When Enough Is Enough
Some things have got me heated lately. When I watch the news, read a magazine, see some hot internet topic…it seems like everything is okay these days. Anything goes. No one seems to have any standards anymore, and the morals of this country, in particular, are in question. How selfish are we as a society?
I wrote about selflessness in childbirth yesterday (this). Today, I want to know more about being selfless period. I think it’s a term we as a nation have let fall by the wayside. Our society seems to spend a lot of time giving advice. It also seems as if the advice humors the popular opinion. Everything is acceptable. Well, here’s my $0.02. It may not be the popular opinion, it may not cater to the masses as I like to say.
If we accept everything, nothing is wrong. That means everything is all right. I beg to differ…
I read an article in Parenting magazine this month (see here) that has me perplexed. It wasn’t the astonishing stat that 41% of all U.S. births are to unmarried women. Nor was it the fact that 25% of children under age 21 live with only one parent. No, those statistics didn’t bother me. The paragraph that really bursts my bubble is when the author dedicates a section to what to do when your child catches you in bed with another man/woman. There is a doctor who advises you to just keep your cool like nothing is odd. She states that “while setting appropriate boundaries for yourself is important, you don’t need your child’s permission to have a fulfilling sexual life.” (Parenting, June 2011)
I am so fed up with the selfishness like that seen here. Frankly, I didn’t even read the remainder of the article. I couldn’t. As a parent, you must have some sort of instinct preventing you from behaving in such a fashion, no?! Since when is it even ok to be caught with your partner, be it the “baby daddy” or other? Does anyone think what is going through a child’s mind in situations such as these?! Any psychologist has to concur that this is not healthy for a child. Divorce is hard enough for a child to suffer through, let’s not add insult to injury here. It’s so obvious that the writer is trying to make it OK by pushing the opinion onto the public. Maybe she will feel better, then. If everyone feels pity, they will accept it. And by accepting it, that makes it ok.
Yesterday I told you that I worked hard for a natural childbirth. Twice. Something else I work hard at, very hard at, is my marriage. Sure, I’ve only been married to my husband for 4 years & we’ve only been together for 8 1/2, who’s counting! Many times I’ve had to put myself last. My husband has needed me, all of me, so my needs are lower on the family totem. And that is ok. There are times when it is exactly the opposite & he caters to my needs. That is why relationships work: the balance.
I often laugh at Moms who need time away from their families. You know, the ones who “take the long way home” after a trying day, or “can’t wait for school to start back up again” when they have a long weekend with their children. Maybe this is you. If so, sorry for judging you. Yes, I am judging you. I am judging you as a selfish person in that moment. We all have those moments, myself included. However, your child should always come first. Parenting is a 24 hour life. Every day for 24 hours, you should be thinking of your child, in everything you do. Children first, husband second. (Come on Daddies, you ‘ve got to know this!)
Personally, I try to make those I Me Mine! moments few & far between. It is not about me. I’m here for them, wholly, completely. What happened to that standard? Did we lose it in the 60’s with the feminist movement? Sadly, I believe we did. If a very popular parenting magazine is giving advice to single parents whose kids find them having sleepovers in the presence of their children, something is missing. That something is incredibly large.
I’m no June Cleaver, but I sure as heck strive to be a loving, caring, compassionate parent. To do this effectively, you must remove the me. Stop catering to your needs & start looking at the needs of the people you love that surround you. Life will be a lot better this way, and in turn, you will probably be a lot happier without giving your self little thought.
Try it. It certainly couldn’t hurt.