Almost all of the things I do as a mother are because I learned them from my mother.
Or at least, I learned that I wanted to do exactly the opposite of everything she did. And I don’t mean in the silly way like on TV, where the woman has kids and vows not to be the same way her mother was, and then turns out exactly like her. I mean really; I do not want to be anything like her. Off the top of my head, I can’t think of any show or movie that has a mother/daughter relationship that I could compare to my own. Sure, there are always the mother’s that start out rough around the edges in the beginning, but always seem to come around by the end of the program.
That’s not my relationship with my mother at all.
I’m not close with my mother. When I was growing with my younger sister and brother, it seemed she was always more worried about what was going on in her personal life than she was about us. Her free time. Her dating life. Her happiness. Yes, those things are important for anybody, single mother or not, but our mom always seemed to take it too far. She’d drag us to go visit her boyfriends with her, make sure we left the house on the weekends because she didn’t want us around. It always seemed more about her. There have been times when I’ve even gone as far as to say that she never wanted to be a mother, but our dad wouldn’t give us up. It’s harsh, I know, but it’s how I feel.
Now, as an adult myself, I can see more clearly how toxic my mother’s behavior was, and still is. She constantly shifts blame to everybody else, no matter what the situation is. Nothing is ever her fault. She projects her securities onto her children, and then wonders why we never come around. If confronted about any of this, she blows up and doesn’t listen to anything that anybody has to say.
I’ve learned that a lot of my anxiety comes from how I was raised. Our lives weren’t exactly stable when we were kids, so we learned to be on high alert, even if it wasn’t necessary.
So, when I had my daughter, I vowed I’d be nothing like the way my mother was to me.