Motherhood is like riding a bunch of rollercoasters around the world blindfolded.
It definitely doesn’t come with a handbook or an instruction manual.
It comes with tears, pain, struggles, triggers, grief, despair, sorrow, anger, guilt, anxiety, helplessness, regret, fear, hope, laughter, happiness, entertainment, gratitude, joy, a lot of love and lots of lessons.
My journey to motherhood is probably a bit different than most and yet similar for some.
I never wanted to become a mother. I never had a close connection with my own mother. We argued often and never really see eye to eye. To this day we do not speak to each other. This might have been a huge part of why I never wanted to be a mother. I didn’t want to have that responsibility of raising a child. I thought I was not mentally stable enough to even care for a child the way a child deserved to be treated. I thought I would turn out like my own mother as she did. So, I never had that childhood dream that a lot of women had. You know the one with the marriage, the kids, the house, the white picket fence. That dream…It wasn’t for me.
Then, I became pregnant with my daughter at 35. It was a challenging concept for me to accept. The pregnancy brought on a lot of anxieties, pain, inner turmoil, depression, and tons of fear. I was so unsure of how I was going to be able to raise a child on my own when I could barely care for myself. It was only three years after my attempted suicide. How could I raise my own daughter?
With so much fear of being a solo parent and getting laid off from my job at seven months pregnant, I unknowingly entered an abusive relationship. The abuse began close to my daughter’s birth, but my fear kept me in the relationship. Then my daughter, Willow, was born. The moment she laid on my chest I was filled with this immense love I didn’t know existed. Holding her next to my heart, my world lit up. Yet deep down, I felt an enormous amount of fear and anxiety about being a good mother.
My mother decided to come up a few days after my daughter's birth and we argued the entire time about what a good mother does. How I had to do it her way. I was able to stand up to my mother and tell her how her way isn’t always the right way for me. It felt amazing, yet her verbal abuse continued, I was determined to not be like my mother.
Seven months after Willow’s birth, my father came to the rescue and moved Willow and I to Florida. Almost exactly a year after getting into the abusive relationship, I left. I packed up everything and made the trek cross country from Boston, to New York, to Pennsylvania, then down to Florida. In this travel I was able to spend time with my mother’s parents. The three weeks with them opened my eyes more fully to my mother’s childhood. This began my long journey of forgiveness.
Now that I was closer to my mother living in Florida, I hoped our relationship would change and we would finally connect. But Boy was I wrong. And shortly after Willow turned two, I realized I needed a drastic change in how I go about my life. It was then that I began using the tools I spent many years learning before I had Willow. It was then that I knew I had to take a deep dive into my own shadow. It was then that I learned to accept being a mother and that I could never become my mother.
It’s been years of exploration. Deep spiritual guidance. Hypnotherapy. Great Family. Great friends. Great connections. Great lessons to be where I am today. It’s been challenging to no end. My days are filled at times with chaos and yet I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Last year, I was able to take on a bonus child, my nephew, and help him heal and grow from his own mother’s connection. This wasn’t the easiest for all of us at first. It came with a lot of tears, anger, triggers, frustration, grief, pain. But lessons were had. Shifts needed to happen. The growing pains have turned into such a blessing for the three of us.
Motherhood is not easy. It’s not a piece of cake. It is drive and determination on a daily. It is losing yourself then finding yourself again, over and over and over. It is seeing yourself fully, apologizing when you are wrong, and accepting that you will not know it all. It is being a mama bear when needed. It is sleepless nights. It is NOT listening to the naysayers and yet listening to your children’s needs and wants. It is safety. It is hope. It is courage. It is bliss. It is loving unconditionally and wholeheartedly.
A mother’s love, when present, is a reflection of divine love.