Being a mother - a personal journey

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Being a mother - a personal journey

by Iris C. Gonzales


Emilio Labrador under a Creative Commons Licence

People keep arguing about how to be a mother. When will all this rubbish end?

Being a mother is not simple. Everyone has a different story about how to be a mother. It’s not fair to say others should do what we do. Being a mother is a very personal journey. Something might be good for me to do, but not for the rest of the world.

People criticised Gwyneth Paltrow, a Hollywood actress, when she said 'motherhood is much more difficult’ for her.

‘I think it’s different when you have an office job, because it’s routine and you can do lots of things in the morning and then you come home in the evening. When you’re making a movie, they say, “You need to go to Wisconsin for two weeks”, and then you work 14 hours a day and that part of it is very difficult. If you have a regular job and you are a mother, it’s not as ... of course some things are difficult ... but it’s not like when you’re making a movie.’

Emma Thompson, who has won two Oscars, said she didn’t work for a year so she could spend time with her kids. She said ‘You can’t be a great mum and keep working all the time.’

Mothers who are not celebrities do not like these comments. But let’s just stop arguing and telling others what to do and just be the best moms that we can be.

Because there’s no easy way to be a mother. There’s no secret recipe, no map, no directions, no instructions. What does it really mean to be a great mum? Teaching your children at home? Writing about what a good mother you are? Bringing up a gifted child? Or staying at home and baking cookies? Who knows?

Being a mother is not easy. And we shouldn’t make it more complicated by criticizing mothers who do things differently. Mothers today worry so much about what they should do, that they sometimes forget to just be moms to their kids.

I have made some mistakes, terrible mistakes. And it’s not easy. I have been a single mother for years and it’s very difficult. But most of the time, I love it. My mothering style is different from that of my mother and her mother before her, and perhaps all other mothers.

My mother was shocked when I decided to take away the TV from the tiny apartment I live in with my daughter. She said it would isolate my child from the rest of the world.

But I think it’s bad when she treats my sister (who is over 20) like she’s only 6 years old.

But who knows who’s right or wrong? Being a mother is personal. What is good for some may not be good for others.

I can’t stop working: not just because I have to work, but because I want to work. I believe being a mother should not stop us doing what makes us who we are. Some days I would stop everything to go after a story or to get an interview. Some days I miss a school event because I have to write. Some days, the kitchen sink is full of dishes, there are piles of clothes to wash and there are toys all over our home. I just want to scream and say crazy things. Some days I want to have a break and be alone, to just sit doing nothing with no little voice next to me.

But that’s just me.

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