In recent times, I allowed myself to be fuelled by the 'supermothers' of blogland. Not a lot, but enough.
The blogs of women who are mothers, run a business, are creative, take amazing photos, homeschool, knit, study towards a major degree, preserve and bake, do D.I.Y, publish, do crafts and nature studies with the kids, run a popular blog, and possibly fly.
The woman of today competes by how much she can stuff into the day. We're proud of our To Do lists and when we schedule time to relax, we think it perfectly normal.
The most insidious influences, and the most influential to me personally, are the want-tos rather than ought-tos - you know, like great creative ideas. I'm not competitive and I don't compare my life to others', but I still strove mentally and emotionally towards an ideal.
What really struck me was the thought that, we are saying...
mothering isn't enough.
A man leaves for work and returns at a set time and rests easy that he's done his bit. A woman feels the need to justify being at home. Raising the next generation, being available, is not enough. Yes, some men say it's not enough, "what have you done all day?" they ask accusingly. Unfortunately there also remain women who feel themselves superior because they have paid work.
But, ironically, we, the proud-to-stay-at-home mothers, say it loudest. By choosing to do and do and do and do, or planning to do and do, and still feel it's not enough. And because we say it of ourselves, we undermine our role more than anyone else ever could.
I wanted to tell my friend whose husband often asks the above to reply with -
Today I raised our children.
Coming late to mothering I have done enough self-work to not fall into the Must Do More trap. But I fell back into a personal life-long trap of feeling the need to achieve something Big and Meaningful - the Want To Do More trap. Both choke our days, deplete us, and diminish our beautiful work.
I've shed that skin now.
I'm raising my child.
I carve out time to express my creativity.
I help others in small, intimate ways.
It's sad to say it's good enough.
All I've ever truly wanted is a deep connection to what most people define as Sacredness. And to live my life in a natural flow stemming from that connection. I kept tripping and working backwards - choosing to do and do, and hoping that sacredness kept up.
When I work from my true desire, I am peace amidst chaos. I do less yet feel more fulfilled. I am more in tune with my intuition. I hear others better. I get to appreciate beauty. I get to enjoy life. True enjoyment - without an ever-present underlying anxiety.
I've been working at this issue. How do I know that I've shed the skin?
The other day I daydreamed for the first time in.... 15 years? Not only did I not feel any guilt, I felt refreshed, and carried on my day without a need to make up for lost time.
Do you wear these skins?