Perspectives of the Driven Mom
~Sequel to The Driven Mom
Dear Contented SAHM,
I know what you do and believe in is very important. I share very similar beliefs in regards to my roles as mom and wife and caretaker of my family.
Sometimes though I see the way you look at me, questioning my level of commitment to keeping a very clean house, to providing the healthiest of home cooked meals and snacks, of my turning down to volunteer for yet another project.
I also see the flickering of wonder in your eyes, as you briefly question if there is more to life than just being a wife and mom.
There certainly is. And while I deeply respect and value every woman for the choices she makes in what she decides is good for herself and her family, I can more assuredly and easily add there is much, much more to life than just being a wife and mommy.
I dear, am the Drive Mom, the one who has to be pursuing something for myself. I love to cook, love to bake, and love playing with my kids. I love being there for my family and helping them to grow into more wonderful people.
I am happiest and healthiest when I can balance those roles/duties with things that improve me as a person. Exercise keeps my body strong and my mind sharp. Pursuing my career goals keeps me challenged, alive and invigorated. Being a leader in some of my passions is honorable, and it feels wonderful to help others. These things replenish my energy levels, alleviate stress, make me feel connected with the outside world, and give meaning to my life and who I am, on top of that of being a wife and mom.
I also absolutely despise doing activities that give little to no return. The endless picking up of the same heaps of toys, the constant parenting battles that repeat themselves day after day, the barrage of nonstop shrieking, whining, fussing, fighting and simply ignoring that goes on with the kids. Not for me.
The obsessive compulsive need to re-clean the same countertops fifty times (three times daily is enough), and sweeping to get every little crumb left behind. Nope.
The need to hold my kid’s hands through every itty bitty second of the day or create one educational activity after another, not to mention the damn arts and crafts projects – won’t do it.
I am more of an independent kid builder who observes from a safe distance (far enough away to let them figure out a solution for themselves but close enough to help if they actually need it). I encourage my kids to use their ever creative imaginations as much as possible.
Sure we do the occasional crafty thing, and we work on improving their knowledge, we just don’t obsess over it.
Speaking of obsessions, I a driven mom, can’t understand the need to obsess over things like cleaning and unimportant itty bitty details. I find myself wanting to ask – “You don’t have anything better to do? Maybe you need to find some personal drive? Something worthwhile to invest your time and energy into?” But I can’t ask that, because it crosses the boundary lines of the Mommy Wars. I’m not here to do battle, just to give a different perspective.
I also can’t understand the concept of not doing anything during the day. This is for those on the other extreme of the SAHM party. I don’t understand how you don’t clean anything, or cook anything somewhat healthy, or workout at all, or play anything with your kids.
I take that back, I do understand. I will call it like it is. Some people are unfocused and undisciplined and have yet to discover their personal value and potential. Some people are focused and disciplined but on things that bring zero return and fail to utilize personal value and talent. And here the driven Mom sits, not smirking, but wondering why?
Why aren’t more moms valuing themselves and their loved ones enough to require more out of themselves? For either extreme? From one end – to actually take care of basic daily needs such as health, wellness, cleanliness, education, etc. To the other end, understanding that losing yourself in over valuing the cleaning and hyper mom actions (being there for everyone in every way all the time) is not going to give you that inner pride and fulfillment you long for.
But enough of crossing those Mommy War boundaries. Don’t want to cause upset, just perhaps a moment to truly think about why we do what we do.
I, driven Mom also can’t let go and depend entirely on anyone else for everything – hence the need to pursue my own career and build some sense of financial independence. The people in my life have proven time and again one must learn to stand on their own two feet. I want to teach my kids to be self-reliant. I believe my husband appreciates that I don’t want the financial responsibilities of providing for our family to be just his. And if something should happen to him, I can rest confidently in my own skills to take care of me and the kids.
I also don’t want to live with nothing. I grew up with that, so yes, I am driven to actually improve my quality of living. Fancy cars, big closets and trips to Greece? Not required. But not having to count every penny to provide basics for our family and our kids miss out on perks of being a kid (sports, vacations etc), totally worth this driven Mom investing in her skills and talents and having her own career.
The driven Mom in me often feels misunderstood, seen as highly focused, high achieving, with high expectations. The truth is I do what is right for me and for my family. I am not you, or my neighbors, and it is likely you are not me (unless you too are a driven Mom). So if you are content with yourself and your life as it is, awesome. If you’re not, you have time to start making some changes today, tomorrow, when you decide to.
This driven Mom just wanted to give a little perspective on what it is like in our shoes.
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