My last post made me realize something that I hadn't thought about before. And it was further emphasized tonight as I attempted to make my Amazon Wish List for Christmas. My son's already had a variety of things on it. Things I researched (on Pinterest) and decided they would be fun and engaging. Things that he would love and help grow his ever-developing brain. And then there's my Wish List, which consists of "gift idea: Cute tops to wear to work or for a night out" and "Things to decorate my house". I am realizing it is so stinkin' easy for a new mother...and any mother... to completely lose herself in her children. And, I think that is normal and biologically good and a sign of a good mom...in some ways.
It is one thing to be a dedicated mother. To pour into your children and to love them fiercely. And, when you are dedicating most of your waking hours to caring for another human around the clock, it makes sense that their needs are your own needs. And, that when you go to make your Amazon Wish List for Christmas, your child's is longer than your own. I think the problem comes, however, when our identity becomes completely wrapped in our children. I think when we don't stop to separate ourselves a bit from our children, it can trigger "helicopter parenting" (since his successes are my successes) and becoming over-involved. It can also lead to depression later in life when the kids go on to do their own things and live their own lives. They don't need their mommies anymore, and the poor mothers are left empty, having given all of themselves to their children for all of those years and being left not knowing who they are anymore.
I heard a teaching a few weeks ago on the topic of Christian parenting, and something the teacher said really stuck with me. He was telling about a time that he got really hurt and angry because his daughter ran into the arms of a friend's mom instead of wanting to spend time with him, something that they normally did together when he would come home from work. After a few minutes of being angry, he said that God gave him a thought and it was along the lines of, "That little girl is too small to be bearing the weight of your identity."
A mother's love is a beautiful and wonderful thing. Any mom I know would give anything for their children, to make them happy, to make sure they have everything they need. I am not belittling that or saying it's wrong. It's when we become so wrapped up in our children that we lose ourselves completely where things get a bit shaky, and can easily topple into over-parenting and suffocation of the child. I think it's something that I know I personally need to actively lean against. And I think that might start with getting a hobby of my own.
Any suggestions for an over-tired, part-time working mother?