Are you a natural Mother? I sure as hell am not!
Being a Mother has been the only job I’ve ever had in my life that brought me to my knees begging for mercy on multiple occasions.
My husband recently brought it to my attention that other people he knows (sometimes himself included) feel inadequate when around me as a parent. This made me sad. Never since becoming a Mother have I EVER tried to force my opinions or ideas on another Mother because I know people parent from their own experiences. What may be important to me, may not be for you.
Here is a perfect example. When my husband and I were about to become first time parents, I had actually gotten my ideal job offer, BUT, it wasn’t meant to be because my husband was on a trajectory that would make him 3 times more money than I would ever make, but it would require him to leave for long stretches of time, and IF I took my job offer, it would have meant that my baby would be without either of his parents for most of the beginning of his life.
My own Mother’s words rang in my ears about how much she had wished she could have stayed home with me when I was small instead of leaving me in daycare or with various babysitters and I made the decision to stay home, because I wanted better for my son than I had. I wasn’t sad about it because I have faith in myself and know if I went back to work tomorrow I know I could get a full time job, without much headache.
I think this is what makes me come off to other Mothers as being a natural. The opinion that others have of me, doesn’t bother me. I will tell you it is entirely because of the fact that life has taught me, when others find fault in you, it is because they don’t have the bravery to look at themselves and figure out what is driving them to criticize others. I know I look crazy to others and I know others think I should care more about their opinions but I just walk through my life to my own beat, looking a touch crazy on a regular basis, and I’m proud of that!
I parent my children without apologies. I make every bad situation into a teachable moment for them and myself. I’ve turned every meltdown that my kids have thrown in public into a teachable moment for me, sometimes I learn my lesson and say, “No way am I gonna attempt that shit again” other times, I just am hurting to solve the issue and try and try and try again! I hear the criticism from others, I just don’t care! Also I have developed this amazing ability to tune out people, I mean if I can tune out the screaming banshee of a child of mine throwing a tantrum about having the wrong spoon colour, tuning our a mean mommy wannabe is easy peasy.
Back to my original point, I am not a natural Mother, nope not me, you must have me mistaken for someone else! My house is constantly a mess, I swear in multiple languages, multiple times a day! Everything about Motherhood has been difficult for me, I just stepped up, and did my best, researched the shit out of everything I could and then applied what I could to my own situation. Now I will make a list of the things that didn’t come easy to me.
Recovery from childbirth (two c-sections that had open holes for over two months, and terrible nurses making me cry in hospital both times)
Sleep (the fact that none of my kids slept for more than 3 hours at a time for more than a year a piece) I am not a morning person.
Judgy Grandma telling me to give formula because my kid was too skinny
judgy relatives thinking that both of my kids were on the Autism spectrum (even though I am trained to find markers of learning disabilities and they are trained to be gossipy Aunties, please give me your unsolicited and uneducated opinion)
Infertility issues when trying for my second
Miscarriage when trying for my second
Dealing with having my health deteriorate due to complications from childbirth
Weight gain for someone like me who used to be athletic!
Dealing with postpartum depression
Despising my husband for not helping because of his and our culture’s chauvinist ways.
My husband not standing up for me to people who constantly criticized me in his circle of people
My husband not stepping up to the plate once we became parents
Recognizing my children have allergies, and then having to step up to the plate and change everything that I had learned to about cooking and relearn to make everything from scratch. A whole lifestyle change.
Even now, I get so much judgement for REFUSING to hang around people that despise me, because it isn’t worth my emotional sanity to give toxic people even a moment of my time.
The point of all this is to show you, or someone you know that even when you suspect that someone is perfect, chances are they aren’t. I struggle EVERY Day! I am constantly learning how to deal with life so that it doesn’t tip me back into depression. I don’t want your pity because I deal with my emotions, I have balances and checks in place to ensure that I don’t fall back on hard times. I am emotionally intelligent enough to ask for help when I need it, but I am very cautious of whom I ask.
I hope you take a good hard look at yourself today and just be happy that you have made it this far!