This week we will be featuring articles related to motherhood.
I never felt that a person had to be a mother in order to celebrate Mother’s Day. I celebrated it when I became an aunt, before I had my own children, and now I even include my dog in the festivities. Mother’s Day is an opportunity to step back from the everyday challenges and say, “I’m doing a great job!”
I feel that way now, but when my daughter was born, eleven years ago, I was so nervous. I didn’t know what I was doing or how to do it. All I knew was that I loved her with a passion I had never experienced before, and I wanted desperately for her to love me just as much. I didn’t want anyone to know about my uncertainty about being a mom, so I faked confidence. I challenged anyone who offered unsolicited advice—I couldn’t let them get away with that.
Motherhood presented me with an opportunity to show the world that I could create something important and handle it well. If only that were true. Was it validation from my parents that I was seeking? Did I need to feel the power of believing I was right even when I didn’t have a clue?
During those early days of motherhood, I recognized a familiar feeling: insecurity. Life is always presenting us with information about ourselves and, when the message is repeated, we need to pay attention because those are our Rewire Me moments. I didn’t like the stress that my insecurity was causing me. I didn’t like who I was becoming. It took a lot of courage to admit that’s what I was feeling, but I did. And a funny thing happened. After I got the chatter out of my mind and began expressing the fear that was overwhelming me, it all seemed kind of foolish. Who was creating my suffering? I’m afraid it was me.
I am now the mother of two amazing children. I do the best job I can. I know they’ll grow up with baggage—we all do; it would be unrealistic to think otherwise—but if I can send them into the world with a better foundation and more tools and confidence in themselves than I had, I know I will have made my best contribution to the next generation.
Happy Mother’s Day to all!