Putting other people first is not always a workable solution.
For most people, the idea of motherhood is pretty much synonymous with the selfless care of others. I never thought of myself as particularly selfless or maternal before we had our first child. In fact, I would have described myself as mostly self-centered and self-serving...(hopefully in the somewhat positive way that men are allowed to be, but is considered unappealing behavior in people who can gestate and lactate.)
Nonetheless, I have undeniably found certain aspects of caregiving to be very gratifying.
And yet I find some aspects ungratifying. Particularly, now that we are thirteen years in on the parenting project and I find myself still doing many things for kids who really should be doing more for themselves. This is of course all my fault, as I am their parent and should not allow the situation to persist.
Things have improved a bit recently because they had to. Asking your mother, who is just finishing a five day fast, to carry your backpack up the subway steps because you are kind of tired... Well, you might not do it so often after the error of your ways has been pointed out to you. However, you would probably still expect her to make you dinner, clean up after you, and do your laundry....
But on the other side, if you are a mother who does too much for other people and does not leave enough time to take care of yourself, you could end up run down and develop problems with your health...and then you would not be able to take care of those other people as effectively.
And you would be further inconveniencing those other people you are supposed to be caring for by making them worry about you and your crappy health problems.
I'm working on it.
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