Sunday

Very Part-Time Mothering

Some of us get what we pray for! In my experience, the opportunity to live my life without my children for long stretches at a time. I asked God recently to uplift me from some of my parenting responsibilities, because it was literally making me sick and he did just that! Some happy-go-lucky parents (and those who have lost their children to death) will be very critical without even considering the details. Others will be curious while some may even be jealous, wishing the same for themselves. For those wondering why pray such a prayer, I'll tell you...

Years ago, before the pro-life activists got a hold of me and told me that abortion was wrong, I had thought of the "what ifs" in my life as young as 15 years old. What would happen if I became pregnant, how would everyone react? What if my teenage boyfriend and I decided we didn't want the child? What if I couldn't get over what I had done? What if he wanted the child? Well back then I had a scare, which only turned out to be nothing more than a late period because I had recently joined the track team. Although I had protected myself, the condom found its way inside rather than outside and we were fishing for it, so that is why I was very scared back then that I could be pregnant. So years later, as an adult with four children and the opportunity in my life to have two families and be a stay-at-home mother in both failed relationships, I have decided to go ahead and let the fathers keep our sons. I could have fought with one father in the court again and win them back. Meanwhile, take the burden off the other father and collect a child support check, but why? Some would argue, because their your children, well they are theirs too. Because you don't want another woman raising them, well she won't be the only influence in their lives and besides I could use her help too. Because you are a better parent than they are, I could be, but it's the fathers' turn to figure things out like I did while they worked.

You see, I have read about so many women fleeing with children in tote with a little bit of nothing to offer them while the fathers live better, have more, and can ultimately afford more than she could ever give her children. As I write I think of one of the fathers telling me how he is going to put our two sons in private school. Sounds great, but on my wages (a writer and a secretary -- it may never happen?! But if he can, more power to him!) You see, I am done trying to prove myself (with tears in my eyes, a hand on my forehead, and unbelievable PMS issues- which are being treated) to a society who tells me what motherhood should look like -- what's good for the goose isn't necessarily what's good for this gander! I love my children, God knows I do, but there is something deep within that just can't fully wrap myself around the idea of society's definition of mother. It isn't the typical Webster's dictionary definition that I argue with, but it's the societal view that we shouldn't voice our burdens about motherhood; rather be grateful and feel blessed, as well as "the all mothers go through this" societal attitude, "so just live with it" when we are seeking help.

Just like we wanted equal rights as women to vote, to work, and to play sports, I want equal rights when it comes to my choice of how often I want to mother my children. For me the annual spring break, winter break, and shared summer break, works best for me -- thank you very much!

I think of those women who are gasping for air, struggling to breath, heart pounding, shaking violently, and wishing for someone to go get their pills so that they can swallow a substance designed to bring them back to a life they are so tired of living! (I know because I been there!) Mother awakes to baby cries, changes diapers, feeds, plays, rocks, nurses, teaches, cleans, sacrifices her personal life, and so on and so fourth...while an unsupportive partner, who doesn't even bother to help her when she is sick, says, "I prefer you stay home with the children. I don't want them in daycare. I don't think this relationship is working. I don't think you should say that to our child. I don't think you should feed our child that...I don't think that you should buy our child this..." How about I think fathers and self-righteous family and so-called friends should, "Shut up!" If it isn't something that is hurting the child, leave the mother alone! Further, when she is down and out, why kick her? Why expect her to be something she doesn't or can't be in the midst of her illness?

You see, in the end I have learned it isn't my family and I being buried in the same grave together, it's just me! So if I have some people around me that feel like they can do a better job than me, then so be it and who cares what society thinks! I'm all for very part-time mothering! Men have been very part-time fathers for centuries, so if they want to make up for lost time, then God bless them!

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Over 20 years office work experience, six years completed college coursework, background in print media and communications, recognized for exceptional attendance and received merit increase for past job performance, self-published author and part-time entrepreneur, Internet marketing and social media experience. Interned for non-profit organization, women's group and community service business. Additional experience: teaching/training others, customer service and sales. Learn more at Nicholl McGuire and Nicholl McGuire Media

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