Monday, May 10, 2010

my mothers day promises to my children

I love my life as a mother. I love my children and I love my husband. Honestly, life is really good for all of us right now. But I fucking HATE mothers day. I love the kids getting me "gifts" and getting all excited to give me flowers and handmade cards. It's the other people that get in the way...sort of like Christmas. If it weren't for certain family members, Christmas would be pure perfection. These people are the reason we thought about to another state. It is physically exhausting having to deal with their moods and not knowing why I'm being yelled at like a 10 yr old. I can't keep up with the drama anymore. I'm just ill-equipped. In our house, if you are upset with someone, you tell them. You say "hey, I don't like that, could ya not?" and that's it. It's been 8 BLISSFUL years since I've lived in a house where I was afraid to make a noise for fear of the beatings and the screaming and the name calling and the "if you weren't my daughter I would never want to see you again" and the "i can't even stand to look at you" etc... But it all came flooding back to me yesterday. And honestly, maybe I'm grateful for it. It has definitely shown me what I will never let myself become as a mother.

Here are the promises I make to my children...
  • I will never have favorites amongst my children. My sisters have this lovely little naive way of blaming me for the way my mom has treated me my whole life. But that's not their fault, they were all treated like princesses. The worst they ever got was a spanking and "don't do that again". They have no idea what fear really is. They don't know what it's like to have your head slammed into the corner of your headboard and have no idea why. They don't know what it was like to be beaten with my math book for getting a D on a test. They don't know what it was like last year to hear my Dr. tell me that my MRI showed multiple unexplained concussions. All I could say was "I had a lot of accidents as a child". There I was lying for her/them at 25 yrs old, like a brainwashed idiot. I am thankful that my sisters never knew that pain and fear, but I really wish they would stop judging me for it, because they've never lived my life or even TRIED to walk in my shoes for a minute.
  • I will be a milk and cookies mom. My whole life, I yearned for my own mother to hug me or let me talk about my bad day and say "come on honey sit down and we can talk about it". I want to be the soft place for my kids to land, most especially after a hard day. When something bad happens, I want them to be thinking "I can't wait until I can go home and talk to my mom about this and get one of her hugs".
  • I will be their strongest advocates. My mom ALWAYS no matter who or what it was, she always took the other persons side. It didn't matter if it was a fight with a friend, a bully at school, or whatever. It was always my fault and the other person was always right. always.
  • I will help them with their homework. I often wonder if my 3.8 GPA would have been a 4.0 if I had had at least one parent who had a few minutes to help me with my homework. (which is ironic because I was mostly beaten for getting "bad" grades.
  • I will be patient and kind, especially when it's hard.
  • I will be respected, not because I simply gave birth to them and changed their dirty diapers, but because I actually EARNED it.
  • I will never lie about them to anyone...and I will TRY never to lie to them (that one gets dicey around Christmas and birthdays lol)
  • I will CONTROL MY TEMPER AND MY ANGER. This one has been an issue for my mom her whole life, but in the last 6 months I have seen it get to a point that is unhealthy. She NEEDS anger management classes or a counselor or something or she'll have a heart attack the next time the grocery store is out of corn on the cob. The only time I have ever had anger like that, was during my PPD and that kind of anger is not good. not good at all.
  • I will NEVER put a guilt trip on them the size of Texas.
  • I will tell them I love them every single day, no matter what.
  • My love will always be unconditional. I can't even tell you how many times I've heard the phrase "if you loved me you would...". During my childhood it was things like ..."get better grades", ..."do what I say", etc. at christmas, it was ..."come over here on christmas day" (and what I say). Before I met Josh, I thought that love meant always agreeing on everything and always doing what the other person told you to. I had no idea that there was something out there called unconditional love where you are allowed to disagree and still love each other. Unfortunately, my mom still has no idea what unconditional love is and she has brainwashed my sisters the same as she did me. They are always telling me "if you loved mom, you would do what she wants". THAT'S NOT LOVE PEOPLE!!
  • I will NEVER, EVER say the words "I don't hate you, I just hate everything about you" to my children. This was something I heard probably weekly. And as usual, it was for NOTHING. But it's something NO child should ever have to hear.
  • I will praise them more than I discipline them. I have already made this a priority and I think it works. It lets them know that just because they have to stand in the corner for doing something bad, doesn't mean I don't love them or think they are amazing kids.
  • I will never tell them they are "too fat to wear that".
  • I will NEVER bad-mouth one of my children to another (or to any family/friend)
  • I will be a better mom than those before me. I will learn from their mistakes and I will not repeat the cycle as it has been repeated for generations in this family.

I love my children enough to fight this gene pool. When I was a teenager I always told people "I don't EVER want to have children". It wasn't because I didn't like kids, it was because I was afraid that I had no control over whether or not I end up like my mother and my grandmother. I'm an adult now, and I KNOW that the way we act, ESPECIALLY with our children is CHOICE. Since becoming a parent I have lost what little respect I had for my mom and my biological dad. I'm pretty sure it's supposed to go the other way, but it just doesn't. I look at my kids and can't even imagine saying and doing the things that she did. And I definitely can't imagine seeing them once a year like my dad did my whole life. Josh told me last night that it was a miracle I ended up as normal as I am with all that crap I've dealt with my whole life. I don't know if it was a miracle or if it was just determination, but I am so glad that my life ended up this way. I'm so glad that I didn't let fear stop me from having these 3 amazing kids. The are the only thing that made my mothers day bearable yesterday (well that, and josh yelling at my mom that she "makes a big fucking deal about nothing and it's retarded". that was sooooooo awesome. I have never loved him more ;-)


Danifred said...

I so sorry you have to deal with this. So, so sorry. The good news is that we know what we WON'T do as parents and I think that makes a world of difference!

andrea said...

first - i love you!
second - i love josh for telling your mom off.
third - you are an AMAZING mom. AAH-MAA-ZING. you are an amasing WOMEN. you have done great, you have learned exactly what not to do and you have perfected how to be the person you have always strived to be. that is the biggest accomplishment and I for one, am very VERY proud of you!