Last year, I officially with great fanfare joined, the group of unworthy mothers.
What’s my crime? You may ask. I decided to travel without my family.
To be honest, I didn’t think that taking a solo trip could be considered as violating the rules of the book How to be a good mother. A manual intended to be useful, written by superwomen, for all women, even ordinary ones like me.
So, in this manual, the main rules are as follows:
-Be at the disposition of your family 7 days a week.
-To concoct healthy and balanced menus for your kids and husband.
-Participate in all the extracurricular activities.
In short, to be omnipotent, omniscient, at a push “omni stifling”.
Not content with not meeting almost any of the criteria listed above, I violated the rules: leaving my family behind for a limited period. The inadmissible affront!
A weekend without the kids? It was borderline but still forgivable. A week? Now we are downright in the middle of infanticide!
If I was to be condemned, I thought, I might as well do things right.
I was leaving for three weeks.
The reactions were not long in coming.
Some wanted to make me feel guilty:
“But you’ll never be able to do three weeks without your kids.
Others somewhat macho, coming from women:
“But how is your husband going to manage? “
Yes of course, fortunately, they are present and active, to defend these poor abandoned husbands. Altruism that the world would gladly do without.
And then there were those, who in a barely veiled way was telling me that I was a bad mother:
“I would not have left my children even for a weekend.”
“Yes, of course, but no one is forcing you to do it. It’s a good thing I am who I am, and you are who you are! “was my answer in this case.
A year counts 365 days or 366 for leap years, so it is not 21 days without me that would create an irreversible trauma in my children, quite the contrary, it would allow my family to breathe. I was convinced of this.
I’m the kind of mother who doesn’t carry her role like a cross. Being a mother does not mean burying the woman you were/are. Sometimes I give in to “guilty pleasures”, like thinking about my well-being. Taking care of others is a good thing, to be able to take care of others, you have to take care of yourself, so taking care of yourself is a good thing. Coherent Syllogism, right?
In the name of this sacrosanct maxime, I go once every six weeks to Erica’s to lie down for three hours. Erica is not my psychologist, but my beautician. Spending three hours at her house is doing me a lot of good. I can entrust her with my projects, my desires, my frustrations between a hair removal session, a massage or, a facial treatment. The advantage with Erica is that she is multitasking, and I come out of her house relieved of a lot more than just my hair.
In the name of the same maxime, I authorize myself activities that have nothing to do with motherhood.
I love being a mother, a wife, but I will only be able to fulfill her roles in the freedom to be me.
So this trip? Well, I went, and it was a great experience.
I can hear you from here, no! That doesn’t mean I didn’t miss my family.
I prefer to reassure you it was far from being the case. At least it won’t add a stone heart to my status as an unworthy mother.
But the absence is not a punishment especially when you come back with the batteries recharged to make up for it.
After the end of my retreat, when I expected to be benched at best, or burned alive at worst, great was my surprise to find that it was the opposite.
I was, without being hyperbolic, considered a heroine when I returned.
I had a hard time understanding this 360-degree turnaround, but soon, tongues began to loosen little by little and made me realize that many mothers dreamed of this break.
But they were depriving themselves of it either because they put pressure on themselves, and believe that without them the world would collapse, or because they do not have the opportunity, or are simply afraid of being judged by others, and their entourage.
In their eyes, I was probably the one who had defied the ” forbidden “.
But to tell you the truth, I certainly am not a heroine, an unworthy mother even less so, I am just me.
An imperfect mother who does the best she can, allows herself breaks, a part-time mother and a full-time woman.