Being a Mom so far has been a delicate balance of being my absolute best self and showing off a highlight reel of my shittiest traits. High, highs and low, lows.
It’s been a cycle of conflict in wanting to be the Mom I envisioned I’d be and then accepting reality. A conflict of the heart, paired nicely with a hormone cocktail from hell.
Surprising to me, my personal flaws did not vanish with the delivery of my son. Remarkably, I did not emerge as a graceful Fraulein Maria, guitar in tow, and despite all efforts, I am still my old, imperfect self.
In my case, it is as if my imperfections have returned from some sort of temporary hiatus only to come back stronger than ever. Perhaps my faults have been training at Crossfit, can now bench twice their weight, and can’t wait to tell you about it. In other words, my flaws are alive, well, and practically thriving.
Before my sweet, darling baby was born I’d like to say I had made some significant strides towards improving myself. A recovering impatience junkie, I had made a concerted effort to being a more patient person. Well, that all worked until baby was born.
Since his birth I’ve had too many moments of impatience and frustration. I’ve been annoyed, short-fused, and high-strung. I have been mad more times than I can count. Sure, these are moments in time and for the most part I just sit around and gaze at my little miracle with tears in my eyes but these fleeting moments really piss me off. Why can’t I just be perfect? It’s as if I embarked upon this Motherhood thing with the desire to be really exceptional at it, straight out of the gate.
Before I was Mom I could forgive myself pretty easily. I could make amends, say the right thing, and commit to be better next time. And I would be better next time. But since my babe was born, it’s just not that easy. It’s as if I have been hijacked by newfound guilt and have lost all ability to exercise self compassion.
Rumi tells us, “If you are irritated by every rub how will your mirror be polished.” If the goal is to be shining and bright, then the work is in the polishing. The work is in the day to day labour of love. The work is in devoting yourself to being better for something bigger than yourself. It’s all kinds of selflessness; a heavy, beautiful love.
It’s in these life chapters that we’re the hardest on ourselves. Because the desire to be extraordinary is so great, the real challenge is in accepting our “best.”
After all, he is a mirror reflection of me.
Photo Credit: Oliver Bergold
Being a Mom has all sorts of surprises, twists, and turns. Tell me how you are your best self and Mom in the comments.