So there is this thing floating around facebook that says something like “My kids come first no matter what”. Princess is the absolute most important thing in my life. Above my own well-being, above my own needs and above my own love life (which is why I have none).
But…am I sacrificing my own happiness for her? My question is, not only is that fair but is it healthy? I fully believe that for your child to be happy, healthy and to thrive that the PARENTS need to be happy. If I’m miserable my child will pick up on that and will act outrageous. If I’m happy and relaxed then she is happy and sweet and content. And I’ve lived that exact situation for the past 4 years. When I was happy, which admittedly was not very often, she was a good child. When I’ve been stressed and miserable she has been whiney, stubborn, and constantly cried.
So its all connected, yes? Happy mommy=happy child. Angry mommy=bratty child. Imagine that. That MY mood and emotions rub off on my child. My words affect her why wouldn’t my actions and attitude? We haven’t had the smoothest 4 years. Her father has decided to flit in and out of her life, we’ve moved every year of her life, she has been in 6 different schools. Why would my child be well adjusted and perfect. Her life hasn’t been. She’s never wanted for anything-always enough food and toys and love. That has always been a constant in her life but the other stuff-routine and structure has just never been there. And its because I’ve always been trying to chase down something to make her happy and have made many wrong turns along the way. I was always looking for what would be best for HER. Now I’m looking for (and finding I might add) whats best for US. And I don’t think putting myself first for a change is necessarily a bad thing. I’m not saying I’d take food out of her mouth or leave her with some random stranger so I can go out drinking. That for sure would NEVER happen. But if I let her spend a little more time at grammas so I can spend time connecting with my friends, or if have her go to bed a little bit earlier so I can have some recharge time alone, of have a friend watch her for an hour so I can go to dance class is that so terrible? That while I’m also pursuing her interests like dance and music, that I’m also working towards my own dreams of dancing/coaching/teaching/whatever is so bad? Or letting a good man in my life to form a relationship with me and letting her adjust to it bad? (man I’m having a really hard time putting this into words-that still doesn’t sound the way I want it to).
I just feel like some parents cut things out of their life that they want and NEED because they feel like somehow that is taking away from their child. Like it means they are a bad parent if they let themselves be happy. Or if they take some time for themselves to try a new experience that they think they can’t because they are a mom or dad. Or not even wanting to find a partner because they don’t want to make that child adjust to a new person in their life because thats somehow not fair or makes them less of a parent. I just….I just don’t understand that. I really don’t. How can you be the best parent possible if YOU are not happy? If YOU are not fulfilled? Why does it make you a lesser person to let yourself have an interest outside your child? And I admit I’m guilty of it myself her whole life-I’ve hesitated to take time for me or felt guilty letting someone else watch Princess (including my own mother-seriously like gramma hates spending time with her precious little baby? Not even. She would probably keep her for a month if I allowed it. No mom.) But I NEED to be happy myself. I have to. I need to find my own interests, I need to be able to do things *I* enjoy, I need to not feel guilty to drink a glass of wine at night or go to the gym and let her play in the kid watch. If I’m happy it should mean that she is happy and a better child and ultimately becoming a better person, right? If she grows up into a great person I did do MY job right. Right?
I’m having the hardest time writing this post coherently. I feel like there is so much pressure in the world to be the ‘perfect’ parent (I’m nowhere NEAR that title) and everyone judges every single thing you do. Why does it need to be that way? Why can’t I just live and as long as Princess is fed, healthy, relatively clean, and happy why do you care what I do with myself? Why am I supposed to care what you do? Oh…yeah I really don’t. Keep your kid happy and make yourself happy. Enjoy your life. If living for your child is what you want to do then by all means do it. But don’t you dare judge anyone else for NOT living that way. I’m not judging you for it. I have several friends who have devoted their life to their children. And you know what? I think a couple of them are realizing they lost themselves somewhere along the way. And they are not ok with that. Life can end in a second, you should do all the things you want to do, you should love all the ones you want and you should find those people who make your heart happy and keep them near. Don’t push them away because you think you need to. Either in distance or in your heart. Cause when its your time to go will you look back and be happy about the things you did, the people you had and the life you lived? or will you look back with disappointment on goals left unreached, people you lost and words left unsaid? Don’t risk regret. Risk being happy. And maybe get it all.