Pie and Moms: Have Your Pie and Eat it Too, Damnit! :-) (Updated with Pie)

I would show you pieces of pie, but no pie has stayed around long enough in this house to snap a picture of it. I tell you what  I'll do for my readers: when I'm shopping today, I'll buy some. Just for you. I can make this sacrifice since you've come to expect photos of stuff. I'll add them in. Ain't that sweet of me?

Why pie? What makes me bring up pie? You want some, don't you?

I was looking at twitter and a tweet caught my eye:
A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, announces she never did care for pie   
You know me. I tweeted back:
  If 1 of those 5 is the husband; a smart mother cuts 1 in half. A sneaky mom says she needs to sample each piece to see if good. :-)

But this tweet left me with a string of thoughts.

First, what's with the martyrdom?

Second, why's it all precut into a number that doesn't work?

Third, does she not have a knife? Make it into 8 pieces. Then there are three left over. And Mom can have them, too. That's wisdom.

Fourth, seriously, if the only place I demonstrate my willingness to sacrifice for my children. Okay, let's just stop there and go back to number one: martyrdom. If I'm telling you about my sacrifices, then I'm playing the martyrdom card. Blah, blah. Cry me a river.

It's my job to give of myself and my time and put my children's well-being up there as my top priority. It's important to not go overboard, though. They don't need to think they're the center of the world, and they need to learn that living in a family and in the world is a two way street. We all give and we all get.

So let me tell you what would happen if there were for some god-forsaken reason only four pieces of pie in this house and five of us wanted some. We'd be doing some problem solving really quick. No one would be giving up their pie. That's just crazy talk and uncalled for.

We'd be doing some reslicing of that pie or leave it in the pie pan, grab five forks and gather around the table. Or I'd be nibbling on the parts I like best. Look at the learning opportunities that hypothetical mother up there in that tweet missed with her family. Instead she acted like a martyr and a ninny because she couldn't problem solve.

Hey, I'd have served them the pie, sure, but as soon as it was plated, my keys would have been in my hand and I'd have been out the door to buy another pie. And maybe when I got back home with it, I'd share. I'd cut it into five pieces, though. See what I'm saying?

Smart moms problem solve. They give of themselves when they need to because it's their job as a mom, but smart moms do not go without pie and LIE to their children. If I said that, my kids would snort the pie out their noses.


kathleen said...

YES! A mother is someone who cuts the pie so everyone can share...a martyr is someone who deliberately cuts the pie so there is none for them-and then they run to tweet and post on fb letting everyone know of their sacrifice..so that people can tell them how noble they are. I'd rather eat pie.

farmwifetwo said...

Read an article in the Reader's Digest long ago about the need to return the marriage to being the most important and the kids second. That's how it works in this house.

Also, "just b/c it's equal doesn't make it fair".

My eldest has a terrible time with that one. It's ok that he gets to go to camp etc and his bro doesn't. But it's not ok, that he doesn't get to do something the younger does. But, then again... the Child Psych warned me most days would be like that.... enough that Dh actually said last night "maybe we should give him those pills all the time". He was well behaved on them, lately he's been a PIT.... You get the jist.
No, he's not getting them full time... we're just getting tired of listening to it.

K- floortime lite mama said...

yes yes yes
the other problem with martyrdom is so much resentment that gets build up

Anonymous said...

I still struggle with the whole martyr question. I feel a physically painful burden of guilt if I don't always put my kids first, which was strongly drummed into me from a range of sources (including the people who told me my son must be delayed because I wasn't trying hard enough or doing enough with him). My own mother sacrificed a lot that she probably shouldn't have for us, and I had a number of conversations with her about her sacrifices as I grew up so that formed my views quite strongly too.

At an intellectual level, I know trying to be a martyr is unproductive, selfish, ultimately futile, but it can take a while to get your emotions to respond to what your brain knows.

I did really enjoy your problem-solving approach and alternatives to the pie question by the way, very clever and amusing :)