Sunday is Mother's Day. I'm looking forward to the day spent with my husband and little guy. Just the three of us, enjoying our time together as a family. Living in the small moments that add up to a happy life. Not without its stress, of course, but a happy life nonetheless.
I keep asking the universe when I'm going to have an easy year. 2013, 2014, and now 2015 have all been marked by some major event that borders on, if not dipping fully into, traumatic. And now, the afternoon before Mother's Day, I find myself inundated not by thoughts about my own role as a mother, but about the role my own mother played in my life. The woman I haven't spoken to in almost a year and a half.
I could dedicate an entire book to the reasons why, so I won't do that here, but when I do think about my own definitions of motherhood, my own expectations of myself, how other people perceive me as a mom, my thoughts inevitability turn to the fear that has scarred my heart for the better part of my life.
After a terrible, terrible event, long hours of soul searching, and hours in therapy, I finally accepted that I did not have a good mom. And when I finally accepted it, took that knowledge inside of myself and swallowed that bitterness down, I was so ashamed and afraid. Ashamed for the years I had defended her and tip toed around the truth. Because it hurt too much to admit and face it. Afraid of the woman and mother I would become. How much can a girl without a father and now without a mother amount to when she starts her own family?
Every day I am wracked with self doubt. Am I paying enough attention? Am I responding in the right way? Am I letting myself become too frustrated? Too angry? Should I be doing more? Saying more? Giving more? Should I not do that? Should I not say that? Am I raising my voice too much? Ohgod, ohgod, ohgod. Am I screwing it all up? Will he hate me? Will he grow up resenting me? Will he become an adult and have only memories of Mom being overbearing or irritating? Will he, one day, sit in front of a doctor and talk about all of the ways his mom messed him up, as I have done?
It is my greatest fear to become the mother my mother was. And I don't know if I'm doing it right. I don't know if I'm a good mom. I hope that I am. There is no self assurance in knowing that once upon a time a woman did right by her daughter, and that now I will do the same. I fear that those old habits have leaked into me like quiet poison, and even now, some small moment from earlier in the day is a tell tale sign of my failure.
And I mourn. The loss of that little girl who thought everything was so normal. The loss of the person who was supposed to be the touchstone of my life. The loss of the naive young woman who denied the truth. I mourn all of it.
Somewhere else in this world, I know that she may read this and say that I've gone crazy. That I'm misremembering. That I'm brainwashed or lying or dramatic. And that may be what hurts most of all.
Years from now, I hope that the pain I feel now is nothing more than a faint memory of hurt. All I can do is hope for it.