It’s true, I’m a selfish mom. And that’s not always a bad thing. In my neighborhood, which is rather liberal and crunchy, I see a lot of moms who seem to have completely given themselves up to their kids. They “wear” them most of the day. They get on the playground equipment with them. They homeschool them.
These same parents also seem to be the ones that don’t believe in saying “no” to their kids, who don’t let them watch TV, who don’t let them eat junk food. Who keep them sheltered from the things that, while not necessarily good for their kids, are things that will have to be navigated. How will the kids learn to deal with them if they are never exposed to them?
I feel a little bit bad criticizing them, because I think they really do believe that they’re doing the best thing possible for their children. It’s hard to criticize something so well-intentioned. But I think in the long run, they’re hurting their kids. However, it’ll be years and years before I’ll be proven right, and by then it will be too late. By then, their kids will be self-centered and dependant on the mothers for way too much.
On the other end of the spectrum is me, selfish me. Sometimes I think I’m giving up too little for my kids. I want them to be independent, to learn to think for themselves. But I have a tendency to use that as an excuse to ignore them, or make them deal with things themselves that they’re probably not ready for. I really do think that a happy mom makes a happy family, and that being a little selfish as a mom is a good thing. But if taken too far, selfish mom becomes lazy, self-indulgent mom.
Somewhere between the crunchy moms and me lies an ideal mom.