“I’m just surprised by the kind of mother I am,” I said.
My sweet therapist nodded as she listened with compassion.
I went on to tell her how I had assumed I would be the kind of mother my mother was. She was my primary role model for mothering, after all.
I thought I wouldn’t worry.
I thought I would be completely laid back.
I thought I would go with the flow and follow my instincts without wondering if I was doing it right.
But I had become a different kind of mother somehow.
I obsessed about sleep schedules, my milk supply, and whether I was playing with Penelope enough.
When I wasn’t with her I checked in with whoever was taking care of her regularly to see if she was okay.
(When I asked my mom if she had worried about my sister and me when she wasn’t with us when we were little, she told me she hadn’t. Her work of delivering babies and performing surgeries required her full presence. She couldn’t attend a woman in labor and worry about our nap schedules at the same time.)
To be honest, I didn’t really love being the kind of mother I had become.
It recently dawned on me (duh!) that I get to choose the kind of mother I am.
We all get to choose the kind of [fill in the blank] we are.
We get to choose the kind of business owner we are.
We get to choose the kind of wife we are.
We get to choose the kind of sister/friend/community member/artist/healer/employer/employee/leader we are.
There are some parts of my mother I definitely want to embody in my mothering: the healer, the intuitive, the listener, someone with a relaxed sense of all is well.
And there are some new things that I want to bring to the table, too.
While we all have inherent gifts and proclivities, what we choose to bring forth in our daily lives is up to us.
(I have a tendency to be on the anxious side, for example. I can choose to let my anxiety drive my mother bus, or I can ask it to sit in the back.)
Over To You:
So, what kind of mother do you want to be? What kind of sister/friend/community member/artist/healer/employer/employee/leader/person do you want to be? Tell me about it in the comments!