The flip side to our devotion to our children is a necessary loss of freedom to care for them. We cannot put ourselves first and put our children first. Something has to give… Isn’t that right?
Freedom in perspective
As mothers, I believe we are pre-disposed to want the best for our children. We want them safe, healthy, educated, socially secure…. and free to be themselves, right?
But in our promotion for their well-being, sometimes we have to sacrifice our own, don’t we?
What is freedom?
Actually, I don’t think necessarily we have to sacrifice or give up our own freedom for our children. Rather, I think it depends more upon our attitude and our mindset, and first of all it depends upon how we define freedom.
Freedom of thought doesn’t have to change with motherhood.
Freedom of movement doesn’t have to change… necessarily. Can’t we take our children with us much of the time? (I learned how to clothes shop for myself super-quickly when my son was a baby! In the pram sleeping, or in the push chair strolling, he fit into the change room with me!:)
Freedom of expression can be found in our appreciation of music, art, literature… We might have less time for personal attention in these areas but we don’t have to give them up completely. In fact, I think it’s better not to…
Freedom of movement, freedom in ambition… Yes, some of this may have to change, if we are to have time to devote to the development of our children. But when there is a trade-off, to have the blessing of a child to care for is not a sacrifice. It is a choice. It is an opportunity. It is a responsibility, a challenge, a gift.
Parenting is such an opportunity, even to express freedom! Freedom from a day job, for some. Freedom from unwanted social demands or expectations, for others. Freedom to be what humanity is in part, prescribed to be, designed to be, in the main: to parent!
Mothers and freedom
Every choice we make is ours to make: freely.
When we work from that starting point, we can very quickly realise that we are free to be who we are in whatever circumstance we are in.
As an active parent, our time to ourselves might be more limited than before we were parents; however, being a parent is every bit an expression of ourselves and expressing ourselves through our hobbies, careers, interests, relationships. Being a parent is a relationship in itself, between us and our children. Each relationship in our lives is an expression of ourselves.
When you look at freedom and time and relationship from that perspective, we can realise that freedom may change but it is not lost.