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June Cleaver
May 8, 2009
1:18 am
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butterflykisses
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Hello everyone - May 8 is Friday!!!!

I am continuing to work on myself. I don't want to quit. I am afraid that when my husband comes home, I will settle in my old ways and don't want to do that.

I realize that when I moved, I was counting on him to provide me with all my happiness. I am glad that I realized that. I am not near as angry and feel some of that real love for him again that the anger wouldn't let me have for a while.

While I am focusing on myself, I sometimes feel very guilty. My son is 14 and will be a freshman next year. I think I feel guilty for not being all that my mom was. She cooked from scratch every day for us, had home-made goodies, did crafts with us, etc. etc. etc. She, of course, didn't work outside the home either.

I was a single mom until I married almost 3 years ago, and looking back, I often felt guilty for not being able to be all, do all, etc. for my son and still try to be me.

Do other moms/ dads here suffer with guilt on and off for spending time with themselves? I don't want to ever be neglectful towards my family. And no one in my family makes me feel that way, I do it to myself, but just wanting some advice, encouragement, etc. to keep working on me.

Do other people suffer from the "june cleaver" syndrome? (that's what I call it anyway). How can you feel comfortable doing things for yourself and not feel like time with others is just quickly passing by and you miss out on so much? Does any of this make sense? I guess part of me feels that time to be with yourself will happen at retirement age (I have about 30 to go!), and I don't want to seem selfish towards others because I enjoy doing things for myself. Such as going to the Y after work (then I don't get home until after 6pm). Any thoughts? others feel the same?

May 8, 2009
2:43 am
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fantas
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Butterflykisses,

I grew up in another country and was very surprised when I heard parents say they feel guilty because they don't think they are doing enough. I honestly can't begin to understand that. I think that you carried this child, nurtured everyday as a baby, till now. At this age, they really do not care for lots of time with the parents at all. I mean, you couldn't be paid enough to make up for what you have already selflessly given. I think you should congratulate yourself and feel proud for what you have accomplished. You have raised a beautiful human being.

Also think about what you are teaching him about what to expect from the woman/women, he will date or marry. He will expect them to be selfless like you and may feel unloved if they don't act like you do. If you do not teach him the importance of intentionally taking care of oneself, and of allowing other people space to recharge, he will not have this sensitivity at all.

Let him see you as a normal human being with needs just like he does. Even now, many of us have a very difficult time seeing our parents as human beings. They are some mysterious beings.

I'm not saying that there is no room for growth because there always work to be done, but you shouldn't feel guilty for not being some illusive mommy perfection. I'm yet to see a perfect on. Personally, I love the honest mothers. You always know where they are coming from. No guess work.

All the best!!!

May 8, 2009
8:19 am
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It No Longer Matters
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To put this in perspective: Jackie Kennedy Onassis is always held up as the example of "motherhood" any time a president goes into office with children at home. Her famous quote is something along the lines that if you fail in raising your children you have failed in life.

NOW: Do you picture her being there johhny on the spot when John and Caroline got home from school every day. No. They were away at boarding school and she was somewhere on a yacht in the Mediterranian.

Do you think she didn't go out to gala events and fundraisers because John or Caroline had a tummy ache. NO. So if she is held up as the paragon of motherhood, anything we do has got to be OK.

Bitsy

May 8, 2009
11:10 am
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readyforachange
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Oh, my....your thread title jumped out at me!!! My friends used to call my mom "June Cleaver" all the time. She never worked, and was SuperMom. Always dressed to the nines, house perfect, was the Scout Leader, and on and on and on.

Now that I look back on it, though, I realize that I am MUCH close to my children in so very many ways.

I have always worked full time, since my kids were born. Because I'm not with them as much as I'd like, I have made a point to make the time we have count.

While my mother never attended any of my sporting events...mostly because we walked to the game or the coach took us...I go to each and every one of my kids' games. While my mom stayed in bed in the morning after we were old enough to get ourselves up and dressed, I am up every morning to talk to my kids and send them off to school. While my mother didn't think it was proper to talk to us about many things and just turned a blind eye to what we might be doing as teenagers, I talk openly and honestly with my kids about drugs, sex, and alcohol.

I love my mother...and I know she did the best she could. But life is different now, and moms today are different, too. We do what we need to do to support our families.

Don't feel regret...look for the positive things you have with your kids. I know they are there. And, taking care of yourself is very important toward being a happy, healthy mom. You are teaching your kids something by taking care of yourself. Remember that.

May 8, 2009
11:48 am
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butterflykisses
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Ready for change - I think we grew up in the same house!!!!

thank-you for all the posts. I think it is easy to beat ourselves up for not being all that we think we should. Even on TV, in magazines, etc. a mom, a wife, everywhere you look there are...what we shoulds screaming at us, or me anyway.

My son is going to work on a ranch close to home this summer, and although I feel guilty about it, I think I am going to enjoy spending time with myself this summer. We will still go on vacation and such, but I am looking forward to going and doing things for myself with knowing that he's not at home, starving without supper. Even though, he never is starving, but...

Anyway, thank-you.

May 8, 2009
12:17 pm
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Hepburn
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Hi butterflykisses,

IMHO? You gotta be true to yourself. I tried the June Cleaver route too. It didn't work because I wasn't being ME.

Kids know when a parent isn't happy. Which only puts more pressure on the child. I tried to force myself to do things a certain way because that's what I thought I was supposed to do. I became resentful, not only with my kids but with my husband.

I think kids remember the special times more then how many dinners I made them.

Go easy on yourself. No matter what the family situation is, when the parents are happy, the kids will be too. And what better lesson to teach your kids but how to take care of yourself.

Moms are people too!!

Happy Mothers Day!

Hep

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