There are so many types of mothers with so many different dynamics of motherhood (the same is true for fathers, but I can write about them on Father’s Day…)
Each differs with so many circumstances and such individual journeys. I could list them all for the sake of being inclusive, but I tend to write about my own personal experience as it pertains to the current events I face.
My wish is to be heard in a way that others may find some comfort, acceptance or anything that might bring some insight, understanding or peace of mind.
This Mother’s Day I didn’t expect to be pampered, catered to, or cared for. In fact, for the first time in my life this day was filled with my very own constant comparison of me in contrast to all the amazing mothers being acknowledged. Although I felt genuine joy for them, I caught myself thinking: “Well, I didn’t do that, I didn’t say that, I wasn’t that, I didn’t give that, I didn’t take that, I didn’t teach that, I wasn’t there for that, etc. . .”
I had great difficulty recognizing that I am ‘overall’ a great mom… or am I?
Clearly, I got myself stuck in seeing only the mistakes I’ve made. This only happens when my relationship to any of my children is strained. Right now, my precious daughter is seriously hurt and angry with me. And she has every right to be. I can list the Could’ve, should’ve, would’ve stories to create a clear picture, but I won’t this time.
Truth is I’ve been in her place. (She hasn’t been towards me the way I was towards my mother in many ways…I’m referring to her level of hurt and disappointment)
I was stuck in constant complaints about how I was not getting my mother to love me in ways I needed her to. I judged her harshly, stayed away from her many years, blamed her, shamed her, and rejected her. She said and did things I was in complete disagreement with. I fought her and yelled at her. We had our share of conflict and I kept her ‘guilty’ of all of my difficulties. At least until I learned to see myself and own my own struggles.
I have been on this self-discovery journey since my divorce 10+ years ago and up until just a few years ago did I begin to open myself up enough to see my mother’s innocence. Looking back, I can remember my mother loving me in her very own unique ways. Love is powerful and forgiveness is freeing, but compassionate acceptance brings a level of peace that can heal the deepest of hurts.
I’m now at a point in my life where I’m learning (the very hard way) to allow my daughter to find her own way of becoming the adult she wants to be. I pray that the right guidance finds her to help her along the way. May she one day be open enough to see how much I’ve loved her and how much I’ve cared. Especially in those moments when I gave her what I thought she needed.
May the rest of the moms who have made mistakes, learned some lessons, continue to make more mistakes to continue learning and growing, find comfort in remembering that we were loving enough to give birth to these children who have loved us through our abilities, disabilities, struggles, hurts, gifts, habits, and talents. May our journey lead us towards more compassionate self-acceptance.
Hello, My name is Carmen and I’m a recovering “beat myself up-olic”.
“You are a wonderful mother. You love your kids. You care. You have done countless wonderful things. Don’t allow short-term relationship issues to cloud your entire time as a mother!” Dan S.