Sideline Wonder Woman

Baby bump and all, it’s no wonder Wonder Woman led the movie box office to over $816M. If you have not yet watched this new Wonder Woman action-packed film, go watch it. I promise you will come out of the movie theater ready to take on the world. 

In my opinion Gal Gadot, the first non-American actress to play Wonder Woman, does a great job tackling many negative stereotypes of women. Diana, Gadot’s character, fights for equality, demonstrates that love and compassion can exist forever, and that confidence is natural when one is determined.

Wonder Woman is the role model to which every woman, especially every mom, can relate.

While watching the movie I realized that although I adored Wonder Woman, I also appreciated the other characters who revealed a wondrous character, especially Diana’s mom. If you haven’t seen the film I will not spoil it, but will say this: Diana’s mom knew when to step aside, despite her own desires. THIS IS COURAGE. It takes a special type of person to watch someone fulfill their purpose and — just watch. As moms we are always on alert, ready to fight our children’s battles, ready to take on the world. As is our right.

However, I find myself in many situations where I realize that it’s time to be wonder woman on the sidelines.  

But how exactly can a wonder woman be on the sidelines, you ask?

It seems impossible, I’m sure. But, there are many moms out there doing just this. I want you to know that YOU are marvelous. It’s always the lead actress, the lead musician, the lead government official in the spotlight. And while I commend them, all of these leaders had one thing in common. People on their sideline. Guiding and motivating, these people allowed these momentous events to occur. 

Maybe it’s because even as a child I always looked at the backup dancers instead of the lead performer when watching a music video. Or maybe because I have never been the best at anything — but I have always admired the background people. They always seem to be the most interesting. Not because I thought the lead person to be too vain. It’s just amazing to take note of the details which complete a situation. 

As a mom, I am learning how to be that sideline woman in my son’s life. It’s a bold statement and I feel it true.

I’ve been a mom who works part-time outside the home, I’ve been a stay at home mom and now I am a full-time working mom. I know how it feels to be in all of these situations, with their pros and cons. And I commend any and every mom who is doing what they need to do to hold down their own fort. I’ve known I’ve always wanted to work full-time, but I also knew it was nothing I ever wanted while I had a toddler. Currently, it’s what is necessary for my family’s situation.

But here is a special shout out to sideline moms who are not able to see their kid as often as they want because they have to work outside the home. When I moved to the Knoxville community, I had no time to transition to this new role. In order to accept the opportunity afforded to me, I had to start immediately, and with this change came a void that still can’t seem to be filled. 

You see, having a toddler who is ready to take on the world, the snuggles aren’t mine, and toddler independence is a real thing. And while it’s fun to watch toddlers explore themselves, it’s semi heartbreaking.

When I am not working I want time with my son, but it seems he already has his own wants that don’t involve me: park visits with friends, sleepovers with extended family, and the list goes on. Even knowing this, my social life lacks because mom guilt is never-ending and I constantly think to myself, “Was it my actions that stirred such an independent little man?”

Work or running errands have been the two only ways for me to meet potential mom friends. I am never shy to ask an adult to be my friend and as a result I get plenty of crazy looks, and so I am forced to admit I seek “online mom-friending” as a way of comfort. In conversations I get to the point of saying we need to meet up and yet every time the opportunity comes available I never feel I have the time. How could I let the small time I have with my son slip away?

But, reality is my son is at a new stage, an independent stage that will require me to be a sideline mom. 

Over and over again I find, and will find, myself on the sideline, and it’s ok. It wasn’t until I started my long longing hobby a few months ago that I realized it’s ok. It will be ok to be on the sideline, as long as I embrace the time I do have. As long as I live a full life and give my all, and as long as my son knows how much I love him. 

I can only hope that one day my son understands the example I’ve sought out to be. That he knows and appreciates true authenticity of living life. That he knows I remained on the sideline to help him fulfill the type of life I want for him to have, more than the typical American dream.

So to all those moms who feel like they too are on the sidelines, know that you are still wonder woman. Please feel free to reach out to me with your comments and thoughts — I would love to hear from you!

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