Hands up if you feel like a bad mother?!!
My hand is well and truly raised. I have been the worst mother many times in my 22 years of Mothering. I started out thinking I would be serene, full of sunshine and light and ended up a frazzled, sweaty mess that would ignite into fits of rage that took what seemed forever to subside.
I am sure I am not alone when I say I would feel the most giant remorse after an episode worse than a child in Woolies that wants a toy…
I have had moments where I yelled like a schrew. I smacked my children, I will forever be sorry that I inflicted discipline on my children that came from a place of anger and frustration instead of a place that was about correcting the child behaviour. Knowing now that I was struggling with extreme depression and anxiety now corrected with anti-depressants, I wish I had gone and sought help sooner.
Unfortunately I didn’t recognize that I had a problem at the time, I just thought that I was no different to every other mother, and was at the end of my rope a lot. That rope can get very tight, it can make us feel unworthy, tired, angry, resentful, bitter, unwanted, unloved, useless, hopeless and sad. Goodness thats a lot to take on just because we have a small child to care for ….forever… and we are not being fair on ourselves at all. I know I wanted the white picket fence family, the beautiful rosy cheek kids and the clean home, dinner on the table, ironing done blah blah blah ….another set up for failure moment in my life….
My children loved being dirty….they lived in mud, dirt, chicken poop, and their pockets were full of rocks and gross dead bugs, but they were so happy, the dirtier the better, the more boundaries pushed the better.
I’ll never forget telling my 2 sons to get outside and play, be creative I said, think outside the square I spouted…only to look outside some time later and see my oldest son towing my youngest son with our quad bike on the gravel road with a metal lid cut off a 20 litre drum, jagged edges, lip turned up so he had traction for his feet and the biggest smile on both their faces as Tom skied past the window….OMG
All I could see was the impending gravel rash, the limb severed from the jagged metal and the tin heating up beneath his bottom as he skated along…..but they were kids, real kids that got dirty, mumbled, complained, helped out on the farm, laughed and enjoyed life. The anger and rage that they were subjected to doesn’t seem to have harmed my oldest Sam, he is a great boy, he has his trials as we all do, and I cant shield him from them, the ones I have caused will forever be a regret, but he is an amazing young man with a resilience and kindness that makes my heart burst with pride.
My middle son Thomas gets to watch on from above, and I hope now he knows I did my best and I will forever anticipate the day that I get to give him a hug again and tell him I am really sorry that I couldn’t save him, that I only gave him a peanut butter sandwich before he went in the boat and that he should have had a shirt on, not just those too big shorts, but mostly I want him to know I am sorry that the lifejacket he was wearing was a little too big, because if it had been snug we would have found him sooner, and he wouldn’t have been alone under the water for so long, cause as a Mum … that was tough, knowing he was there but I couldn’t get to him.
My daughter, well she was the princess, she wasn’t allowed to be called naughty and she was always talked to and told how amazing she was, I think that definitely contributed to her head strong character and her tough side. She has a strong sense of self and will not be told otherwise. She is funny and kind, compassionate and I have to say a truly amazing daughter. (She will love seeing that in print) I will not say she is perfect because none of my children are/were. They can be little devils and push the boundaries and make my heart hurt with the decisions they make, but at the end of the day (so far) they are showing that they will survive and they will be good adults, that is all any of us can ask..that we bring them up well enough that they treat others well too.
It certainly doesn’t take away the feelings of regret when I think back on all those dark rages, but as long as they know I love them and am always here for them, hopefully they have not suffered irreversible damage.
Smile and Breath Deep everyone
Live your truth and find your peace