When Being A Mom Isn't Enough
I’ve talked to a lot of women lately.
Friends with small children who are in the throes of potty-training and daily disciplining. These moms deserve awards. Living selflessly day in and out, without many thankyou’s, just sloppy kisses and cheesy grins. But they love it. I love it. Being a mom has been incredibly rewarding.
But I’ve also been talking to friends who are beyond child-bearing years and are enjoying grandchildren and life through their eyes. Years of wisdom pour out in words of encouragement on the tough days and give me inspiration for what is yet to come – the fruit of those tough days.
And then I’ve talked to friends who are newly married and the thought of children is a far way off. And what I see in some of their eyes (and hear it in their words) is fear: “So what happens if I have children and realize… It doesn’t fulfill me?”
And what I’ve tried to encourage these younger women with is that these questions are one that every mom has to answer.
Am I weird because I want more from life than being a mother?
Does that make me a bad mother?
Or, is the nagging feeling that has always been buried deep in heart mean that maybe, just maybe, I was created for something more.
I believe that I was meant to do something of significance. And while my life has greatvalue in bringing children into the world and then loving, nurturing and steering them in the right direction, I believe there are other things I was born to do.
What happens when my children are grown and gone? Does that mean my days need to drag on purposeless, yearning for someone to come home to rescue me from my boredom? Should I then adopt a pet to care for? Do I become self-absorbed and venture off on my own to “rediscover” myself?
How about none of the above.
I am writing to all the moms who feel like they’ve been lied to their whole life.
When you were told that “being a mother” is the greatest thing you can do with your life, or that being a mother will satisfy your deepest heart longings, and give you a sense of purpose. That loving and caring for your children is what your single goal in life should be.
But that isn’t how you feel.
And whether you realized when you were up late caring for a colicky infant, or years later in the midst of packing lunches and sending kids off to school – you can’t help but feel guilty for admitting these feelings (even if it’s just to yourself… in your journal.)
So, here’s your one-way ticket off “guilt island.”Because you’re not alone. Nor are you failing in your charge of being a mom. And there’s nothing wrong with you for admitting that you need “something more.”
Whether that’s a need to turn out crafty things, or put on a suit and sit behind a desk. Whether you long to be surrounded my more children in a school environment, or feel better punching out words, or working in a lab, you are not alone.
Our need to create, to help others, to be successful in business cannot be ignored, suppressed or guilted away. And it’s because you were born with those desires toward a certain thing. It’s who you are when everything else is stripped away. It was there when you were a child. It’s there now as a mother. And when your children are old and long gone, those desires will continue to be there.
So don’t ignore them. Don’t push them aside. Recognize that you are created with a purpose. And those yearnings are indicators of what you are to do. Aside from feeding, caring for and leading your children.
Our children are definitely our greatest treasure. It is a high calling to be a mother. I take very seriously. But it is not my only pursuit. And the sooner more moms realize that, the better off we will all be.
Because we need each other. Moms, we need what you have! What you have been given is meant to be shared. Not just with your family in your home, but with the rest of us. So, share generously. And let go of that guilt.