My Five Non-Negotiables as a Modern Mom
What does modern motherhood mean to you? To me, it means that society and others don’t get to dictate the decisions I make when it comes to parenting. My style of motherhood may not be conventional, but I do believe that in exchange, my son lives with little restraints. With positive discipline and independence with limits, I can raise him to be a man equipped with rich life experiences.
I want to be a modern mom but not a selfish one.
1. Daddy plays a balanced role in the household
My mom, who is the loveliest woman on this planet, always blurts out things like “why is HE doing the dishes? Why aren’t you packing HIS luggage for him? Why aren’t you folding HIS laundry for him?” My mother is hitting her 60s and is from a different generation. Sadly, she comes from a time where women served their men. It’s not her fault. It’s the way she was taught and that’s the way the cookie crumbled for women.
So, when she says crazy things like this to me, I immediately answer back with “It’s 2019, that’s why.”
It is of astronomical importance to me that household chores are divided in the fairest way possible.Balanced doesn’t mean equal. I am currently at home with my son and naturally, I take on more of the work. I’m also a Virgo and I tend to be more particular about certain things than he is, and we work with that.
I empathize with a baby daddy who comes home tired from a full day’s work and in return, he is compassionate of my grasp of a balanced mental health.
On weekends, he takes on most of the baby duty while I relax. On weekdays, he participates in as much as he can during the two hours he has with his son after work.
I’m a goal orientated type of person and always have been. Staying home with my baby (as beautiful as it is) and not chase my dreams while my husband gets to escape family life for 8 hours, is not something I chose. I struggle heavily with this issue and I am so extremely lucky to have a partner who empathises and actively plays down the role of “the man.”
2. I get a fair chance at my career
Moving to Ireland, without any family and friends, was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. I resisted for the longest time. It was so difficult for me to swallow my pride and accept that the best thing for my son was to be a family in a place where his father had a blossoming career. This wasn’t what I envisioned life to be after suffering through University in France and a master’s degree. I worked too hard to be in a city that I didn’t choose to live in.
It angered me that I had to pause my career development because I had a son. Why do men just get to carry on with their lives and we, as women, had to stop? Then I look to my son and realize, - he is why. He needs me to be his mother and as mothers, we play distinct roles fathers simply can’t.
Here’s my solution: I do with what I can. My son needs me, and it is illogical of me to go out into the world when he needs me. So, I create my own opportunities. I find my passion and let that drive me. I’ve come to realize that wallowing is not going to get me anywhere. When Noah goes to sleep at 7:30 pm, my search for success starts in my living room. I make do with what I can.
3. My son gets to experience and travel the world with me. Having a baby doesn’t stop me from my life’s greatest passion – travel.
It’s hard to believe but in my son’s 6 months on this planet, he has flown 12 times. Traveling is one of my life’s passion and I vowed that this stay unchanged even with a baby. My travels have been rich and profound – something I hope Noah can experience during his life.
Prepping Noah for his first flight from Toronto to Dublin at 2 months old.
4. Not bound by routine
This one is something I struggle with the most and my greatest source of mom guilt. I want to be a modern mom but not a selfish one. Sometimes when we travel - I take my son completely off routine, away from familiar environment, juggle jetlag – and I often wonder if what I’m doing is ok.
It may not seem like it, but I am cautious. I am also extremely lucky to have been blessed with a baby who doesn’t fuss about anything.
He cries when he’s hungry. He sleeps when he’s tired. He gives me all the cues and I listen. I don’t feel the need to instil a routine that my lifestyle simply cannot support.
5. My son gets no screen time until he’s two
I cannot promise but I will try my very hardest for as long as I can handle. I don’t judge parents who succumb to handing their kids off to Disney on demand. I know how hard it can be.
Baby daddy works in tech and I am building a career in social media – technology is engrained in our lives.
So, if possible, I just want him to enjoy wooden toys and the grass and the rain and real human interaction.