Ever since I had my first child, I’ve known the privilege of being a mom. The weight of it—molding and shaping a human being—what an immense responsibility.
And I feel it.
There aren’t takebacks or redos, and that’s terrifying because I want to do it right. I want to give my children all my best parts. The fun mom, the compassionate mom, the good listener. But sometimes I don’t do it well.
I often think of how formative these childhood years are. How these daily interactions and experiences will shape them. Their view of themselves, the world, and their place in it is in some large part shaped by me, their mom, and sometimes I feel so inadequate.
Like I’m destined to hand them all this baggage of brokenness.
I worry that I will hand them the pain of my childhood. I’ve experienced generational trauma firsthand.
I vividly remember trying to tell my mother how hurt I was. I poured out my heart looking for a genuine apology and change. Instead, she told me she was much better than her father and I was lucky. I was fortunate because somehow the verbal abuse I endured was less than what she got. Lucky me.
But I didn’t feel lucky at all, I felt hurt.
Trampled over with anger and excuses. Ignored. Broken.
I think of these things often. The pain of my childhood and how it broke me. How, to this day, I carry and attempt to unpack the pain. Letting go of it piece by piece. It’s been a long and difficult process, and I don’t want that for my kids. I don’t want to make excuses. I want to break the cycle once and for all.
I have my goals, my mantra of sorts, “I want them to feel loved, safe, and supported,” but I worry I won’t do a good enough job communicating and showing that.
Will they know I love them even though I sometimes rant in my anger and frustration? Will they know they are safe when sometimes I’m too scared and anxious to reassure them? Will they know they are supported if I sometimes miss what’s going on beneath the surface because I fail to truly listen?
I don’t know.
But I do know I desperately want to give them my best.
And I replay my actions and words in my mind trying to sort out what I want to continue and what I need to change.
I lie awake at night praying and pondering how I can do better, be better, love more.
I know that, though I am not perfect, I will try with everything I’ve got. I will love them in the very best way I know how. I will listen and learn and own up when I fail trying.
I will make it my mission to make sure my kids feel seen, heard, and respected.
And I can only pray that will be enough because I love my kids and I want to give them my best. Sometimes I will fall short, but I promise I will never stop trying.