No one can take care of my children better than I can.
No they can’t.
No they can’t!
NO THEY CAN’T!
OK, yes they can but I will not admit it, concede to it or acknowledge it no matter how rational your argument is!
I admit it. Begrudgingly and with a pouty face that makes my 4 year old’s look mature. Maybe, and this is a very slight maybe, there are other people on this planet that might be able to sort of, kind of, possibly take care of my kids as well as I can.
The truth is there are probably many people on the planet – if you search really hard in all the dark crevices – that can care for my children as well as I can. Some may even be able to do it better than I. But the curse of motherhood is that a lot of us feel like there is no one else that really can.
I had a very interesting conversation with a friend the other day. My side was complaining about my ex and his girlfriend who I always hear an earful about when my kids come back from her house. The kids have a very structured life here and – according to them, I am not making any of this up – there seems a little chaotic and they spend more time with her than with their dad, who they really want to be with. I always say that they should just listen to them and be respectful and that their dad loves them very much but under it all, I am judging and being possibly unfair to them.
Look at that emotional maturity I am displaying.
While ranting – possibly with biased, somewhat possessive viewpoints – my friend interrupts and says that they are doing what they are supposed to do and I just think that no one can care for my kids as well as I do.
The words halted my rant for a second while I absorbed them and I honestly admitted it was true. He was right, I DO suffer from the affliction. So much so that I take what my kids tell me and immediately turn it into a fault against the ex. I turn it into World War III with his girlfriend…. especially when they tell me she yells at them. But that is for another post.
I don’t know if motherhood simply comes with this ideal that we are the absolute when it comes to taking care of our kids. Maybe it comes from the 9 month lead up and knowing that we will always be the only person on the planet that has known our children the longest. Maybe it is from the physical evidence that we wear forever in the form of stretch marks, c-section scars or saggy boobs that remind us that we were the only source of life for these kids from the beginning. Maybe it is an inbred emotion that comes from historically being the only caregiver of our offspring for most of their lives.
Whatever it comes from, I am learning in single motherhood, that it is more my problem than anyone else’s.
You have NO IDEA how hard it was to type that sentence!
It is actually ironic, I think. When we have our kids and are caring for them, we tend to complain that we don’t have enough time alone and that no one ever helps us. We wish that spouses, parents, neighbors, the garbage man… ANYONE would step in and give us a break. Facebook is FULL of posts about moms who are at the brink of locking themselves in the closet with Haagen Dazs and bottle of Boone’s Strawberry Hill wine just to escape the ‘MOMMY’ that follows them around.
But handing them off to someone else comes with complaints too. The missing of the kids, the complaints that someone else let them have ice cream for breakfast (even though we have done it too) and the opinions about their actions with our kids take up the other part of Facebook.
It is a double edged sword, this affliction I have. I want my kids and I want to raise them the way I see fit. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And if they are not with me, I want the right to judge and spout my opinion on how others are handling them. But I also want them to have a great relationship with their father. I want them to be able to experience new things and hear different viewpoints.
As long as I approve of them.
It is a true motherhood curse, this ‘No One Can Do It Better Than I Can’ curse. It allows me to pat myself on the back with out guilt and judge the actions of others with bias. But if I were a true adult and allowed myself to absorb it, I would humbly say that the curse is a fallacy that I invented in my own head to make myself more important than I probably need to be. It is what I tell myself that justifies blathering like an idiot to anyone who will listen that they make mistake with my kids just by breathing around them. It is my justification for acting like the spoiled brat of motherhood. That while no one will ever love and sacrifice for my beautiful girls like I have and do, it does not mean they can not be people that are doing the best they can in the circumstances they have created.
Lucky for us all… I am just not that honest yet.