This Sunday is Mother's Day. I used to really struggle with this day, but the past few years, it has held a very different meaning for me. This will be my fourth Mother's Day as a mother. Wow. I am a MOTHER. That still blows my mind sometimes.
Many of you know, my parents divorced when I was a baby. Maybe around a year old or so? honestly, I don't remember. I don't remember my parents ever being together and the thought of them together makes me laugh. My mom had a lot going on that we won't get into, but long story short, I stayed with my dad. I cannot imagine it any other way. For about five years, Dad was mom AND dad in a lot of ways.
I experienced a lot of things growing up that I still struggle with, going back and forth between families. I wouldn't wish some of those experiences and disappointments on anyone. Ever. Throughout my teenage years and college years, I always wanted children but really, secretly, doubted my ability to be a good parent. How could I be a good mother when I didn't know what that meant? My "growing up" years were hard.
Fast forward a few years. Ryan and I got married. We wanted children but I was still secretly terrified. Five months after we got married, we found out I was pregnant. Oh my goodness. No going back now! Could I do this?!? I didn't think so.
Now, Colt is 3 1/2. I am far, FAR from a perfect mother. I am many times very impatient. I lose my cool sooner than I would like to admit. When Colt drops a big glob of ketchup down the front of his white shirt, I almost die. (But really, who puts a white shirt on a 3 year old?) My house is FAR from clean. The laundry is piled up. I nap when Colt naps, when I should be cleaning or catching up on laundry or making an amazing Pinterest craft from Colt's footprints. I should shower, but instead, I nap. Or read. No one is going to see me today anyway, right? I am NOT PERFECT.
I didn't have a shining example of a mother, but with God's help, I am a darn good one despite that fact. I never could have imagined crying over first words, first steps, and little, bitty victories. I never could have imagined kissing bloody knees, or cutting someone else's toenails (I am disgusted by toenails), or catching someone else's vomit in my hands, or wiping their snot on my jeans or my shirt when I don't have a tissue, but I do it. I do it because I have never in my life loved anything or anyone like I love that grinning, snotty, beautiful, tornadic little monster.
I guess I say all of that to say this, YOU can break the cycle. You may not feel like you are doing a good job, but if you love your babies as much as you possibly can, you are good enough. And really, "good enough" is all they need.
Please know that my mom and I have a much different relationship now. She has a story you wouldn't believe. She is a strong woman and I love her. Please don't ever think I don't. We butt heads, but isn't that what mothers and daughters do? Anyway, I just needed to write this out to encourage me when I needed to go back and hear it (every day) and maybe to encourage you.
Your past is NOT your future. Your past is not your child's future.