There was a time in my life when I was certain I wasn’t going to have children. As a teenager I found them to be obnoxiously immature… but I didn’t understand that’s what children are supposed to be. My childhood was forfeited in return for my mother’s addiction.
My first traumatic experience was etched into my memory at just 5 years old.
Very early on I came to realize the world was not safe, and that world included my parents. My memories are saturated with fear and uncertainties. My mother should have been my safe space, but instead, each interaction with her from the time I could remember was living a nightmare I would never wake up from. My experience as a child taught me children are to always care for their parents. They must make sure mom is safe, and mom stays alive. Roles were reversed, I was a mother to my mother. So, the carelessness of kids annoyed me and I was certain I wouldn’t have any of those.
I was my mother’s watch-keeper throughout the night.
Staying up to the wee hours of the morning until I couldn’t hold my eyes open any longer. I would watch her swaying on the edge of the couch like a pendulum, the pills swimming in her blood, defying gravity. She was flying high while deeper into fear I was falling.
Surely, this is what children are supposed to do… check hourly throughout the night to make sure mom is breathing. Recite the list of bombs she swallows, just in case one of them goes off. So, I wasn’t quite sure why kids were spending so much time playing and laughing. Don’t they have fear and responsibilities to carry?
When I was 19 I was offered a job at a daycare.
Still, up until this point, I wasn’t a fan of children. I took the job, Lord knows why, and I mean, He literally knows why. Day by day I was drawn to these little lives. Childlikeness was being redefined for me and there was a flood of healing when I was surrounded by their freedom and joy. I began to understand what it was to be a child. I was recognizing what was stolen from me, but owning the fact that I could restore this through my own legacy. For the first time, my heart heard the calling of “mom.” And while that title for me brought brokenness and anxiety, my Creator made it clear I would be a mom, but I would not be my mother.
Now with 3 children of my own, I’m so blessed to say that they are obnoxiously immature.
They live their days, only concerned about what snacks they get to have, and what day their goodies arrive from amazon. Have I maybe given them way more than what they need because of what I missed at their age? You better believe it.
Yea, it’s probably not always beneficial but I’m learning balance. And if I would have to choose between giving them too much or too little, any mom knows what I would choose. All the fear and anger I carried with me out of my childhood has been exchanged for peace and joy through the lives of my children. So while my children will never have to be a mother to me, I welcome their ability to heal my heart like no one else could ever do. And honestly, I don’t ever fear my ability to be a mom, because I am certain, I will never be my mother.