Why the Martyr Mom Myth Is Hurting Us All. 

1950s-housewife

It’s a common cultural trope that a good mom sacrifices everything for her children. Western cultural narrative is full of ideas about how a mom isn’t a good mom unless she cuts her children’s sandwiches into special shapes, hovers over every play date, spends her every free moment with and on her children, and basically stops sleeping until they are 18 and ready to move out of the house. Unless it is all organic, handmade, homemade and baked with love it’s not enough, and you’re not a good enough mom.

This image, this ideal is killing us. Not only are we as women striving beyond all reasonable expectation to attain it, and making ourselves sick along the way, it is creating competition amongst what would otherwise be reasonable, sane, supportive women. If we are judging her for not being enough, it must be because we ARE.

Not only do we as women and mothers have the most monumental job in existence (raising the next generation of humans who will inhabit this planet) we are also doing it largely alone, in a culture that demeans and devalues the work that we do.

Only a stay at home mom.” 

How many times have you heard that line, or worse, had it come out of your own mouth, describing YOURSELF? That in itself is enough to make any self respecting woman hate herself more than a little bit for choosing what is often seen as the least of all occupations. And so you strive, and sacrifice and stretch and die a little bit more inside every day in order to prove to yourself and the world that you are ENOUGH.

I say ENOUGH.

The time for this oppressive and incorrect patriarchal nonsense has past.

Women who stay home to raise children are enough.

Women who raise children and work outside the home are enough.

Women who choose not to have children are enough.

Women who choose to have only one child are enough.

Women who have lost pregnancies are enough.

Women who can’t get pregnant are enough.

You are ENOUGH, just the way you are.

It is enough to show up as yourself and give all of yourself to your life, whatever you have chosen that life to be. You are the Lynch pin of society, of the family and of your children’s lives. To kill yourself in order to prove to yourself and everyone else that you are enough is the worst kind of sacrifice to make, because it is entirely meaningless.

Take care of yourself. No one else is going to do it for you. Show up for yourself. Be the best you you can possibly muster. Eat well, sleep better, and exercise. Strive for your dreams. And for heavens sake, take a day off once in a while. The world will not grind to a halt because you didn’t tuck your children in at night.  They will live, and so will you.

In fact, life will most definitely feel better when you put yourself back on the priority list.

You’re worth it.

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