I don’t talk about my chidhood much. There’s not a whole lot of positivity there and these days I try to only focus on the positive. It keeps me going and sometimes I forget about that part of my life. Now that I’m a parent it lingers on the edge of my mind if only because I worry I’m turning into my mother.
Any time I have to work or I take a minute to go through social media sites while Beatrice naps or is playing contently I feel this anxiety. I worry she thinks I love her less or not at all or that I’m not stimulating her enough or being present with her when I’m home. She’s a baby of course and basic reasoning and common sense tells me she’s perfectly happy playing with her toys or trying to get her feet in her mouth for a few minutes. The worry remains regardless.
My mother after getting divorced wasn’t the same as she once had been.I do have fond memories of my parents from when I was a toddler. I remember my mother gardening and loving just being there with her and I remember waking up after a nightmare and going into the kitchen to find my dad already awake with his token coca cola (he doesn’t drink coffee) and a book. I don’t remember what he said to me, but I remember feeling better. After my dad left though it became clear things wouldn’t be the same.
My mom no longer stayed home being a single mother I don’t blame her for going to work at all. She stopped spending time with us an stopped coming home at night to go drinking or go on dates. When she was home she was miserable and hung over. I remember cuddling with her when she seemed especially sad and drunk. She would tell me things about her life that children shouldn’t hear but that have made it impossible for me to ever hate her. The first time I’d seen her happy since I was a toddler was when she met my step dad. We were all happy for a while she seemed like she was doing better that didn’t last however they started going out every night together drinking and when they were home my siblings and I were constantly on edge.
My then stepdad choked and beat the shit out of my brother regularly and my mom just stood back and let it happen. He sexually abused both my sister and I which my mom still refuses to accept. When my brother was getting in the way of her happiness with my ex-stepdad she sent him to a mental institution then to my dad and eventually to my grandma rather than taking his side or trying to help him. My entire life we were treated like an inconvenience.
I never want my daughter to feel that way. I never want her to question the love either of her parents have for her. I never want her to feel helpless or like she can’t come to me or that she doesn’t matter or that anything in my life is more important than her well being. I certainly won’t stand back and let anyone hurt her.
I sleep with her curled up much like she was in the womb against my body. I greet her joyfully each morning and play with her every chance I can get. We read stories, snuggle, and nurse Sometimes we watch cooking shows because she enjoys looking at food. I don’t believe I can spoil her with attention. I would be spoiling her if all I offered her were material things. I’m teaching her she can rely on me and that she’s safe. I’m teaching her people care about her.
I rarely if ever drink because I know a lot of the problems my mother had stemmed from that. In fact aside from drinking copious amounts of coffee and sweets to go with said coffee I don’t indulge myself in anything that can be addictive. That’s not to say I haven’t fought any kind of addiction, but that’s another post. This post is me making a promise to my daughter that her mama will always love and value her above all else and that she’ll not only have a childhood, but hopefully a great one.