I more often than not feel like a mother. While I don’t have any biological or adopted children (although I have a sponsored child care of an international charity), I work with children in a daycare setting and I like to bring people together in order for them to bond and to make sure they’re doing fine. I’ve been told that I’m the parent of my friend group, and I have to agree. It’s like I have an innate obligation to feel responsible for the well-being of others (which is why I like to write about things that will help others and why I’m in the non-profit sector). And while that sounds great in theory, I have to wonder what that means for the people in my life.
Am I striking a good enough balance between positively influencing others and being responsible for my own actions? Am I keeping my side of the street clean while showing others how they can do that for their side? It can be hard.
I remember feeling stressed about planning group outings with friends, and feeling stressed in general when it came to work that was for others. Is it a mom thing to say that I care too much? I wouldn’t know, and I don’t want to assume anything since I’m not a “real” mom. I do feel like my own mother would say the same thing, and I know that she has definitely experienced what I just described. But take that and multiple it several times over the past 20+ years.
This kind of balance is pretty critical when you care about being the best person you can be, influencing others to be the best they can be, and acting in such a way that people not only like you but adore you. I think that all three are possible, but not without making sacrifices. And sacrifice is something that all parents would know about. But it’s something that’s still somewhat foreign to me. I still feel a little too selfish, a little too self-involved, to feel that way. I know that parents can and should take time to practice self-care, but they have that high level of obligation and responsibility towards their families – and it makes me wonder how they do it. You can’t help but admire parents who want the best for their children and do whatever they can to make their children’s lives better than theirs. That’s exactly what mine did.
I do want to have my own child(ren) one day, but I know that day won’t come for a while. In the meantime, I can try my best to practice that balance between self-care and self-sacrifice.