Guilty Mother Syndrome

***Warning*** If swearing offends please skip the first paragraph!

The reality of motherhood – for those of us who choose to own our shit – is that sometimes we just want to sit down and cry. Personally, I want to also swear some rather naughty swear words like fuck and shit and fucken shit and motherfucking shit and then put them altogether in one fuck-shit-fucken-shit-motherfucking-shit sentence. Then I want to scream like a chick out of a horror movie and then dramatically fall to my knees and cry some more. Ok, so I don’t actually do it but I vision it time and time again like a naughty little fantasy I’m not supposed to be having! Why? Well if I sum up all the reasons of inadequacies, guilt and crushed motherhood dreams it all comes back to one thing really… That I’m not the kind of mother I dreamt I’d be.

As a young girl I had dreams of “When I’m a mother I will…” I will listen to everything they say, I will play with them all day, I will never yell at them, I will let them have lots of freedom, I will tell them I love them all the time…. I will, I will, I will. But when I finally became a parent and when those offspring of mine started to grow up, developing their own personalities, I realized it isn’t so much about being the kind of parent I thought I’d be but more about trying to make sense of what they actually needed from me. And I can say with 100% certainty that each one of my babes needs something completely different. Of course they need love but love comes in different forms and not just for kids but for all human beings. Like the obvious differences between sexes – with women needing to be nurtured, shown the right amount of affection without being suffocated, being respected and hearing those three little words these are often the things that make a woman feel loved. Men need … umm… well men need sex and … well….. yep I think that’s about it they need sex – oh and maybe some ball cupping while they have man flu *mouth vomit*.

But for my kids there are many different ways, like my 13 year old son who feels loved when I play football or basketball with him. My 10 year old loves cuddles. My 16 year old daughter needs me to validate her feelings…. A lot. My 4 year old feels loved when I sit and watch him play – not actually interact in that play though, apart from the occasional “wow” and “really?”. And lucky last, my 11 month old feels loved when I throw him a ball and talk in a high pitched silly mummy voice and blow raspberries on his big chubby cheeks. They are all so different and saying I love you every day is not what they need from me. As a child I would have expected the adult version of me to do all these things that they need to ensure my love for them was obvious and so they never doubted where they stood in my world but in reality my patience isn’t half as much as I’d thought it would be ‘when I am a mother’. My coolness factor got up and walked out the door the minute I had my daughter and instead of playing I yell … A lot!!!

And so the guilt continues of not being good enough for my children, of letting them down, scarring them for life and not showing them the way in life in the brightest possible lighting. I know that I love them, I know that I would do anything for them I’m just not sure if they do. They are my legacy, my life and the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Labour five times over was a breeze compared to the heart stopping moments I’ve been a part of as they grow. The only fault in my children is that they were born to a mother who is wrapped in faults. And there is no parenting manual, no sure-fire way to ensure your kids will grow up ok, to be happy adults, to be better parents to their kids and just be better people in general. But we can never give up Superwomen. We must never feel like we’ve failed and that there is no redemption for us. There’s always something more. Something more we can do that makes our children feel loved, makes them reconsider bad decisions, makes them know there is always another way and a road back home. So swear naughty words to your hearts content (probably best kept in your mind though) and then just breathe! Breathe, breathe, breathe!!! Motherhood is a frustrating, head banging and an unpaid job but we get to love, unconditionally, those little head bangers for the rest of our lives … And then some! Trust me, even though it may not seem like it somedays, some moments, we are blessed, lucky and fortunate!

One love,
DRK xxx

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