My mother is a towering figure in my world – I’ve always secretly thought that she can’t possibly be as whip-smart and determined and rational as I think she is… can she?
Fabulously Broke wrote an interesting post on stay-at-home mothers. The post got me thinking… I don’t quite know what to think when it comes to the “debate” on stay-at-home mothers vs. working mothers. Even though I see myself as a working mom, all moms just try to make the best choice they can for themselves and their family, right? Can’t we just ditch the guilt and get along?
My mother always worked, though she always made sure she can pick me up from school and cook me my favorite meals. We didn’t spend a lot of time together otherwise (although Mom DID sit me down and walked me through the calculations of prepaying a mortgage when I was in middle school).
I don’t ever remember wanting more time with her. I suppose it was because I was a fairly private child. I had my books and girlish secrets and I wasn’t a fan of heart-to-hearts. Too awkward and revealing. My thoughts were my own. MINE! (I was also really stubborn).
The only time I remembered missing Mom was when I was very young, when she went to work overseas for almost five years. I grew up with very loving grandparents who coddled me a bit (OK – a lot). Mom missed out on a big chunk of my childhood, but I have never felt bad about it.
It was always something that she had to do in order to give me a better opportunity. If Mom ever suffered any guilt over the situation, it didn’t show. There was no hand-wringing or second-guessing, at least not in front of her child.
As I grow older, I really think that that no-nonsense manner is the best way to act when a mother (or father, or both, as it was in my case) decides to work overseas, work domestically, or for whatever reason cannot spend as much time with their children as they’d like (or think they should). This matter-of-fact approach shows children that things, while maybe not ideal right now, will eventually be OK.
I think children are resilient and can adapt to most circumstances as long as they know that they are loved and wanted. Don’t introduce guilt or confusion or self-flagellation into the picture. Most kids will do just fine.
Forget Supermom. If I become a mother, I just want to be a guiltless mom.