, are going to continue, in perpetuity, to be tortured by the conundrums of parenting. Someone was wondering out loud whether it is more important to be a happy mom or a ‘good’ mom. Presumably, it is hard to be both. I think if you manage to actually be a good mom, you have a lot to be happy about.
The description of a good mom today, includes all of the craziness of a Rolling Stone’s tour. Taking your children to a myriad of games, lessons, after school activities, play dates, besides all of the regular appointments you have to keep, and perhaps hold down a job on top of that, besides running a house, and keeping a husband happy( remember him? The one with whom you started it all?) resembles the duties of the manager of a rock group.
A happy mom doesn’t mean a completely selfish mom, nor does a good mom mean a completely selfless mother. A good mom is a happy mom because she takes care of herself and her base camp. M. Scott Peck, ‘In A Road Less Traveled’, compared the base camp for mountain climbers to the base camp in a home. The base camp is where the climbers go for provisions, rest, and shelter. It needs to be ready at any time for a weary traveler. Climbers’ lives depend on it; a whole and happy family depend on it. The base camp and the team of climbers need leaders that aren’t exhausted and befuddled by the lack of oxygen.
Activities and duties should be pared down by family conference; decided by true inclination, designated shared duties, and recognition of other responsibilities. Guilt serves a purpose, but it is a wasted emotion in many cases. You are more than a chauffeur, and less than everyone’s every thing. No matter how hard I tried, I could not be everywhere and everything for my son. I am still finding out about things that happened to him that I couldn’t prevent; nothing really bad, but it still makes me feel sad that I wasn’t there to jump in and take care of it at the time. It’s useless to feel that way; I have to remind myself I did the best I could at all times, and I know that he knows that, too.