Saturday, July 28, 2007

Mom First?

Mom First, Husband Second and Kids Third?

or:

Husband First, Kids Second and Mom Third?

or:

Kids First, Husband Second and Mom Third?


I have been doing a lot of searching in the past couple of weeks about the role of a Mom in a family. How much should a Mom put herself ahead of her family, behind her family? Right in the middle of the family? How does a Mom find the balance of staying sane, and remembering who she is. And, not "losing" herself to motherhood? How does a Mom keep the balance between self and family?

Have you heard of this woman? Kathryn Sansone? According to Oprah, Kathryn Sansone has been called the "role model for motherhood." She is a wife and mother of 10 children, ranging in age from 8 months to 18 years. She’s not "Super Mom," but she does have an abundance of inspirational and practical tips to offer any woman who wants help finding time for herself, managing her family, and breathing life into her marriage.

Oprah is fascinated by this woman, who in my opinion maybe does "have it all" in front of the camera and on film, but does she really? I am going to buy her book, as from other reviews readers have said something is missing from her life. She doesn't really get into sharing her "real life" tips like laundry for 12 people, or tips and tricks for getting out the door.

So, I am going to do some research. She does seem to have it all. I find it also interesting that Oprah has no kids, and yet she has deemed this woman a "role model for motherhood." What are the characteristic of motherhood that would make one a role model? From what I am gathering it is having a wonderful family with lots of kids, a supportive husband, time to yourself, time to work out, time to work on your own self and hobbies. Date nights with the husband. Coffee dates every weekend And the ability to be organized, able to take care of your home and get all of the kids out the door on time etc. Is that all possible? I would say that something would have to give? I don't know if her life is all that?

I would love for Oprah to take a look at other Moms. Mom's that have even more kids than Sansone. Mom's that are REAL Moms. Moms in the trenches that don't have a fabulous home gym, Moms that have the extra flab, that cannot find the time to work out. To get babysitters to watch the kids. Or have the older kids of the family watch the younger kids so they can get out on a date. I don't find that realistic in my own life. Maybe it happens in your life? So, if any of you Mom's out there are reading this. Please comment! Do you put yourself first? your kids first? your husband first? What works for you? Have you found that balance?!

Talk amongst yourselves...I had to come out of hiding to blog about this! How is your summer going?

10 comments:

Allyson said...

I just want to know who's looking after all her "little" ones while she's cavorting and being raised on a pedestal. The Nanny? The housekeeper? The lawnman? The pool guy? you get my drift. You can't be away from home and raise a family. Rollmodel. Me thinks Oprah is too overblown. This is the same woman who said you should NEVER when wrapping a gift, leave the overlapping edge unfolded, you just shouldn't. I take Oprah with a grain of salt, or The World According to Oprah! Motherhood is a fine balance, one minute it's all about mom, the rest it's about husband and children, family and friends. Don't buy her book, request it from the library. Roll Model mom doesn't need your hard-earned moolla! You are my roll model Cathy. xxxxooooo Mom

Babzy said...

I think Oprah should do a show on single moms who have no support, have to work full time and sometimes two jobs while leaving their child at a million different daycares, too beaten down and exhausted to actually enjoy being a mother and yet keeps putting one foot in front of the other every single day, takes on a cleaning job at the local legion so she can buy hockey equipment for her boy who is still too young to buy his own but wants to help mom do the cleaning anyway, drives a beat up old car running on empty, picking up kids and delivering kids home again because she has plenty of time due to the fact that she doesn't have a social life or a husband to spend time with. Yah she'll do it. And she does do it because that's how she knows where her kid is and who he's hanging out with. That's one type of mother. Anyone else?

BTW I'm happy to see you're back entertaining us. Thought you were gone for the whole summer. yay for us

LauraC said...

Cathy, great post and mirrors my thoughts from vacation... I found I didn't have much to talk about on vacation except my kids. It kind of made me sad because this past year the kids have been top priority. But with no family around, new to a town, and twin newborns, I don't think I could have done it any differently.

So this year I'm trying to find balance and figure out where Jon and I fit into this picture. I thought these musings were classic first-time mom musings but sounds like this continues?

PS. I'm emailing you a story about a mom I met like you!!!

Alyson said...

Hi Cathy. For me I put God first and that means looking at the bible to find out what He wants me to do in my marriage,my kids like, and my life.

I can't put one 'first' over the other...because all three are a priority. I run and meet my friends for lunch and blog...because that is part of what makes me....me. I owe it to myself to still be me.

