How much is enough? How much is too much? Society tells us that in order to be deemed as a successful mother, the more you have on your plate the better. We see depictions online or in other media of the “superwoman”. You know what I’m referring to. That woman who is the perfect mother, with the perfect children, a clean home, holds down a high level job, volunteers at their kids’ school and does charity work.
As my children get older, I find that this expectation grows stronger. Your kids aren’t small anymore and don’t need constant physical attention so you better be devoting your time elsewhere. Otherwise, you’re not considered a successful woman. The views that you see of these women are very deceiving. You are only seeing the highlights of their life. You’re not seeing the down and dirty mess behind the scenes.
Because I am a driven, type “A” personality, this has been difficult for me. About a year ago, I was led to simply STOP. Yes, just stop. Stop seeking additional responsibility, volunteering, leading groups, competing in sports, etc. Stop. That simple four letter word can be a terribly difficult thing to put into action. But, I did it. Don’t get me wrong, there was a good bit of twitching and anxiousness involved, but I did it. So, I stopped. Guess what happened as a result? I was a much happier, level and content person. Over time, I began to ask myself the question, what is next? What is my purpose and my focus? The answer was right in front of me; my teenage children. My daughter starts her senior year this fall and my son is finishing middle school. These are crucial times.
It’s ok to build margin in your life. Every minute does not have to be planned. It’s ok to simply focus on your children. They are entrusted to you and you only have one shot at it. You don’t get any do-overs. Make it count. It’s ok to devote your spare time to pouring into your children especially if they are teenagers. They need you now more than ever. Go on a girls trip. Do a mother/son outing. Get to know their friends. Spend the time it takes to understand their struggles. Help them navigate those difficult situations. Be their confidant. Be their guiding light. Be their mom.