I am a social media animal, a big chunk of my life is shared on social media. Sometimes through my blog, at other times via my Facebook, twitter or Instagram accounts. I like sharing facets of my life through social media with my ‘online’ friends and family and doing that makes me happy. However, some of the responses on my pictures/posts have always made me ponder over them.
Oftentimes, the response that makes me ponder goes like this “you are an awesome mom” or “your son is lucky to have you for a mom” or “you guys are always doing such fun stuff” or “I wish my kids and I did such fun activities” so on and so forth. Although it makes me really happy to be on the receiving end of such comments and my family does get to do a lot of fun things, which I never take for granted, things aren’t always rainbows and unicorns over here. These comments at times make me a little uncomfortable. I wonder if my sharing aspects of my life gives out a wrong picture of who I am or what it is that goes on in my life.
What most people probably don’t know or realize is that there is a constant struggle going on inside of me. A struggle going on between me and my alter ego or rather the ‘real’ me and the mommy in me. They say that every woman changes once she becomes a mom. I don’t know how far I would agree with that. Yes of course, there is a huge shift in our priorities. Everything that was once important for you changes to what’s best for your child. When earlier we think that a particular decision was best suited for us, now we think from the POV of our child(ren) of what is best suited for them!
So does that mean that we have entirely changed? Well, I did say No! I did say that what have changed are our priorities!
I guess what I am trying to say here is that in spite of becoming a mother I am still very much ME. There are times when I struggle with the chores of being a mother. Yes, I just called them ‘chores’ and I don’t mean it in a bad way. Why should it be perceived in a bad way? After all, if you look deep inside every woman who is a mother you will see the struggles she faces on a daily basis as a mother yet never talks about and keeps to herself.
Back to those comments and about why they make me uncomfortable. There are numerous reasons I can point out but I don’t need to list them here. What I am trying to do is draw your attention to the fact that every time I see those comments I wonder if I really ‘deserve’ them. My thought process goes into an overdrive and the struggle between the Real Me and the Mommy Me starts all over again. A typical conversation in my mind goes like this:
Real Me: “Oh look! You have given a wrong picture of yourself to the world yet again!” while cringing at the comment.
Mommy Me: “What? What do you mean wrong image? Are you trying to say that I am not a good mother?”
Real Me: “Not really, but you certainly are not the best mom out ther!
Mommy Me: “That’s quite true and you know that is because of you. You are not always doing things for your son! You also want to do things for yourself”
Real Me: “Yea! So what’s wrong with that? Everyone wants to do things for themselves and be happy?”
Mommy Me: “No, that’s not true about mothers!”
Real Me: “And how would you know that?”
Mommy Me: “Well, just look at XYZ’s picture/blog post/ tweet etc”
Real Me: “Well, it looks pretty similar to all the things I would say or do. So why does it make any difference if I do or share something nice?”
Mommy Me: “Wait a minute! Does that mean you make other women and mothers reading this feel this way?”
R & M together: “Sigh!!”
Now, why does this conversation that goes on in my mind bother me so much? For 2 particular reasons; one being that I am tired of telling the Mommy Me to stop feeling the guilt and trust her own instincts while raising her child and two being that I don’t want to be one of those women who come across as a ‘Super Mom’ who knows and does everything right, simply because the truth is much further than that.
I am NOT a super mom and at most times I do not know what it is that I am expected to do. I need both the real me and the mommy me to have a deep and insightful conversation in my mind before I can decide on something for my child. Sometimes, it works out well for him and at other times it results in disastrous (OK that’s a little bit of exaggeration) situations.
It’s a daily struggle for me. I want to be a good mom who is watching his every move and hearing every word because, as we’ve all been told, these moments pass all too quickly. I want to watch every musical act my son performs. I want to laugh at every joke and play every game with him.
But I also want to take care of me. Do all those things that makes me, the Real Me, happy! And taking care of me, though, requires a break which is not always possible.
Being a mom is the best job in the world. It is rewarding and magical at times. For most women, though, it is also a daily battle to find the balance between informing our kids we are always available while sometimes our sanity wishes we weren’t. In such a case would it be right to offer them the ‘Super’ Mom title?
So what do I do? I let the struggle and the banter continue! Sometimes I let the real me win and at other times I let the Mommy part win. In a way, it is this struggle that gives me the strength to keep going.
(Image Source: Unsplash and tblankinchip.wordpress.com)