Growing up, I spent a great deal of time swimming through a sea of guilt, anxiety, and pressure. Most of which was placed on me by my mom. Let’s start off by saying that my mom isn’t a terrible mom, and I know I could have had things much worse. And she’s only human. She made mistakes. It’s these mistakes that make me strive to be a better mom.
It’s impossible to not carry on some of the same habits your parents do. I’ve made my peace with that. But man, it’s hard not to slip into bad habits that you tend to mimic from your parents. I have to keep reminding myself to be strong and not lose sight of what’s important: Being the best mom I can be.
I am not my mother. I will not repeat her mistakes.
Sometimes I have to keep repeating this to myself when I feel like I’m going down a familiar path. When I was growing up, my mom made me mad and stressed me out, but it was just one of those things. I figured this was how everyone’s relationship was. I always thought that’s just what moms are just supposed to do.
All that changed when I became a mom myself. All of a sudden I was staring at this tiny human that was all mine, and I couldn’t help but think: I never want to make you feel the way I did.
Again, I don’t want to make it seem like my mom was some monster. She isn’t. The truth is that the way parents act with their children during their formative years sticks with them into adulthood. My mom placed a lot of guilt on me growing up, and it resulted in me being a really anxious kid. Heck, I’m still really anxious and I still struggle with feeling guilty when I can’t “do it all.” I feel the way I was raised has shaped me into the person I am today, for better or worse. But I refuse to accept that I will repeat those same patterns.
I know I’m not going to be a perfect mom.
As hard as I try, I still have bad days and yell at my kids and get frustrated. I know they’ll grow up and be annoyed at me someday. It’s inevitable. I just have to keep trying to remember to make better decisions and don’t repeat actions that drove me nuts when I was young. I have to think, what would be a better alternative?
No parent is perfect and my mom did the best she knew how. Despite the missteps that still hurt, she did raise me and I seem to think I turned out pretty darn good. The challenge is sifting through it all and finding the good and bad and using both to my advantage. It’s a lot of pressure. And I know through it all I’m probably making my own new mistakes. The pressure never ends, but I’ll never give up trying. I’ll spend my life being as good of a mom as I can, and always willing to learn from new and old mistakes.
I’ll spend my life being as good of a mom as I can, and always willing to learn from new and old mistakes.