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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Being Super Mom...

 The great debate...to be a stay at home mom or a working one.
On the talk show Anderson (Cooper), they voiced this topic today. In complete honesty, this is the first time I have actually sat and watched this show. Short of being called upon by his office to potentially voice opinions on another matter, I didn't even know his talk show was that...a talk show. I only knew him as the reporter...the voice from the streets so to speak. Anyways, Anderson has now joined the ranks of the day time talk circuit and today was a show I recorded and watched once the kids were in bed.

The topic was based upon a recent study that dove into the question of parenting and who really is happier... stay-at-home-moms or moms who work outside the home.
To read the article today's show was based upon, click here.

On Anderson Cooper they had a panel of 3 working moms, 3 stay at home moms and a women (mom) by the name of Rene Syler, whom has a website by the name of Good Enough Mother. She also happens to have and still does anchor and appear on television for various reasons. If you want to learn more about here, click her web page above.

Now on to the topic on hand...
This is obviously a heated topic...and one that these days does not necessarily just pertain to the mothers. I did like that they actually pointed this out on the show. The fact that all of the studies seem to always be directed at the mothers, but what about the fathers. We are seeing more involved, may I say, Mr.Mom's, these days too. But this again is not the topic of the day.
My opinions...to each their own. Until you are a mother...and until you go through days at home with your children, you cannot judge. To some, being a SAHM sounds like a "lazy" job...not having to take care of themselves and hiding behind the family and busy days of house chores and children. Lazy was a word that was used on the show, not my word. Check out the link for peaks at the show.
In my opinion...SAHM's are far from lazy. Kids control your world on the best of days. Sometimes doing the house chores are the least of your worries...if you saw that mound of laundry that built up in our house you would understand ;) Moms have lists that pile upon lists. Trying to give the kids the attention they deserve while still maintaining house and keeping up on the other issues and challenges that life presents...motherhood is a full-time job. Really once kids are introduced into your life, no matter whether you work in or out of the home, you are always "on" being a parent. Always thinking, worrying...planning. Back to the SAHM.
I know that a SAHM does a lot, and I would never discredit them. I give them the utmost respect...it is something that I cannot do. I am a part-time SAHM I would say...well probably more than part time...but I still find happiness in my work, and in my other endeavors outside of the house. If I did not have a break from the daily grind of my children...well quite frankly, I would drive myself insane! Kids, especially when they are so close in age, feed off of one anothers energy...and yours as well.  One seems to rile the other up, and in a blink of an eye, the mood of the day changes. Not always a bad thing, not always a good thing; but I know for me, I need a break. I need my own time. A re-charge.
I remember after Kai was born, I lost myself for a little while. I was the first of friends to have a baby...and as much as I wanted one, really didn't know, or maybe didn't expect, that MY life as I knew it would change as much as it did....and that unless I made a decision and made time, that I would loose myself. I am not saying either that this is the way everyone feels, but in a way I think that if you are a person that loves certain things, (even a cup of coffee in peace at 5am!), that after baby this time has to be planned to be made possible. Maybe I was and am a little naive, maybe a little hopeful...but the reality is, a baby changes everything: And for me, in the most amazing way possible...but it took me a while to be able to say that. I learnt with Kai, that finding a "me" in this world of baby and family was and still is OK. That in fact, it is probably the most healthy thing I could and can do. I am a happier person. A more confident person...and the best mom I can be.  Making time for me allows me to be present for my kids when I am there with them. This is my reality: The one that works for me. I am fortunate to have a career that allows me time to be a present mom, and a working one. That I can fit time in for me, for my husband, for my kids...and for work. Ya sometimes it catches up at the same time...life gets crazy and I need to take some breaths...but to be able to be there for our kids milestones...to be able to watch them grow...is all worth it to me. I am there when they wake up, I take them to school or programs, I tuck them in at night...and during the day I make some time for me...as best I can anyways.

This is what works for me. I learnt through trial and error...I learnt that the person I am doesn't work without me time...without some work, and working out ;)
And that's the best mom I can be. I am mom to three amazing, beautiful and healthy children...
Who are you to judge...who are the moms on Anderson Cooper to judge...
 As parents, as people!, we do the best we can...and that the best is all we can do.

So to all of you SAHM's, you are doing a wonderful job and an amazing thing.
And to all of you part-time working moms, you are doing a wonderful job and an amazing thing.
And to you full time working moms, you are doing a wonderful job and an amazing thing.

We are all different...the one thing we have in common is that we are all moms. Instead of judging each other, wouldn't it be easier to support? I guess its always easier to point a finger...or assume the grass is greener on the other side.

 Rene had some tips on being a Happier Mother...they were as follows:

- Recharge your battery:
Find something, a hobby or interest that is uniquely your own, and do it regularly. If it’s meeting girlfriends for coffee or wine, if it’s needlepoint, if it’s travel — take the time to indulge yourself in that. You’ll come back refreshed and ready to handle the challenges of motherhood.

- Shun Guilt:
Once you have found your happiness and recharged your battery, do not feel guilty for doing so. What you need to understand is that by taking care of yourself you are taking care of your family.

- Say 'No' to competitive parenting:
Rene says this is a huge pet peeve of hers. Too many times we use others — friends, neighbors, mommies in playgroup — as a yardstick for good parenting. You need to be internally driven and parent for the people who matter: those living under your own roof.

- Sometimes Good Enough Is Perfect:
Rene asks mothers to please put out of your mind any hope of attaining perfection. It doesn’t exist in parenting (or life) and you’ll make yourself crazy chasing it. Instead, understand that good enough is just perfect. Sometimes eating pizza out of the box in front of the TV with your kids at your side and your feet on the table, is better than fine. Your kids will learn a lot from a mom who cuts herself some slack, makes mistakes, apologizes and then moves on.
I definitely agree with Rene's tips. I kinda said some in my own words in the blog...it is a bit of common sense, yet is so easy to lose sight of.
I think as long as you are doing the best for your family...you are the only ones that know what works for you. Quite striving for Super Mom...and just be...Mom. (funny thing is, kids think you're Super anyways).


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