Portrait of a lady
I am not sure where to begin with this post. Todays item is a portrait of my mother that an old friend of hers painted many years ago. I have two paintings of my mother, and I love having them. But at the time when I received them (my mom was still alive) I thought, um mom, isn't it a little narcisistic to give your child a portrait of yourself? I'm not going to lie, my mom did have a bit of a narcissitic side (sorry mom). I even jokingly had the New Yorker cartoon (below) on my fridge for years, as it made me think of her. But now that she's gone I feel like a real jerk for doing that, because guess what? There is not one of us in the bunch that is a perfect angel, a perfect person, a perfect mother. Sometimes I jokingly say "I was raised by wolves". Yes, it was a different era, and parents were far more hands off, but I would say for a very large part of my childhood, my parents were pretty much "no hands" So what do I do with my own children? Overcompensate like crazy for what I did not have. Here is where this becomes tricky, I try and do all the things for my kids that I never had, volunteer at school, wake up with them in the morning, cook them dinner at night, go to all of their school and extracurricular activities, plan birthdays, etc. This sounds like basic stuff, but it was not really what I grew up with. And do you know what? Sometimes I get upset that they do not appreciate everything I do for them all the time, but here's the deal - I am a crazy person if I think they are going to take may hand, stare lovingly into my eyes and say "Dearest mamma-How can we ever thank you enough for all of the thoughtful and lovely things you do for us on a daily basis?" They are kids, that's not their job. I do the things I do for them because I love them, and it makes me happy to do it, but the reality is, I think we could all benefit from being a touch more narcissistic, taking care of ourselves more so that we can be better parents. I once had a therapist (yes, I go) ask me, in the event of the oxygen mask dropping on a plane do you put it on yourself or your child first? I immediately responded "the child" She kindly said, "No, you need to put the mask on yourself first so that you can help your child" So I leave you with that today, let's all do a better job at putting our oxygen masks on so that we can take better care of not only our children, but ourselves.