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I'm Afraid of Being Too Devoted to My Kids

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Photograph by Twenty20

I think most moms feel a certain devotion to their kids. Then there are the moms who are borderline obsessed with their children. I get it, I'm one of them.

I stare at them when they’re sleeping and talk about all their accomplishments to anyone who will listen. Just take one look at my Instagram page and you'll see them all over my feed. My kids are on my mind for most of the day. I've even arranged my life so that I can be there for their class parties, school concerts and soccer games. I volunteer for the PTA and pick them up right when the bell rings. It's true, I love spending time with them.

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Let’s be honest, for a while there I didn’t have much of a life outside of my children. My world revolved around them. It pained me to even allow another person to care for them—even their father! But when I saw how quickly they were growing up, I realized I might be making a mistake.

Being a mom may be one of my most important roles, but it's not all that I am.

My children won’t be under my wing forever. It seems like I'll blink and they'll be grown. Isn’t that what those ladies from the older generations tell us? Don’t they tell us to enjoy it while it lasts?

I want my kids to be full-fledged adults with their own lives and interests. I want them to go to college, discover their passions, meet someone to share their lives with, have children of their own. That means that they'll be out of my house and I'll have a lot more free time on my hands. If I spend all these years only thinking of them then I'll be an empty-nester with nothing to do.

I'll be lost. No job. No hobbies. Nothing but waiting by the phone for one of my kids to call me.

Perhaps that’s a little dramatic, but the fact remains that it’s important to remember that I'm a person too. Being a mom may be one of my most important roles, but it's not all that I am. If I'm too devoted to my kids I may lose those other parts of myself. I'm a wife. I'm a writer. I'm a reader. I'm a traveler. And I definitely don’t want to forget who I am.

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I want my children to see me as a whole person, not just as Mom. If I show that that they are absolutely everything to me they may grow into self-centered little jerks, and the world doesn’t need any more of those. Yes, they often come first, but sometimes I need to come first. I'll always be there for them when they need me, but I'll teach them to need me less as they grow.

And when the day comes when my children are grown, I refuse to be paralyzed with fear. I have to find a balance between them and me. It’s definitely a fine line, but one that's so important for all of us mothers to walk.

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