I have been in the midst of several conversations lately, with friends, about our own mothers, and all the ways they failed us as children, and are failing us currently. Like my own mom who failed to recognize any symptoms of anxiety in me as a child and failed to connect with me as an adult when she finally learned that I had anxiety. And while my mind understands that I will fail Potamus in so many ways (my heart has yet to catch up to that reality, and oh how it will break when it does), I have been reflecting on the fact that, at the end of the day I get to be a different mother than (both of) my own.
There have been conscious differences, like extended breastfeeding my 20 month old vs. being formula fed or Montessori bed-sharing. But in these conversations, about making all of the conscious choices to be different, my perfectionistic (as in, I’m going to do EVERYTHING differently) brain was rocked a little while driving down the road, because, AUTOMATICALLY there will be differences with me as a mother than my own.
Because I carried and birthed my baby. And he is a firstborn son. I was a firstborn daughter. And I was given away to strangers at 3 days old. I was given to a mother who didn’t carry and birth me from her own body, so these differences have set us on a very different course from the beginning.
In what ways are do you hope you’re not like your own parents? In what ways do you hope you are like them?