Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Hope

When I was a little girl I very distinctly remember that I loved playing with baby dolls. Up until maybe even 11 or 12 years old I have those memories of cradling and feeding and changing the little dolls that would creepily close their eyes when you laid them flat. What is even more amusing is knowing that the thought of actually being a mother or actually having children of my own someday never even occurred to me.  I never wanted to be a mother. I never had that picture in my mind of what my children might look like or be like. I never longed for the day I would be able to hold my child for the first time. Witness the first breath, first words, first step. I also never really knew why. The sacrifice just seemed so great and the desire so small.

It wasn't until recently when I was hovering over a pregnancy test desperately praying for it to be negative that I even began to think of the real possibility of having children. It was such a fearful feeling... that sense that a train is headed at you while your car is stuck on the tracks. Knowing that if I were to have a child... things really would be okay... but they would not be at all what I expected. Not at all what I had wanted or even hoped for.

And then... only one blue line appeared... and suddenly I felt this overwhelming sorrow... a sense of loss so great it brought me to tears. Indeed the train had hit, but the impact was much different than I expected. Motherhood was now something I very much wanted and the desire terrified and confused me. I didn't know what to do with it all. This strong sense that I was not ready to be a mom... that the timing was not right.... but the overwhelming wish that I could be.

Over time there was this deep searching that took place. Discovering the root of those intense fears I had about one day raising a little person. Everyone I spoke with would tell me, "Oh don't worry you won't be like your mom"  and I got it... I understood why they would say that.

But it didn't help... the fears only grew and began filling every space left unattended in my thoughts. It wasn't until I spent the day with my mom that it dawned on me just what it was.  We were talking about something as mundane as personality tests. I mentioned myers briggs and how much I loved that one... how it had helped me figure myself out. When instantly I was met with such strong resistance. Proclamations about how worthless that one was compared to my mom's favorite numerology system. And it only continued from there... bikram yoga is better than ashtanga... running isn't good for me... etc.

Every single thing I did had a flaw... something that needed to be corrected or trumped and when I made it home that evening I felt completely deflated... emotionally exhausted from the battle it was to just simply exist with my mother. It dawned on me that day that my fears about becoming a mother had nothing to do with being afraid of being like my mother... I was afraid of becoming the person that she always made me feel that I was.

A failure.... stupid... worthless... not good enough... a burden...

These are the words that have spun in my mind for so long and despite the nice birthday cards and the backhanded compliments I never really got over it. I never really believed that what my mother said... how she made me feel was completely invalid. That maybe her words and her actions were more about her and where she is in life than about me and my value. Maybe... just maybe... my fears about being a mother were rooted in completely unfounded proclamations... and not in the ability I have to love and raise another human being. That maybe the deep, deep desire I had for my mother to tell me, "YES, you can do this!" wasn't going to come but that it would still be okay.

And maybe... just maybe... someday I can have the ability... the chance to raise a little person. To love them and protect them in the ways that I wasn't... and in the ways that I was. To give this longing in my heart a voice. To believe in my worth and teach my children their worth too. And at the very least... to know that I am not living out of fear but out of hope instead.

The road so far has been incredibly bumpy and the sacrifices are much greater than I expected. Even at this stage of the journey there has been so much emotional, physical, and mental tenacity required. I have had to be more brave now than I think I ever have and I feel this shift inside of my being. This raw fierceness of protection and love and fear.... and yes, most definitely hope. Knowing that from here on out my life will never be the same... but that it will most definitely be richer and fuller because of it. And despite being terrified still every day that I might not be able to protect enough or love enough, I at least know that I am brave enough to take that first step. And soon... it will all be worth it.


I love you my little munchkin. I'm so excited to be your mama :)

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5 comments :

  1. Congratulations! Relationships between mothers and daughters are so complicated, but please know as someone who had a similar, negative dynamic with my mother, things can and in my case, did change. I was a kid that did nothing right, ever, according to my mother but now that I am a mom, my mother compliments me and tells me I am amazing with her grandson. Who knew that my mother was capable of being positive? Grandchildren seem to bring out the best in people and I hope you experience the same joy.

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    1. You know I am very hopeful that the same will happen for me. It is encouraging to hear that it is possible for others :) Thanks for stopping by and leaving a note. :)

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  2. <333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333

    You are and will be such a good mom.

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  3. Congrats!!!!!!! You will be a great mom!

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  4. This made me teary - I have had struggles with my parents as well and the fear that I will treat my children in the same way is paralyzing sometimes. You are going to be an amazing Mama. I'm so excited for you and Chris!

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