Your first moment of looking at your beautiful new born baby is precious. Your child is perfect in it’s innocence. It has no worries, no issues. It’s not capable of hatred or evil. It’s only ability is to love and be loved. You promise to love and raise your child in that ethos.
But then life gets in the way.
As a mother who developed depression as soon as my first child was born, I stupidly thought my child wouldn’t be effected by my moods. What must it have been like as a baby to here your mother crying or shouting in frustration or just being sad all the time. He must have been so scared and so sad himself. He was a sensitive lad. He learned not to upset me. And then he grew away from me.
I thought I did it better on my second child, I thought I hid my anguish well, but I didn’t. She saw my sadness too and she learned to hide her emotions completely. And the poor little pet had her little worries and fears, but she never told me about them. She didn’t want to upset me, so she buried them. But emotions and feelings need to be expressed and if they’re suppressed they do their own bit of damage….. Oh if I could only turn the clock back, I would do it so differently. I would know how to be a proper mother. I wouldn’t carry as much guilt.
Why didn’t I know how to be a good mother? I remember asking myself that question time and time again. It felt like such a hard job. Not the general caring for the babies, but the crying and upsets. The eating problems and the toilet training accidents. I was way out of my depth. The no sleep is a big thing I know, but no excuse for anger. I felt incapable.
When my last child came along, I went and got help for my depression and I realised I had to be a better mother. I needed to listen to my children’s emotional needs and react accordingly.
I know now how to be a proper mother. Well, I’m not a super mom or anything, but I now know how to meet my children’s emotional needs. By listening and dealing with things slowly.
Because that little innocent bundle of love that is as absorbent as a sponge is witness to you. Your life’s issues, your pain, your sadness, your loss.
And as your little child grows, it grows in fear. It’s education is marred by worry and anxiety. It learns that the world is a scary place.