Are you a good Mom? Do you often question how good or bad you are at being a Mom? Last week I was at the hair shop and I met an amazing little girl. We’ll call her Madison. Madison was a beautiful, fun, smart, witty, and bubbly ten-year-old. I usually don’t talk to children I don’t know but there was something about her that drew me in. We talked for a while and I learned the things she likes to do and about her relationship with her mother. They have an amazing relationship by the way but her Mom often cries because she doubts she is a good mom.
First of all, good is a relative term. What I deem as bad could be good to you. I don’t think good or bad is a fair assessment. I can completely relate to Madison’s mom and I often question whether or not I am a “good” Mom. I compare myself to my mother most of the time and feels as though I pale in comparison. My mother was an excellent provider of stability, security, and we never wanted for anything. In hindsight comparing myself to my mother is actually counter-productive.
I harbor guilt within because motherhood was a role that I never wanted to play. And often I feel like I am a bad mom because of it. I feel guilty because I did not grow up wanting to be a mother. I grew up wanting to lead an independent life void of any children. I never wanted to be a Mom because I never felt worthy of the title and in addition I did not think I was capable of loving another person unconditionally because there were conditions on how I loved myself. I was thrust into the role of mother and for a long time resented myself for getting into the situation of an unwanted pregnancy.
I tried everything not to have my baby but God had a bigger plan. I can honestly say that during my pregnancy I was deeply depressed and was terrified of being a mother. I resented her Dad and God for thrusting me into the role of Mother. I did not want to be a Mom so why was I going to be a Mom.
Finally, my baby girl arrived and she not only saved my life but forever changed my life. My guilt of initially not wanting a baby turned into a mission to pour all the love that I wanted from my Mom into her. I never felt that made me good I felt like that made me guilty. When she was an infant I suffered from postpartum depression. I had suicidal idealizations every time she would cry and I could not figure what was the cause of her distress. For a while I contemplated suicide rather than be her Mom. For years I would harbor this guilt until my daughter was about 12 years old.
I would come home from work and bundle up in my bed and just lay there till the next day with barely any interaction with my daughter. I would not ask about her day or inquire about her feelings I would just lay there in a deep depression. I would ruminate on thoughts of how I was a bad mother compared to my mother. Constantly uprooting her from place to place or moving back and forth from my mother’s house and then back into my own place. I could not get it together. For a while I was sliding back and forth between place to place I desperately needed to get myself together. Every place I stayed at I was evicted from and I felt like such a bad mother for this.
Then, I moved into where I am now and had an epiphany that I could not move back in with my mother. I could not uproot my daughter not another time. I had to make this thing work and it has been working for years. Yet I still was battling depression and not communicating with my daughter. One day I looked up and noticed that she too was isolating and was depressed. I tried talking to her but to no avail. Finally, I decided counseling was best but she still would not open up. One day I asked her to give me her phone. I went through her text messages and found a conversation with a girl she met on KIK. I read from the beginning to the end and I was disturbed by a picture my daughter sent the girl. In so many words the girl was being bullied and was told that she was ugly. My daughter sent her a message back saying at least you don’t look like this and my daughter sent her a picture of herself. I was devastated that my daughter was depressed and was harboring resentful emotions toward herself. Look at the mess I had created. I felt horrible I immediately told my daughter how beautiful she was and she retorted, “Mom I don’t feel pretty everyday”. It was then that I realized I wanted to repair our relationship I had to snap out of my depression because now it was taking an impact on her. What I did/did not do impacted her greatly.
Its funny people always pride me on my relationship with my daughter and I reluctantly accept the accolades. I worked hard to get to this point and I am going to work even harder to maintain the relationship we have. I love my daughter and nothing will ever change that. We have been through a lot together but I would not have wanted to go through it with anyone else.
So Moms out there stop beating yourself up. No Mom is perfect contrary to popular belief. We are not superhuman although some of our feats may suggest that. All I can say is introspect and check in with yourself often. One thing I loved that Madison said was that her mom yells out of frustration and Madison says when I get frustrated I don’t yell at you, and her Mom said I will try not to yell anymore. I had to tell her Mom she was doing an awesome job raising an amazing little girl.
Stop harboring guilt and raise your babies to the best of your ability. I have since forgiven myself for not wanting to be a mom so many years ago. I love my job as a mother and would not change it for anyone. I have an amazing daughter and we have an amazing relationship. I have since stop comparing myself to my mother and decided to make my own way. I take the good, bad, or indifferent and learn from them all.
Are you or a mother you know struggling with whether or not you are a “good” mom? Do you constantly second guess yourself forgetting that children don’t come with instructions? Share your thoughts below.