The narratives we tell ourselves are so important. It wasn’t until I became a mom myself that I really sat down to think about how my experience of moms in my life was shaping how I was mothering (& interacting with my partner).
One day when my son was a few months old, my mom slipped out of my mouth. And not in the cute, funny, sitcom way. “Whoa! I sound like my mother!”… in a much scarier, “oh no. This is not the path I want to go down” way.
We were having a rough time with our infant who of course, only wanted me. It’s understandable. It was a phase. But when you’re in the thick of it- it’s all-consuming life. There’s no light at the end of the tunnel when you’re a brand new parent. You can’t believe this is the choice you made and you can’t see how you’ll make it out alive.
My husband was desperately trying to help and I snapped back something along the lines of, “No. It’s fine. This is what it is to be a mom.” This is just my life now, I thought. Can’t even leave the room for one minute of peace.
I want you to go back and read that again. But this time, make sure it’s dripping in sarcasm, resentment, disappointment, and desperation. Make sure that if someone heard you say it, they’d recoil and have no response worth sharing.
That was the moment for me.
I have so many memories of my mom being a martyr for us. Like her mom had been for her. It was done out of love and because it was the only way they knew how. They’d do anything for their kids. And that meant losing themselves in the process and surrendering to the role of mom at all times.
Self-care, me-time. These were not common phrases back then and it was definitely seen as ‘selfish’ to even want for those things.
I knew I wasn’t going to let that happen to me. But there I was. Saying exactly that.
This moment got me started on this journey. I needed to find the roots of these thoughts in me and figure out how to keep them from becoming my version of motherhood.