motherhood isn’t exactly what you imagined it to be.
sometimes i see you watching the way other mothers speak and behave with their children and secretly question why you can’t be more like them. more put together, more ‘smiley’, more fun…. i see those deep, sharp powerful impulses that quickly surge from your heart into your arms in a desperate attempt to control your sons behaviour. i see you struggle with his struggle.
life doesn’t prepare you for a serious and complicated labour, heart failure, facing your mortality days after giving birth, becoming a mother, feeling lonely, raising a ‘spirited’ child, losing your temper, feeling resentful (jealous) towards your partner and burying yourself in a place where you feel you are failing as a mother.
but maybe that’s the point…
life is messy and unpredictable and how we deal with this mess is what matters most.
i’ve been with you the whole way. i see how heavily this weighs on your soul. you want(ed) to be the perfect mother raising the perfect child.
recently a friend said
‘perfection is what rots a women’s soul‘
(i am sure this is true of men as well). i am not sure you heard this the way i did so i thought i’d say it again.
perfection is a myth.
life, kids, motherhood, spouses, friends, jobs, our health etc…will never be perfect. they are always in a state of change and will be for as long as we are alive. that is what living is….states of expansions and contractions. perfection implies a fixed way of being with little to no wiggle room for making mistakes and
in the end this will suffocate you.
i know how hard you work, the books you read, the courses you take, the therapists you see, the writing you do, how honest you are with your son and how often you try to communicate to him about your imperfections as a parent. when you lose your temper or yell at him you immediately make sure to talk to him about it. you’re teaching him that there is no such thing as ‘perfect’ and that grown ups make mistakes too.
i know you blame yourself for his ‘oppositional’ behaviour and his attention deficit disorder because you believe it is a symptom of not being attuned to him when he was a baby. you thought you were going to die of heart failure. remember? of course you weren’t attuned to his needs in the way he may have needed. he was also your first child and noone really knows what they are doing with their first born. wanting to be the perfect mother put you on a very frayed and narrow tight rope so no wonder you are so easily stressed and hyper focused on what is going wrong.
remember when you read that story about how most parents want their kids to be happy but helping them find their purpose was more important? maybe the purpose in parenting is not to be perfect. maybe the purpose in parenting is to show your kids that life is messy and to show up anyway. to show them we (and they) can do hard things and we will go a lot further if we can be honest and do them together.
you’re a great (and not perfect) parent. you encourage your children to make mistakes so they can learn from them. i think motherhood has simply highlighted the areas within you that still need healing. be gentle and patient with yourself and you will teach your children some great life skills.
i see you