I feel slightly guilty calling myself a ‘single mother’ because my ex-husband is so supportive and present in our kids’ lives. I have many married friends whose husbands are far less available to them and their children than Adrian is to our family. He is an artist, which means he earns very little money, but can pick the kids up from school when they’re sick. You win some; you lose some.
Before anyone is tempted to engage their outrage and accuse me of sexism or maternal martyrdom, let me assure you I’m not suggesting that no-one else in the world can be as busy as a mother. But it’s undeniable that becoming one definitely added to my unbelievable busyness. Before motherhood, I generally enjoyed my level of busyness; since my kids, however, it’s become a very distressing and depressing burden.
I suspect that much of the intense busyness I’ve experienced since my twins were born has come from selfishness on my part, because I haven’t been prepared to give up much of my pre-motherhood life. However, I also believe that I need to maintain my own identity and life outside of the home, for their sake as much as for mine.
What’s the point of generation after generation of women sacrificing their careers and passions for their children, if their daughters only grow up and do the same? I’ve never understood that. I genuinely believe it’s important for me to show my children, particularly my daughter, that a woman can set lofty goals and achieve them without missing out on building a loving family.