Being a mom can be a daunting job, the list of things to be done constantly cycling in my head, the actual work of maintaining a household, the taxi services — but those are the easy parts. The part that weighs heaviest on my soul is that I so desperately want to get it right. I know well what it is like to enter adulthood feeling broken with deep wounds on my spirit and heart. Those wounds put there by those who should have been my safe place and protected me, but in their own brokenness weren't able. I want it to stop with me. I don't want the transfer of pain to keep perpetuating. The enormity of this responsibility is too much to be consciously aware of each day, but I know it is my driving force for so much of what I do and who I am. What an exhausting expectation I have laid out for myself, to somehow get everything right while simultaneously healing.
This week I have been so hard on myself for errors made as a young mom. I read so many books in my 20s, gathering as many resources as I could, gleaning from different perspectives, so I could land on a way to parent that felt comfortable, healthy, loving, and safe for our little family. At the time I was still picking up my own broken pieces, and learning what all the cracks and fractures on my heart meant and how they were caused. How could I get it all right at the beginning? Here I am still healing old worn cracks, expecting myself to never misstep, because mistakes mean I am not safe. In my effort to get it all right, I am getting it wrong. I need to show my boys you can step off the path, without falling off a cliff. You can make mistakes and grow from them. They have watched me try to get it right so desperately, that they hold themselves to the same impossible standard. I have never understood why they have this view of themselves, when our words and actions are so gentle with expectations, never wanting them to have the weight of perfect. But they are watching me, their broken and imperfect mom, demanding myself to be perfect for them. I need to fall more, fail more. I need to not get it right. They need to see that getting it wrong is safe for me, and in turn them. They need to see exploring and adventuring is every bit as safe, and even more beautiful, than marching safely down the path. I have to allow myself to fully experience the things I have hoped to foster for their lives, because they are watching and seeing what I can't even see in myself. They can see the light through my cracks, my broken. I can't try to perfectly cover it up, its what makes me beautiful, that my love can shine through my broken parts. That I can love and be a safe place in spite of my broken, that's what makes me the best mom to them. That is how we will all heal and stop the cycle.
I am Jackie.