Everyone has their TO DO lists. Mothers especially seem to have an endless list of tasks to complete-housework to do, papers to fill out, apppointments to schedule, presents to buy, playdates to attend, etc. etc. etc. Most mothers I know feel like there are never enough hours in the day and that no matter what is accomplished, the list never ends.
Besides just the day to day list of things that need to get done, I’d like to highlight some of the more subtle and yet equally demanding requirements today’s mothers are faced with.
Why is this so hard?
It’s hard because whether someone articulates it to you or not, as a mother, these are the expectations you absorb:
- Raise happy, healthy, moral children who are bonded to you and yet are independent.
- Make your home a haven- including decorating, organizing, cleaning,- ideally like a magazine spread.
- Stay informed in all the latest scientific research about caring for your child’s physical, emotional, psychological, spiritual, and intellectual well-being and execute it properly.
- Have a sexy, passionate, equal, emotionally connected, fulfilling marriage.
- Have a career or separate self outside the home.
- Lose your baby weight immediately and try to physically erase or minimize any trace that you actually had a child
- Stay up on trends. Be fashionable. Stay sexy.
- Do it on your own- with little help from family, friends, or community.
- Stay balanced, serene, and grateful for the experience of being a mother.
I could continue to add to this list, but hopefully you get the point. The expectations we hold mothers to, that we hold ourselves to, are endless and let’s face it- near impossible. We always feel like we are failing because we can never do and be all these things. Even we did “master” this list- no one is around to give us the recognition.
Expectations of Mothers
The discourse our society holds about what mothers should and should not be hover over us as we go throughout our days. They are inescapable and keep us frazzled, frustrated, and feeling bad about ourselves. While there are no easy solutions to these problems, we can at least shine the light on these expectations so we know when they are working on us. We can begin to choose what is realistic for us, and what we are just not going to be bothered with. It requires being gentle with ourselves, and letting go of some of these expectations we hold ourselves to.