Have you ever had the fear that you would make the same mistakes with your child that your parents made with you?
Have you ever caught yourself thinking that you do not want to be like your parents?
Well, I have.
And not just that, I have spent a long time worrying about,
What if, I turn out to be a mother like my own mother?
It was something I didn’t want to see happen at any cost.
But as time moved on, I noticed, to my horror, that on many occasions, I would find myself blurting out the exact phrases my mother used to say when I was little.
Things that I grew up wishing I would never ever say to my child.
Reacting in ways that I despised when my parents did it to me.
And guess what, once I calmed down, I would hate myself for doing that.
I would beat myself up in my mind for not being mindful enough, for not working hard at becoming the parent I wanted myself to be.
It took me a while before I learnt to catch myself mid-action.
It took me a lot of reflecting to be able to stop short of reacting in ways I didn’t want to be treated as a child.
Being overly conscious not to do or say similar things my mother did or said to me made me feel as if it had been keeping me from having the kind of relationship I wanted to build with my daughter.
When my longing to build something beautiful with my daughter wouldn’t let me be at peace I embarked upon the quest of finding a way to break free from a number of limiting beliefs.
♥ To stop fearing that I would become my own mother in due course of time because I am aware that I am not my mother.
I am an altogether different person.
♥ To get to the root of why I was so worried about not turn out like my mother. I knew I didn’t like being around her, but I needed to know what exactly was I running from.
I had no clue where to start.
I couldn’t turn to my only sibling who had severed all ties with the family.
That’s when I decided to do what I always do when I feel stuck.
Writing all my thoughts in a journal.
I was beating about the bush for a long time, arriving nowhere and running around in a circle of confusion, anger, self-pity, worry and seeking answers.
That’s when a thought struck me.
Why was I so hesitant in being an imperfect parent?
And I knew I had no issues in being my authentic, imperfect self.
Why could I not give myself the room to be wrong or to make the mistakes I knew other parents (like my own parents) made too?
Why was I struggling so hard to forgive myself every time I failed to meet my (self-set)standards of parenting?
Why could I just not ease up a bit?
I must say, this train of thoughts lifted a load off my shoulders.
I was beginning to see the things I had overlooked in the past.
I was now excited to try a new approach.
Something that would allow me to be my authentic self.
Something that would free me from the burden of my childhood memories.
That would be a miracle I had been waiting for all this while.
Oh yes! I do believe in miracles but from a realistic standpoint.
I believe, we all have the potential, the ability and the strength to create miracles if only we set our mind, our intentions and our hearts in the process.
And that’s exactly what I tried.
I tried to go easy on myself every time I messed up.
I noticed that I would often get so caught up in the ‘what I should have done’ that I’d often overlook how stressed that made me feel.
In hindsight, the moments that were burdening my soul were nothing but the times I had a grumpy mood or failed at acting like an emotional adult.
Perfectly normal and no big deal to be very honest.
The truth is, perfection is a myth.
Perfect moms are not real.
No matter how much we wish it weren’t the case, working hard to make it happen only makes us anxious, uptight and distracted.
This awareness, this understanding lit up a light that changed my perspective.
I decided to change the only obstacle in my life, my mindset.
I had to accept that making mistakes is NORMAL.
I had to learn to keep going despite my fear of things not going the way I had hoped for them.
And that’s what I have been relentlessly working on.
I learnt to go ahead and create second chances every time I did something I wished I had done differently.
Yes, I’d simply ask my daughter if we could start over again.
And she would be more than glad to restart and fix things for the better.
To iron out the creases, to give love a chance and to be who we both love being.
And guess what, the more open I got to accepting life as it is, the lighter, brighter and fun my interactions with my daughter have become.
Even in times when I’m stressed, tired and worn down.
And at times, when I act or speak like my own mother, I choose to be kind to myself. Deliberately. Sometimes investing every ounce of my willpower. And it has gotten easier over time. Almost habitual.
Today, I choose to be extra kind to myself marvelling at how deep our past experiences rewire our brains to act in certain ways.
I am learning to no longer fear if history chooses to repeat itself.
I’m busy creating the life I want.
I’m granting myself another chance every time I mess up at rocking my relationship with my child.
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