So my dirty little not so secret is that I had serious doubts about my ability to be a mother. Or perhaps, a good mother! Things have changed drastically now so this is a bit of a “in hindsight” type story – you know the kind where now you’re older and wiser and suddenly everything has changed as if by magic! Okay so maybe not magic but definitely something awesome.
You see, I always thought I didn’t want children.
I always knew I was going to be one of those women who has a house full of animals but no actual human children. I didn’t want “the hassle” of having kids. I didn’t want my lifestyle to change but most important of all, I didn’t believe I could mother properly. What ever that means. I thought, I really really thought, that I wouldn’t be a good mother. That I wouldn’t manage to keep a tiny person alive. That I wouldn’t manage to love that little person the way they deserved.
I thought about it a few times and I dismissed my “desire” to be a mother because the “sensible” part of my brain told me that I simply wouldn’t be a good mother and that some women, like me, are not meant to raise children. What fucking rubbish I managed to convince myself.
The baggage we bring with us
A HUGE part of it was that my family was a little abnormal and my childhood was a bit of a mess and I didn’t want any child I’d bring into this world to struggle with the same things I have. I didn’t want to bring someone into a miserable and unhappy world.
“So how on earth can I bring a child into the world, knowing that such sorrow lies ahead, that it is such a large part of what it means to be human?
I’m not sure. That’s my answer: I’m not sure.”
― Anne Lamott, Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son’s First Year
The truth was that I just didn’t want my child to have the childhood I had.
There were plenty good parts but for the most part, life was a real struggle and my family didn’t really have any examples of what a happy marriage or a happy family looked like. I thought that for sure if I do get married, that child will just end up struggling with some version of the mess that I grew up in. It wasn’t something I decided to believe. It just was.
The funny thing is, although I didn’t want to get married either for the reasons listed above, I met my husband and I just knew. It’s so cheesy but I literally knew when I met him that I would marry him. I had never ever believed in getting married and here I was suddenly knowing that I’d marry him. Not long after we were married we started talking about having children and I was certain that it was the absolute right choice for me.
Then we got the news
We were told we can’t have kids at all and that was a whole new kettle of fish. Oden was the little miracle that appeared against all odds. All through my pregnancy I was conflicted with feelings of inadequacy and worry about failing. I was terrified something would go wrong.
I had serious doubts that I could handle being a mother, I’d cry and repeatedly ask my husband why we decided to go through with this. Over and over again he’d reassure me that I’d be a great mother. I really believed he was lying.
How wrong I was
My son is two and a half now. He’s growing so well and he’s such a little character and more than anything in the world I love being a mother. I love being HIS mother. He has literally changed my life and I cannot imagine a world in which he’s not there.
With his little quirks and his constantly growing personality. Little fiery spirit who knows exactly what he wants and won’t take no for an answer. Repeatedly asking “why why why” and though it should be driving me mad, it doesn’t. It makes me so proud.
This little boy has beat all the odds to be here. I survived nearly dying giving birth to him and against all odds, here I am. His mommy and nothing has ever felt more right than this love.
I constantly wonder how I’ll know how to do certain things and wonder if I’ll get it wrong and then what. And I’m not perfect and often, I get things wrong but you know what, that’s part of being human. It doesn’t make me any less of a mother.
I told myself this lie about how I couldn’t do it. I had all the fears and more about why I shouldn’t do it and now I realise how wrong I was.
I spent a lot of time doubting myself as a mother and I wasn’t sure it was for me and I really spent a lot of time panicking. Perhaps the weirdest part for me is how easy being a mother came to me. I just somehow know how to be his mother. I just somehow know how to love him. I just somehow know how to do all the things that I was so worried I’d mess up.
I have absolutely no regrets, instead, I am so thankful I chose this path!
I can’t imagine a world where I’m not “mommy” to this beautiful child. I feel like I was always meant to be exactly where I am. And even more than knowing I was always meant to be his mom, I also know that so far, I’ve been a really good mom to this little guy! I can’t deny it, the proof is in the pudding.
Did you ever have doubts about being a mom?
“Motherhood is a choice you make everyday, to put someone else’s happiness and well-being ahead of your own, to teach the hard lessons, to do the right thing even when you’re not sure what the right thing is…and to forgive yourself, over and over again, for doing everything wrong.”
― Donna Ball, At Home on Ladybug Farm
You are the perfect example of how you are not your upbringing. You are an amazing mother. Oden is thriving with you as his mother. I’m so proud of the woman and mother you have become. ♥♥♥
Oh Bonnie. Now I’m crying. Look what you’ve done. Thank you mom ❤️
♥♥♥♥ Love you
Celeste Jonkers says
Almost 17 years into it and I still sometimes doubt myself. Although I feel it in my bones that I was created to just that. A mother.
We go through so many different phases all at once that it has me stumbling but I make it part of my dance.
Motherhood is easy once you decide to let go and “just be” with your kids.
Ha, so there’s no hope for it ever going away then hehe!! I agree, the different phases each have their own things to deal with but from where I’m standing, you look like a great mother!