Sunday, May 8, 2011

Ponderings on becoming a mother...

So it's Mother's Day today.  And while the rest of the country is buying or sending flowers, signing silly cards and booking reservations for brunch or dinner for their moms...I am sitting at my computer thinking about becoming a mother.

Some of you may know my mom, some may not.  I love my mother, but as I have recently discovered by finally being honest with myself...our relationship is far from healthy.  I cannot lay all the blame at her doorstep, it takes two people to make and maintain a good relationship. 

But this Mother's Day, I find myself pondering what kind of mother I'll be.  What my child will think of me when he or she is an adult.  Wondering what I can do to make sure history doesn't repeat itself.  I would be devastated if my child thought, said, or wrote the words, "I love my mother, but...".

But as I've discovered, my mom doesn't really understand me at all.  34 years of trying to show her who I am, twisting and turning myself into knots to try and fit the role I was given, getting angry and frustrated and not being able to show it, being terrified of what she'd say or think or do if I ever had the guts to say, "hey, this is not ok" or, "Mom, I love you...but you are not perfect." 

Well, I finally did this a few weeks ago...and well, now here we are.  In trying to be honest about my feelings, I have basically been shunted to the corner.  We're not speaking, and that's not likely to change unless I want to resume twisting myself into someone I'm just not.  Which is sad and unfortunate.  But, I can't continue being the one who always has to bend, to fold, to smile and pretend just to keep the facade that everything's perfect. 

And after a long hard look at the last 34 years, at letters my mom has written me throughout my life, my own journals from growing up, and facing becoming a mother...I've come up with the following.

As a mother, I want to be there to wipe away my child's tears,
not brush aside my child's feelings.

As a mother, I want to listen to my child's ideas,
not sigh and say I don't have time.

As a mother, I want to laugh with my child,
not laugh at my child's pain.

As a mother, I want my child to feel my love through my actions,
not make my child make do with just words.

As a mother, I want to show my child the world,
not tell them who they should be.

As a mother, I want my child to know that I am not perfect,
not expect my child to pretend that I am.

As a mother, I want to offer whatever help my child needs,
not make my child feel guilty for needing help.

So with that, Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there.

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