We've all met her. The bitter, discontent mother who is never happy with her children or anything else in her life. As soon as she hears that you are planning to have a baby, she will start telling you that your life is over. Soon, according to her, your life will be a miserable abyss of housework. Mom comes last, after all.
On the other side, there is the careless mother. She won't understand why you won't come out partying with her while you're pregnant or after you have your baby because she spends every weekend at the club. Her baby waddles around in the same diaper all day, and her house resembles a toxic wasteland. Mom comes first, after all.
Where is the balance? We should not strive to be either of these mothers. We are neither first nor last but equal.
I have heard too many people say that mothers get the leftovers. We have this image of the self-sacrificing mother, a martyr for sure, who has no interests but her family's interests. She eats her dinner cold after serving everyone else. She always takes a cold shower because she is the last to get one. My question is this: why do we allow this to continue in the modern family? Yes, motherhood requires sacrifice--but so does fatherhood. Women are no longer subservient, second-class citizens. Not even a stay-at-home mom should accept such treatment. We should strive to be a family of equals.
As with the example of the second mother, we should not take this too far. Sometimes moms will get the cold shower or the leftover food. Such is life. But it is vitally important that we take time for ourselves as well. A bitter, miserable person is a sad example for a child. Instead, we should teach our children about compromise, about working with one's partner to make sure everyone gets their share. Everyone in the family deserves relaxation time.
It is time that we stop bemoaning the leftovers. Let's try making enough for everyone instead.