When it comes to motherhood, there are martyrs and there are saints, those who bend over backward and those who are not quite so flexible, as well as all points between. There are Marion Cunninghams and Carol Bradys, Marge Simpsons and Peg Bundys, each figuring out her own way to balance mommy’s needs with the needs of those whom she loves.
What about you? Answer these four questions.
1. You have a chance to meet your favorite author who in town for a book signing — a to-die for experience! The problem is, the signing is at the same time as your daughter’s soccer game, in a different part of town. You can’t make both.
a. You go to the book signing — you’ll catch next week’s game for sure.
b. You go to the game. It’s important that your daughter knows how much you support her.
2. It’s your birthday, and you get to choose the restaurant. You pick:
a. Date Night. Get a sitter and do it up good!
b. Family night at Olive Garden or TGI Fridays or Tres Margaritas. A cuisine you like at a restaurant that’s kid-friendly.
c. Chuck E Cheese. Your kids will be so happy and that makes you happy.
3. You’ll spend the extra “Fall back” hour on Sunday:
a. sleeping, reading, or indulging yourself somehow.
b. getting caught up on your To Do List.
c. playing with the kids, of course.
4. Your spouse has a work trip planned to a city you’ve always wanted to visit. You can get there on frequent flyer miles and the hotel expenses are paid for by the employer. You:
a. immediately begin researching flights and brainstorming babysitting options (not necessarily in that order).
b. sigh deeply and wish you could get away, but it would just be too disruptive for everyone.
c. go about your business. Get away? Why would you want to get away?
This is the part where you think I’m going to say what the answers mean, isn’t it? That if you answered mostly A, you are self-centered and need to grow a heart, or that if you answered mostly C, you have lost yourself and need to grow a pair of, um, warm fuzzy socks. For yourself.
But no, I simply want to ask you if your answers accurately reflect your values. Do you do what you want to out of love and joy? Or do you find yourself acting out of duty and obligation some of the time? much of the time?
What are some ways that YOU balance the needs of those you love with your own needs? Do you identify more with Mother Teresa or Mommie Dearest (or one of the infinite other points on the spectrum)?
What kind of mom are you, and what hints can you give about getting everyone’s needs met (including your own!)?
Lori is the daughter of a Carol Brady but somehow developed into a Peg Bundy. She writes regularly at WriteMindOpenHeart.com about living mindfully and parenting in open adoption. Every chance she gets, Lori leaves her children Tessa, 10, and Reed, 8 in the care of Carol while she goes on business trips with her husband.
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