I can only say for sure what I experience as a Mother.
With that said, I attempt to share my experiences as honestly as I can, so that maybe someone, perhaps even just one person, might find a comfort in knowing that they aren’t alone.
My biggest fear when it came to raising kids was simple-- I was their mother.
Scariest. Thing. Ever.
Most mothers give birth and immediately start a savings account for their children’s post-secondary education.
I started saving for their future therapy bills...
The amazing thing is that my children were the determining catalyst for whatever growth I have achieved up until this point. Prior to becoming a mom, I walked around pretty numb to what I carried around inside my heart. I was very well protected. My son accomplished the impossible the day he was born. He cracked my heart wide open. The intensity of emotion that poured through every cell in my body was nothing I had ever felt before-- It was the most overwhelming emotional and soulful experience of my life and it woke me up from the anesthetized daze I had been in. I was so wide open but I was now without armor and feeling absolutely everything. There is a challenge that comes with having your heart pried open after many years of maintaining that it needs to stay under complete lockdown--As all the greatness floods you, as does all the crap that’s been stagnating in there.
The day I became a mother was the same day I started fighting the stranger that I was suddenly living with…myself.
For a long time I felt like a subpar human who had too many skeletons to be the kind of role model that my children needed. As much as the time has flown by, it’s been a long and windy road. I have gotten myself very lost at times as I’ve tried to make sense of it all. I don’t doubt that my kids will one day have some mommy-baggage that they’ll need to unpack.
My daughter scared me more than my son. When my daughter was born, I worried about what she would learn by watching me navigate life. I wondered how she would interpret and understand life as a woman through her vulnerable and trusting observations of who I was as a woman in the world.
There were so many times that I wished she was watching someone else; someone better equipped to be under the microscope.
I worry about my impact on her perceptions All. The. Time.
She presented me with a gift the other day. A calming and beautiful gift.
Friday afternoon she handed me a picture that she drew. Above the image was something she wrote. Her schooling is 100% french and she’s only learned how to read and write in the french language up until this point. She has recently starting showing interest in english reading and writing and now tends to add little english sentences to all her drawings. For the life of me, I can never fully comprehend what I’m reading so I usually have her read to me what she wrote.
Here was her picture to me.
I listened to her little voice read to me: “Women are special. They’re healthy. They’re smart. They know where to go”
When I asked her about the picture she explained that my heart always holds me up and she knows her heart holds her up too.
Somehow, amidst all the forehead-slaps, worries and fears…this is what she’s picked up on so far.
As a mother who perpetually worries that she is screwing her kids up, I am so grateful to have been able to receive this little gift of confirmation that we may in fact be moving along in the right-ish direction.
Heck, I might even start putting some of that therapy money into an RESP after all.