Perhaps you’ve seen the viral video by Similac humorously depicting the mommy wars. The funniest line was about the dolphin assisted home birth. Much attention is given to the mommy wars as the source of discontent among modern moms. But I think it’s just an easy target. The real source of discontent is ourselves.
By now, I think we are all comfortable enough in our roles. Whether we chose to be a working mom or SAHM or if these roles were necessary adjustments, we are well aware of the pros and cons and have accepted them. What is not as easily acceptable is being “the best zusha”
Again, many of us are familiar with the story of zusha who feared divine judgement not because he will be asked why he isn’t like moshe Rabe in u or rambam, but why he wasn’t the best zusha.
The preponderance of helpful tip articles and happy shiny people pics and stories on social media lead the modern mom to constantly question are they the best they can be. Often, unfairly, the answer is no, because frankly noone can be the best they can be on a 24, 7 job. Why are we serving cereal for breakfast when our neighbor is making pancakes from scratch? Why do we still have that scratch in the wood when that article told us rubbing a nut on it will take it out. Why are our children watching TV when you just read 15 rainy day boredom busters?
On the surface, these questions propel us forward to improvement but in reality they plunge us into constant feelings of inadequacy which in turn leads to more depression than improvement.
So I would like to halt the cycle. In spite of my usual joy for writing this blog because it makes me feel like superparent, now I will let you in on the truth.
More often than not, I feel overwhelmed, overworked, and under appreciated. Despite appearing to have lots of answers, I often don’t know what to do. I straddle the lines like all of you: let them get away with behavior a, or try to correct it. Is it worth the battle? Is it something they can learn on their own? Is it something I should accept as part of my children’s personality? I don’t know. Why when I clean up, leave a room, and come back a minute later is the room a mess again? Where does all this laundry come from and how can I make it go away? How much quality time do my children need and when can I allow myself a break?
The one answer I have reached is Facebook rarely makes things better and instead zaps time away from the activities that would help, like getting more sleep, settling in for a warm cup of tea or phone call with a friend. I hope you will join me in my new resolution to accept ourselves, faults and all, to try and nurture ourselves as we nurture the children, and not split our attention and instead calmly tackle one thing at a time.