A few months ago I came across a story in my Facebook feed was written to give mothers like me ALL THE FEELINGS. Told from the point of view of an older mother, she watches the young mother care for her children at Chick-fil-A. As the mother gets her food ready and the children eat theirs, she is suddenly faced with the dilemma of her children begging to play in playland while the young mother has not eaten 2 bites of her own food. The young mother sacrificially packs her own lunch away and follows her children into the playland. The older mother comments about how someday she will have time to eat and for now, she’s making the right decisions.
This seems off to me
As I read the story, I found my stomach in knots and felt myself getting angry. It’s just guilt-inducing story. The story tries to tell you that the expectation of GOOD mothers is to give up food for their children’s pleasure. I was troubled by it enough to keep thinking about every few weeks but I didn’t have the words to express my frustration until I read “Codependent No More”.
Chapter by chapter review of “Codependent No More”
Women and especially women raised in a certain part of evangelical Christian culture are raised to be self-sacrificing codependents. We are great at giving, giving, giving and not letting emotions and feelings get in the way of doing the right thing. But here’s the thing, I actually make my kids wait for me to finish my meal before we run off to the next activity. Waiting for me to finish my food can be a GOOD THING for my children. It’s called self-care. It’s good for me. It’s good for my children to realize they need to wait for others and then I’m a human being who needs food. How they learn to treat me is how they will treat others and themselves. It’s good for me to model this idea to my children. I would never want them not to eat for someone else to have pleasure. I never want my children to believe they have a right to ask someone else not to eat for their own pleasure.
Christy and I will be writing our thoughts about each of the chapters in this book and I hope you enjoy it as much as we have. If you want to read along here is a link to Amazon. (Not an affiliate, just trying to be helpful!)