I often feel bitter about the fact that women bear the brunt of the ‘burden’ of child rearing (please don’t read this as regret or anger towards my son or my decision to have children). From their conception, we as women are limited in our activities (food restrictions, medication, alcohol), our mobility (exercise, movement, sleep), our consumption, and our freedom. After the pregnancy, we are further tied to them via breastfeeding, diaper changes and the endless soothing and nurturing that is required. Later we are bound by morality and lessons, school schedules, and play dates.
In a moment of frustration and bitterness at my husbands freedom to do whatever he wanted (he spent the majority of the day on the computer working, and the evening watching baseball–although in all fairness he did take the dog to get washed), but get nothing done (I asked for a couple of simple tasks-my honey-do list was small and had carried over from several days ago). I asked him for one day to sit with me, and not move every time I had to breastfeed. I wanted him to know what it felt like to be constrained (perhaps he would be less frustrated when I asked him for something). He basically laughed in my face, and said no. Just as well. Who would get me water if he was tied to the couch too. But, then again who is going to get me water come Monday when he is back at work?
I do not want to imply that I these things aren’t done willingly or with love for my son. I just want to bring to light the great amount of sacrifice and selflessness that it takes to be a good mother. I wonder with all that we give up, why it is also accompanied by such vast amounts of guilt and grief.
Are we giving enough time to our child, did we handle that situation correctly, could I have done something different, given more, shown more patience, love, or guidance…The list is endless and the guilt never ending for some. It is a tight rope to walk, and unless we all find balance both in parenting and in our marriages, we are bound to fall.
Who gives to Mom’s? Who makes sure we are alright? Who nurtures us? Who takes care of us when we are sick, or sad, or lonely? I am working the details out now, and hopefully will be able to find my balance soon.