My ears are drawn to the outside which has been quiet of late. A dampened down version of life has been going on and this morning I hear more cars than usual. It signals we are reacting to the news that we might begin to live a bit more freely. For me though this life has been the version of free which I have needed since my youngest child did his version of arriving into this world . Perhaps many have felt the same. A dose of the kind of medicine we are not prescribed by our society.
On one of the final drives home from work pre-Covid 19, I recall cogitating the very same issue; exhausted and aching for some time with my son , I spent the entire week contemplating whether I should take a different job which demands less of his time because I want to be with him. I don’t even work full time.
As I mulled this over on the drive, I met with a thought of a different yet relevant question – was Meghan and Harrys decision to focus on their own lives and especially their sons selfish? Should we care? Should we question the decision that they have made? Perhaps it is out of envy for the fact that they get to make such a decision and that they have support to do so. Perhaps it is due to the fact that they can say, “look I want to put my family first and do you know something? I’m going to do just that”. Perhaps, it is frustration, that Meghan has made a choice to be a Mum and that she is able to devote herself to that role. After all it is the most important role of all. I guess the salience of their predicatment is made brighter to me by my own current dilemma. As a training Educational Psychotherapist with Caspari Foundation, I’m swimming in ideas, strategies and knowledge of the first few years of life , the significance of those first years and this knowledge has fed my growing anxiety towards what should be my only responsibility.
And so my question is why do we sacrifice motherhood and am I wrong for doing it?
Searching for the answer in my mind, I realise is a fruitless endeavour as I will always come up with the same answer- I need to work- what else can I do? I need to show that … well, I don’t know what I need to show, to prove I can do something , that I am someone. Despite being something and someone.
If I weren’t single then perhaps the guilt would not burn so brightly.
Guilt and the feeling that I still hold since the day I left him at Nursery: separation anxiety. When the readiness to be parted has not quite been achieved and our own magical mechanism , designed to prevent us from parting before its too early, has been ignored. My desire to stay at home was censored; spoken allowed it met with tousle and I felt belittled by a society which sees no real value in its origin. It is designed to stop us from decaying from the start, from preventing us from reaching what we can be, by allowing us to function as effective adults with the ability to relate and be related to.
So in answer to your question , should I feel guilty? Yes I should. Should I be at home. Yes I should.
But do i do anything about it?
Unfortunately we live in a society that just doesn’t see the value in how important it is to be a mother.