Friday, October 23, 2015

Human Emotions

In defense of loving mothers everywhere, myself included...

Frequently I use my blog as an outlet to express my frustrations with life, especially motherhood. I forget that occasionally my blog is actually read by somebody. The primary reason I don't use my full name, or link my blog to other social media outlets, is to avoid embarrassing or hurting someone I know. But I am a human being with real human feelings (although it often seems that moms aren't considered "real" people), and I do sometimes say things that are very real. A person, even a mother, can only take so much.

Mothers are human beings, first and foremost. We don't stop feeling once we have children. As a matter of fact, our feelings become much more intense when we have children we love more than life itself, and nothing hurts more than giving all we have to those children only to receive hateful comments, disrespect, thoughtlessness, and never-ending blame in return.

There isn't a derogatory name that hasn't been hurled my way at one time or another in my 37 years of child rearing. It hurts, especially when I've tried to give my best to my children. I'm sorry if my best wasn't everything they thought they needed, but it was all I had to give. I had a childhood, too, and it made me who I am, for better or worse. Mothers aren't robots, created solely for the purpose of handing out wishes and rainbows and problem-free childhoods. We come into the job carrying the weight of our own baggage. Some loads are heavier than others.

I have been accused of thinking I'm perfect, usually in response to correcting one of my children or when using my own experiences to teach life lessons. I have never once thought I was perfect. I am actually quite hard on myself, always wishing I had done one thing or another differently and being painfully aware of my shortcomings.

I have always loved my children, even in moments when I didn't like them very much. But even mothers are allowed to hold their children accountable for their own actions and choices. Actually, I'm pretty sure that's one of the most important aspects of the job.

God made me, loves me, and gave me the same human emotions He gave every other person He ever created. Becoming a mother didn't remove my ability to feel pain. A mother's heart doesn't just break when her children suffer; sometimes our hearts break when our children inflict suffering on us.

I try my best to observe the Golden Rule---to treat others as I would like to be treated---but in my humanity I sometimes fail. As a mother, I have an obligation to do my best to raise the children with whom I've been entrusted so that they will hopefully become kind, responsible, mature adults. Almost no one gets through childhood without a few bumps and bruises. Parents receive on-the-job training. Children don't come with instruction manuals, probably because no two children are exactly the same.  Most parents do the best they can with what they know, what they've experienced, and what they think each child needs.

Life isn't perfect.  Not for children, not for parents. We can take our childhood experiences and learn from them, or we can use them as weapons against those who raised us. Only one of those choices will make you a better person. The choices you make as an adult are what define you. You alone are responsible for what you make of the life you were given, even if you feel you deserved more. 

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