A Mother’s Epiphany: What is Motherhood + Being a “Perfect” Mother? May 12, 2013
This is a submitted epiphany from one of our awesome readers / members of our community. Happy Mothers’ Day!
“There’s no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one.”
As a kid I thought that grown-ups were perfect, or at the very least I thought they knew a lot more than I did. They seemed infallible, these tall people who walked through my life freely telling me what I should do, how I should act, what I should say. I trusted them, rarely questioned them and if I did speak up I would usually feel guilty afterwards…as if I had done something wrong.
So when, at twenty-six, I had a baby of my own I half expected some kind of holistic wisdom to dawn on me, to take over my mind and instill the kind of confidence that all other parents appeared to have.
Instead I felt nervous, inadequate and constantly overwhelmed. My daughter, Noelle, was perfect…and demanding. And somehow that shift from the naive child to the all-knowing adult eluded me. I still felt at the mercy of someone, only instead of my own parents, it was now this tiny little being I held in my arms.
It wasn’t until years later that it would occur to me (my epiphany): These feelings, this unworthiness…it began and ended with me. No one was telling me I was inept except me. No one was saying “You don’t know what you’re doing.” Only I did that.
Motherhood is a layer that lies within us that can be accessed at any time. It is a wisdom born many millenia ago that beats in the breast of everyone. I was too scared to look. I hid behind the belief that everyone else knew better than I did, when the truth is: we’re all the same. I believe we all come from the same place and that we’re headed back there too. And while we’re here, we’re meant to help one another.
My children are my greatest teachers. And while much of the time they are gleaning from my experience, often I am learning just as much from them. They show me my impatience, my tendency to people-please, and my temper. They also show me my infinite capacity to love and feel compassion. I have never been inept, but there have been times where I have been unwilling to accept my God-given power. Being a mother has shown me that it does no one any good to play small. We need one another. My children need me to be as bright a light as I can in order to help shine a way for them, but so do my brothers and sisters. And for them, I am willing. I can look at the world as a classroom filled with fellow students whose sole purpose is to help me remember the infinite Love I came from, just as my children do each and every day. Yes, I can do that.
~Danielle Boonstra, Ancaster Canada
(above photo provided by Danielle with her daughter, Noelle. All rights reserved.)
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