Here’s the thing….I have been accused of being an “unknowingly self-centered person” according to my daughter’s diary that I “unknowingly” came upon while looking for some lost ear buds in her room. I had to think about that and I had to face a few facts about myself.
Yes, I carve out time during my day and/or week that I do what I want that has NOTHING to do with what anyone else wants. I consider this my recharging time and without it my internal battery and light in life begins to drain. Yes, I am incredibly protective of this “me” time. After a day in the woods; no conversation, no needs to be met, my mind and senses only focused on sounds and smells and intuition…I come home a recharged person. My daughter knows this even if she resents this.
Here is the truth. I am not a helicopter parent. I feel that my job is to raise children that will ultimately be in charge of themselves and others. I feel that my job is to be an example of an independent woman to them. I want them to learn from my actions that;
A. A woman does not have to wait for a man to show her adventure and she can seek it out for herself.
B. A woman does not have to put her life on pause to become a mother and end up resenting that pause and those who seemed to require it (husband and kids).
C. Sometimes the best lesson a mother can teach her children is that they are NOT the center of the UNIVERSE.
So, yes, I am a mother that takes time for HERSELF. I take EVERY opportunity I can to get outside and recharge because I KNOW that is what keeps me going. I hope my girls will one day be as protective of themselves as I am.
But, at the same time if mama bear sees that her cubs need tending I will defend, I will protect, I will stop all other essential and non-essential tasks to be there. I am honest to a fault. I don’t tell my daughters they are great at something when they are not. I don’t agree that their friends suck when they claim they do. I do not fight their fights (unless the fight is unfair in force or age). I do not pad them with bubble wrap, cotton, and participation ribbons. I say to them, “This is YOUR day! This day is what YOU make of it. It is YOUR choice how you respond to the weather that can be as intemperate as other people’s opinions. It is YOUR choice to make this day the best it can be and to be remembered the best way you can.”
Yes, I am a mother that knows what it means to also have an identity separate from her kids. Perhaps that make me selfish. If it does, than I own it.