Updated: Sep 28, 2020
It was what I needed to actually look myself in the mirror and uncover everything about myself that allowed me to run away from everyone in my life.
I’ve always been pretty closed off emotionally, due to a series of traumatic events stemming from childhood. If someone did something that I didn’t like, I’d cut them off without thought….friend, family, foe, boyfriend (except that one I couldn’t shake…Lol). It really didn’t matter. I never took the time to understand someone else’s perspective, learn them in a deeper way, forgive them or offer them the grace that I need every single day.
Becoming a mother was the first time in my life where I didn’t have the luxury to just quit! There was no off button, and no way to get off the ride. It was what I needed to actually look myself in the mirror and uncover everything about myself that allowed me to run away from everyone in my life. Motherhood uncovered ALL of my flaws and there was nowhere to duck or hide. It reminded me when I wasn’t at my best or I was simply procrastinating. It looked me dead in the eyes when I opted for anger instead of love. It gave me that extra nudge at times when I wanted to quit. In those clarifying moments, I knew I had to dig deeper and become better, because well, two of the most perfect beings on this earth look up to me. From me, they are learning what it is to be a virtuous God-fearing woman, a loving wife, and a well-balanced mother. These are things that I realized early on that I couldn’t fake for them.
I discuss this in my intro post but just for any newcomers, my mother was a drug addict and in and out of jail my entire childhood. My biological father was a drug dealer who was murdered when I was just five months old. My daddy was an alcoholic, who couldn’t keep a job, but tried his best. All three of them are deceased now and becoming a mother highlighted how scary this journey would be for someone who never had an example. I put an insane amount of pressure on myself to be the perfect mother because I was going to show my mother what a real mother looked like! Insane right? I know!
For the first time in my life, I had to dig deep, deep, deep down and learn forgiveness. It was literally the only way I could function as a new mom. I owed it to myself, my husband, and my children to let all of that baggage go, that really had nothing to do with me from the beginning. Once I realized THAT, I had so much more compassion for my own mother, because it was then that I knew that she had her own demons that she was battling, that stemmed from her own childhood, and her mother had her own too. I made the decision that the buck had to stop here. Camden & Caleigh deserves a full mother, a present mother, and a free mother. And I’ve made it my life mission to provide that for them.
What I learned that helped me forgive my own mother:
Motherhood is hard as hell! There is no manual to this. We’re all doing our best within our own limitations.
Motherhood doesn’t heal your open wounds. There is still growth and healing that you must do as an individual, and throwing a baby in the mix will only highlight and further complicate those wounds.
Childhood trauma doesn’t just vanish when we turn a certain age. We only heal through identifying, acknowledging, accepting, and growing forward.
Forgiveness is the only true path to healing and real freedom.
If you feel the need to highlight someone else’s flaws to pat yourself on the back, your heart posture is all wrong.
I saw a post that said “my biggest flex is that God never took his hand off me.” When I tell you I could’ve shouted right there! Honestly, that’s how you flex. We don’t need to try to flex on other people, outdo people that hurt us, or prove anyone right or wrong about anything. All of that is completely unnecessary baggage and more importantly, bondage. You deserve better than that. This is not only for mothers, but sometimes fathers, aunties, uncles, fake friends, ex’s, old crappy bosses, etc. There is never a need to try to flex on anyone for any reason. The moment that becomes your focus, you’ve already lost. Besides, the prize for that is $0. I’ll pass! Lol
What I Wish I knew:
You only get one mother. When she’s gone, you’ll regret your stubbornness towards her.
It was never about me. Her own battle had nothing to do with me. Although we’d like to believe we are the center of our parent’s entire universe, the fact is, they had a whole life long before you, their own scars, hurt, trauma, insecurities…..just like you.
You can’t fix people. Only God can. All you can do is decide how much access you’re willing to allow as they continue to grow and develop at their own rate.
Ask questions. Even the ones you’re scared to know the answers too.
Nothing happens on your timing. Stop trying to rush someone else’s process for your convenience.
My advice to any mom healing while mothering herself is to give yourself sufficient grace. You have nothing to prove even to your own mother, or father, or child’s father, or whoever. Make the most out of your trauma by learning and evolving, utilizing it as a tool to do better, not an excuse to be bitter. Identify what makes you happy, and do more of it. Make it a priority to find balance in our chaotic world of motherhood. Forgive but don’t be a fool. You have to control the access that you’re willing to give to anyone that is toxic to your growth. Unfortunately, that sometimes includes parents. Sometimes it includes siblings. Learn to be ok with that. Just make sure your intentions are genuine and your heart remains pure.