Until recently, I was not even aware of how much of my story was similar to other women’s. I did not even realize that ‘moms are the center of the universe’ until I recently spent two weeks in a drug and alcohol rehab program. I was there in support of my child, and as usual, I learned more about myself than I bargained for.
Interestingly, the other moms there seemed to be in the same circumstances I was. There were kids of all ages from 16 to 35. I quickly learned the Mom-child relationship is main relationship that the kids felt anchored to, and often the most anger was directed toward the mom. Very little if anything got tossed back to the dads, it most always seemed to the kids that the mom could have done something different.
While I had not thought much about this before, I also put my dad on a pedestal and blamed most of what went wrong in my life on my mom, as did my sisters. Of course, I have long since realized that she was not really to blame at all. It is rather odd to think this might be more of a historical thing than anything she or I did.
Why do so many people have “mom issues,” and just an occasional dad problem? How can we change that? Do we need to? From my perspective, it might make it easier for our innate sense of caring to be used outside of the home, if we did not feel so needed there. And god knows we could use more caring, heart-centered people running things. Yet how do we support this change?
I am not really sure for everyone, I can only speak from my experience and what I’ve witnessed, but I think we women can be great managers, but maybe even better at taking control when things are not being managed to our expectations (ie. It is just easier if I do it myself). (That could actually be why kids in treatment often seem to lack the ability to make decisions, because they were made for them so often.) Or maybe it is that we put too much pressure on thinking our kids are a reflection of us, more than of their fathers so we do double duty.
I did find myself really wondering, what can change so that women are not held so responsible for so much? I know I felt it was my job to keep my kids engaged, the family home cozy, commitments kept, etc. It was A LOT. What could I have done differently so that things change for my daughter or other moms? Less pressure for one. Judging by the amount of over-achieving kids that are struggling, I want to tell every mom I see that there is no promise for how things will turn out. I can also be more aware. I thought it was just me, though turns out it is a society thing: kids look to moms more than dads, and we are the center of the Universe. It is a LOT.
I actually felt much better knowing this was something that existed beyond my little world. It was not just me who felt like my family revolved around me. We might be ‘the problem’ and I am sure we are part of the answer but until that time comes, we all deserve to know we are carrying a lot of weight collectively on our backs. And we are NOT alone.
I guess the reason for my writing this quick note is more a voice of support and compassion than anything else. Possibly as women we could be doing something different, but maybe not. Maybe the Universe really does revolve around mothers, and maybe we can all be aware that although it might look like men are in charge, for better or worse, there is no more important relationship than that of a mother and child. And by way, there would be no men on earth without us!