Selfish is the ultimate insult you could call a mother. It cuts to the very core of what being a mother is, which is about giving. We give our bodies, we give our hearts, we give up careers, we lose friendships, we retire goals. We do this because the moment a baby is placed in our arms nothing else matters but the health and happiness of that little soul. We would sacrifice our own lives for our children. But who is looking out for the mother's soul?
Today women are starting businesses at a blistering pace with survival rates higher than men. When compared to their male counterparts, women are routinely lauded for having better team-building skills, being more intuitive and for being smarter money managers than their male counterparts. But none of this matters when you become an entrepreneur. So what does matter?
I hadn't anticipated that having kids would be so conflicting. That after three years away, my producer would say she thought I wasn't making films anymore and that even though it was my choice, her words would make me panic. That sometimes I would want in and sometimes I would want out. Of both career and family.
Being a new parent means that you are often bombarded with advice and suggestions about raising a child. Family, friends and even strangers will no doubt offer their two cents on all sorts of topics. Problem is, how do you know who to listen to? I debunk some top myths to help soon-to-be moms and dads navigate the world of parenthood.
That image of the family sitting at Christmas dinner, everyone smiling at each other and the ideal turkey perfectly placed on the platter, can quickly become a great disappointment if we make perfection our goal. If you want to get more out of the holidays you can follow a few simple guidelines that will assist you in staying grounded and present during the season.
I'm torn because my family always comes first, but I also have these ideas and opportunities and the iron is hot and I'm not getting any younger and this is my time, bitch. I'm riddled with guilt just typing that, because society and my upbringing and all that bullshit has programmed me to believe I'm a mother now, so I'm supposed to sacrifice my own dreams for everyone else's. But I'm determined to try my best to fuck that noise and do it all, even if I don't do any of it perfectly. I'd rather live with failure than regret.
Oh the joys of becoming a new mom! Oh the bliss! You're the vision of beauty, a natural mom! The happy, helpful husband by your side! The overbearing grandparents and relatives who spoil your baby boy or girl with gifts and hugs and kisses! The perfect baby who sleeps all night and never cries! Who are we kidding?
Did you ever see Toy Story 3? The kids licking toys, licking each other, sticking fingers in offensive places not on their own bodies? All true. They will get colds every other week, are constantly on antibiotics, and require multiple trips to the doctor or emergency room because they didn't have the decency to get really sick until Friday afternoon of a long weekend.
I could have been there. My son could have giggled for/at David. I don't know. I was yet another harried/perfect professional mum, holding it all together. Prioritizing naps over adult conversation, breastfeeding over tantrums, parenting over intellectual rigour. It would have been fine -- my kids would have been fine -- had I stayed that day.
It is essential for my purposes that you be able to imagine the desperation of being pregnant when you don't want to be, of what it is to be staring into that gaping black hole with everything you've ever worked and longed for lost inside it. I am aware that some people will find themselves more inclined to empathize with the six-week-old fetus in this matter, he or she (still indeterminate) about the size of a lentil, and whether such an inclination represents a terrific failure of imagination or an incredible imaginative leap, I'm still not entirely sure. But I'd like such a person to shake their convictions for just a moment or two.
How many of us knew that we would love our children so much that it would terrify us, but that we would also resent the erosion of our independent personhood, and wonder why our husbands didn't feel similarly eroded? Or how much more often we would dwell on our failures than on our successes as wives and mothers
Many moms are wakened on Mother's Day by an ominous clattering in the kitchen: your loving-hearted children preparing to surprise you with coffee or hot chocolate in bed. There's also that cinnamon toast or oatmeal positively doused with sugar. What many moms don't realize is that such meals usually come courtesy of a whole crew of children.
It goes without saying, but I'll say it anyways. Being a working mother is a never ending balancing act. My children have always had a politician for a mom; I was elected to Toronto's city council before they were born. My chosen career -- and my choice to run for Mayor -- means that my life is, to a certain degree, public.
Growing up in the 50's and 60's, my mother Lillian was primarily a "stay-at-home"mother. It's not that she didn't have high aspirations for her future, as she dreamed of being a dancer. However, times required she go to work directly after graduating high school as a bookkeeper for a dress manufacturer, her professional dancing dreams dashed.