I try to look hot for my husband and keep the home fires burning because I love my husband and owe it to him...

I try to love, nurture and raise my kids because I owe it to them...

I love my kids, but if I don't have a marriage than my children suffer....if I don't do something for myself than all suffer.

So put one first? no. just find time for all three.

The problem comes when you are consummed by one and ignore the others.

As for perfection? what is that? There is no such thing. We all do things differently and have different things to offer...so perfect is just the way God made you.

Perfectly Imperfect is the way I like to see myself.

Alyson
proud to be country...and imperfect

AmberP said...

I think that what Oprah doesn't realize is that one's 'ideal' life isn't going to be anothers. I look at you Cathy (and you can ask Andy!) and I say -- she must have it all!! lol

You may or may not. But the bottom line is that we aren't on the INSIDE of this womans life. It's almost like a version of Desperate Housewives...but Desperate Momma's lol!!

I definitely don't put myself first. I am like Laura - I really have nothing to talk about other than my children! I think this changes as we progress into new and different stanges of parenting and childhood. But I am not sure that I know in which order the priority lays.

hmmmmmm....

Yvonne said...

Since my first comment got lost in cyberspace I'll try another version ... errrrg!!!

I think it is Husband, Mom, Kids. I believe that the marriage is the primary relationship in a family. If it is shaky so it the rest! Mom 2nd ... because "If mamma ain't happy nobody is happy". Kids 3rd but not really ... if we take time for everything, everything has it's time and place of importance.

As far as Oprah ... can we believe anything on TV to be real ... even reality shows? I don't think so! Even if she is a real "supermom" she is likely the only one the producers could find because a normal everyday mom is too boring for TV.

Your a great Mom and Wife, Cathy! We all deal with different personalities, have different capabilities, and have different expectations! Do your best and so will I!

Kerry said...

That's one of my peeves with Oprah. Sure her demographic for her show is with people who stay at home during the day (so moms and dads, and probably the odd shift worker), but does that make her anywhere qualified to talk about motherhood?

All she's raised is a bunch of dogs (which have their own 'helpers' anyways) and happens to have a lush life where she doesn't really have to lift a finger if she doesn't want to. You can even notice it in her demeanor, if you compare a show from 10 years ago or so to now, she's all into the shi-shi frou frou things and into waving money in front of the camera. Whereas before, it was a bit more low key and less snooty.

From my perspective (married, but someone who doesn't have kids yet) I would never dream of trying to give advice to moms that I know. Oprah should stick to the things that she knows: how to make a good cocktail, keeping dogs, shopping, doing some good deeds and charitable work...oh, and maybe how to give away free cars to people in her audience.

Getting off the Oprah rant though, from my limited perspective, and more likely from things I've learned from my mom, I think that moms need to do a balancing act, but shuffling everything around once in a while to stay sane: there needs to be 'mom first' days, then some 'hubby first days' and a whole lot of 'kids first' days. I would have to guess that the majority of days would be kids first, hub second and mom third. (although I'd like to think that hub and mom could tie for second ;) )

whew! rant over!

Olena said...

I have been thinking about it since last night... For now my kids are my life - they come bewfore anyone else and then husband and I.

Having said that, for the last few months I have been trying to re-define/discover myself. Being just mom is not enough enymore once girls are more independent.

As for the Oprah, whose show I love watching, I wonder why she found only one mother like that? Is that because there is only one so unbelievable, almost fake?

Cathy said...

This has been such an interesting topic to me! I very much enjoying everybody and their thoughts! They truly make me feel like a normal Mom! Thanks you guys!

PamnPat'sParadise said...

I didn't know you were back - just kinda surprised me here but I'll jump into this one too and check out this ladies website as well because I too am searching to find myself.

Oprah is just a celebrity who has everything now - does she not remember growing up and how hard things were...couldn't imagine 10 kids and still getting time for date nights and that.

I'm a fulltime working mom of 2 kids and don't feel like my girls get enough time with me or enough of my attention. Time for me...there really isn't any unless I'm in the bathroom (still there comes knocking on the door) or in the bathtub after the kids have gone to sleep (and even at that, I'm lucky if I can stay awake sometimes).

If Oprah didn't have all of her assistants, could she do what she does today? She doesn't even go shopping...she admitted that someone else does that for her. So get her to live without her assistants for 1 week and see if she could handle it...it would be like most mom's today - real moms!