I used to dismiss my mom’s accomplishments. So what if she ran a clothing store, technically up to 7 or 8 at one time if you counted the men’s, women’s and children’s stores separately. She wasn’t on the PTA and did not know much about what i was doing in school. Several days a week she got a break, sending my siblings and I to our father’s house. In retrospect, it’s quite amazing what she accomplished. Perhaps because she never appeared as stressed or overwhelmed as my father who ran his own real estate company across the street from her, I did not consider her job as demanding.
Now that I am a mom forging an identity while trying to stay involved in my kids’ lives I have more respect for how my mom balanced everything. I’m sure her narcissistic streak helped.
On a side note, my equally self involved grandmother asked me if I thought my mom was selfish, and I said yes. She replied, “Where could she have gotten that from? I never saw that.” You Grandma. She learned it by watching you!
But my grandmother’s self involvement led her to a career and independence after her husband passed away.
I know one of the reasons I am able to pursue my fantasies of publishing this novel that I just cannot seem to sit down and finish even though I am not terribly far away, and I do not have to show up at an office everyday is because of my husband and his success. And there is a part of me that hates how dependent financially I am. I know it is not uncommon, it’s just not the norm I had growing up. My husband does not resent or bemoan this to the slightest. He is the one that tells me to get more help and encourages me to be fulfilled however I choose. He is grateful that I am a good mom who manages our household, even if he’d like it to be a little cleaner. And more than that, I am fortunate enough to say that he is the love of my life, a great father and husband.
In my mind, there is not way for me to do it all: be an involved parent, stay fit as many other mom’s manage to do with ridiculously demanding exercise classes, have a career or job or fulfilling hobby that enriches my life and hopefully others, without a super dad who enables all of this to happen.