The title is a bit of a mislead, I'm sure I have many things in common with my mother, but the thing is - I would have no idea.
She left me with my Dad when I was a few months old, and although I hold absolutely no hard feelings, I have always been afraid of my ability to be a 'Mom' because of this influence. Was it just a poor choice due to a bad life situation, or was it in her blood to leave me behind? Would I have inherited the need to abandon my children as well.
When I was old enough to understand the concept of a 'mom', I have dreamed of what it would be like to have one. I have watched Moms with their children, hugging and snuggling and looking at them with that mysteriously loving look on their face, and wondered what that would be like. Unfortunately there are no 'backsies' on a thing like that, and I will never know what it is like to have a mother/mom - a woman who's genetic seeds you carry, and who loves you absolutely to death despite and because of it.
As early as I can remember, I have realized that the only mother/daughter relationship I will ever experience is if I have a daughter of my own. I think my desperate need for a daughter may have come from my need to 'make it up to' myself somehow, and when Clara was born I knew in that instant that I had all I had ever wanted.
When the doctors handed me to my mother in the hospital to breastfeed, she immediately shoved me back to the doctor, saying "I can't do this". I obviously don't remember, but I assume that she chose to distance herself from me from the beginning. She was never my 'Mom'.
When my daughter was handed to me at the hospital, I took her lovingly and held her almost constantly all of that day except for a few hours of napping. That night, however, my daughter started what would be her 3-month-long evening plague of colic. We were exhausted, and the nurses offered to take her for a couple of hours so we could get a bit of sleep. We gratefully accepted the offer, and I remember waking up panicking. Had I become my mother? Had I abandoned my daughter?
No, I just needed some sleep. I will need sleep occasionally in order to be a good parent. I wish I didn't, but I do.
What I won't need is a life-time off.
When my daughter was four months old, it occurred to me that I had been with her longer than my mother had ever been with me. I relaxed a bit then, and although I recognize that I am not always as sacrificially giving to my daughter as some of my amazingly-mothering friends seem to be, I am here and I always will be here.
I'm not a perfect Mom, but I AM a Mom - and a Mother - which is a combination my mother couldn't attain.
Grab My Button
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