A friend recently commented that Z and I were thoughtful parents. She was paying us a kind compliment, but it really got me thinking. We do indulge in thoughtful parenting, in fact I think a lot of our peers do as well and I don’t think it is always a good thing.
So many of us have been in therapy or dissected all the terrible things that happened in our upbringings and we are hell bent on making sure none of those things happen to our children. I now know it is utterly impossible to look at your child without seeing your own childhood. And it is a very short leap from seeing your childhood to seeing an opportunity to fix the wrongs visited upon you when you were little.
Suddenly I’m going wait, wait, wait! First of all, the crap I was upset about? Most of it was nothing! I mean, there were real issues and I am still working through them but I think my anxiety and self esteem problems would have developed no matter what. It is just who I am. But most importantly being over protective of T is not going to fix my problems. It will probably make a bunch for him, though.
And about the whole “You have never know what love is until you have a child” shit…Yep, the love you have for your kid is new and overwhelming and indescribable. And selfish. Really really selfish. This kid is half you, if you are the mom you actually grew him or her inside you, he or she is your key to immortality, the vessel through which you will fulfill your unrealized dreams, everything.
I look at him and feel all those things and think holy shit put on the breaks! This love is actually going to smother him! This love is going to turn me into the exact kind of mother I don’t want to be. If I indulge in this love I’m on a path to screwing him up even more. It is the beginning of me not being able ever say no to him or not letting him get hurt in any way. He is gonna think he is the center of the universe if I don’t stop myself.
I’ve written about some of this stuff before on good old facebook and I have a feeling I’ll write about it again. Because I desperately want to be a good mother to him and at this point I think it entails reminding myself to do what is best for him rather than what feels best for me.