I Never Wanted This…
I know there are many women who desire to have children and want to be a mom so bad. Oh, how I wish that was true for me. That was just not the case for me.
In my post, Journey to Healing, I gave you a glimpse into my story. One of the things people don’t get when hearing my story is why I struggled with being a mom, so I want to share that with you today.
At the age of 8 ½ my brother was born. I remember spending the night in the hospital with my mom. The nurses put 2 chairs together so I could get some sleep. I was eating Rolaids for heartburn. No tums back then in the early 80’s. I slept for a total for 4 hours during my mom’s labor.
I remember her going through so much pain and not being willing to use any drugs. I thought she was crazy or maybe she’s strong or just dumb, I didn’t know. During the birth there were about 13 people in the delivery room, and I was sitting on my cousins’ lap saying, “I am never having kids.”
It was in that moment I realized I was not willing to go through the journey and pain of pregnancy to bring a life into this world. Over time that turned in to me not wanting to be responsible for another life. Then it became me feeling like I was not good enough in my life at anything so how could I possibly be good enough to be a mom.
I watched my mom, my nana, and my gramma and all they endured raising a family, caring for everyone else. I saw their sacrifices, their struggles, their hurts, and their pains even if they thought they could hide it from me. I also saw their strength, there tenacity, their unshakable foundation in their beliefs and how they ran their households. I saw how, no matter how much they did for their families, it seemed to never be enough for the men in their lives.
I knew at the age of 14 being a mom was not going to happen to me. I wanted a career. I didn’t want to be responsible for anyone else and their life. I knew that I could barely handle keeping my life together at 14 let alone have kids and create a halfway decent life for them.
Fast forward to 19 yrs. old and I am having my first son. Postpartum depression is intense. No one explained that to me but that is a story for another day. I have this little precious life that I am now responsible for and all my fears flooded in like a dam broke and the water took me out.
It was every feeling of less than, of not enough, of worthlessness I ever had raged at me reminding me that I couldn’t do this.
Loving my child didn’t mean I embrace motherhood.
So, going through the motions began. What are all the things I need to do to believe and make it seem like I’m a good mom, so my son has a chance? Wow, that was awful. At the same time, I was still dealing with my inner demons for so many reasons and life became this thing I did. It felt like I was on cruise control so often.
Now, 6 years later I’m married with 5 kids (his, mine, and ours) feeling worse than ever. Not knowing what just happened. It’s like I blinked and 6 years went by and I didn’t get a say in any of it. No, I just was very passive and trying to run from the one thing I was the most afraid of. Failure. I was afraid of being a bad mom. I was afraid of becoming the worst parts of my parents. I was afraid of the lies of me being worthless and having nothing of value to add to the world, coming true.
Now this didn’t mean I embraced motherhood. I did start to change how I approached motherhood. Let’s face it, when you don’t embrace all of something you can never really have the impact you desire. That meant I didn’t have the impact I wanted to have on my kids because I never fully embraced being a mother while raising our kids.
I did a ton of inner work. I worked on myself so much I thought that everything in my life would change for the better and it would make me a better mother. Guess what? It didn’t work. If anything, I created a horrible family dynamic in our household that I spent the next 10+ years trying to correct. All because I was afraid of going all in and failing. Going all in and embracing motherhood completely would have been better than approaching it with fear.
Over the years I did do things in ways that helped me get closer to embracing motherhood and being better for my kids. It was a lot of trial and error. I read a lot of books. I sought wisdom from other moms. Unfortunately, I still had lots of family having their own thought and conversations around my failures as a mom. I had people who never had kids telling me how they would do it better if they raised my kids. I had my owns kids telling me how to do it better.
The biggest problem with all of this was I didn’t have an inner foundation to stand on. I waivered constantly depending on what the next person told me to do. I was so disconnected from my faith and lost from God that I didn’t even know my own morals and values outside of the basics.
Treat others the way you want to be treated
Any behavior is ok if the person can validate their behavior in their mind
Pain is a part of life
No pain no gain
And there were many.
Although I spent the better part of 20 years working towards healing from my past and believing that everyone else around me knew the best way to be a mom so I must listen to them. I finally started realizing that none of what I was doing was actually focused on helping me embrace motherhood. It was solely focused on me trying to do tall the things everyone else wanted to make them all happy and at the end of the day I was making everyone miserable including myself.
Don’t get me wrong, there were a lot of great moments in my life and with my family. There were also a lot of awful moments in our family as well. The thing I hope you walk away with after reading this is that “You Get To Choose.”
I should have been learning what it meant to embrace being a mom not how to do the things people think are right based on their beliefs. The meant I was trying to be many people and follow too many ways of living and it drove me crazy.
I want to encourage you to embrace being a mom. Be present. Learn who your kids are as individuals. Learn their gifts. Help them grow their gifts. Empower them with a solid foundation of strength and faith so they know what they stand for so matter what they come up against.
Most importantly do the same for yourself. Embrace the greatness God created you with and let go of the noise and the lies of the world that tells you otherwise. You are wonderfully and beautifully made.
Embrace all you are.