Nothing else will make you as happy or as sad, as proud or as tired, for nothing is quite as hard as helping a person develop his own individuality especially while you struggle to keep your own.
–Marguerite Kelly and Elia Parsons, The Mothers Almanac
One of the problems mothers have is adding themselves into the equation of family needs and demands. In putting children first much of the time, rather than putting ourselves second or even third, we put ourselves nowhere.
When we disallow our own needs, dreams, and desires for too prolonged a period, we stop building self. We set up an all or nothing situation. Our dreams, needs, and desires get relegated to our shadow side, where they grow in darkness. They leak out. We feed them surreptitiously through others. Rather than understanding our needs and desires and meeting them constructively and openly, we repress and deny them. Then, when they finally burst forward, they are like a hungry beast who cannot feel full.
While child rearing does ask us to sacrifice, and rightly so, we still need to attend to ourselves. If we don’t, we run the risk of trying to fill up our empty self on the self of another.
You are reading from the book:
Journey through Womanhood by Tian Dayton, Ph.D.
Journey through Womanhood. Copyright 2002 by Tian Dayton. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. No portion of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without the written permission of Hazelden.