You Don’t Have to Have a Great Mom to Be One

great mom holding a newborn with a toddler beside her

The biggest fear I have had as a motherless mom was when I realized I had no idea how to be a mom.  I do not have very many memories of having a mother at all. My mother left when I was 6 years old, and our relationship was a roller coaster of toxicity for many years until I got off that ride. She had made her choices and had no intention of changing, so I had to make a decision for my own well-being and end that relationship.

 

Moving forward

It was very painful, and for the longest time, Mother’s Day was a day I dreaded every year. I had many family members who stepped in to help be a motherly figure that I am so grateful for, but it was not my mom. The day I went wedding dress shopping I cried all the way to the store because it was another major moment I wouldn’t have with her, and I thought that was going to be the worst missed moment…until I found out I was pregnant.

When I found out I was going to be a mom, it brought up feelings that I hadn’t thought about yet. “How could I be a mom when I couldn’t even remember how my mom took care of me when she was around?”  When people would ask about how my mom’s pregnancy/labor was and how mine could be similar to hers, I would always shrug and say “I really don’t know because she isn’t in my life anymore.” Not having that baseline of what a mother experiences during pregnancy, labor and motherhood was hard and scary for me.

 

Trusting myself

At some point in trying to figure out my feelings on all of this, I realized that she did teach me to be a mom, just not in the traditional sense that most moms do. She showed me what not to do. She made me realize what I needed when I was little. She made me see that the one thing my baby needs the most is something that isn’t taught at all…unconditional love. That is the fundamental foundation that motherhood is built on, and I had more than enough of that for my baby. The rest will come with time and practice, but step one is to love my child so deeply and always be there for him…something I did not have from her.

The rest did come to me, with lots of practice and patience from my son. Here we are, two years later with two kids, and we are still learning. I used to think that I had to prove that I knew what I was doing and was a good mom, and sometimes I would be overly sensitive to it because of the fact I did not have one…but the truth is you have nothing to prove to anyone! I have learned to trust my instincts and look at it as an adventure.

 

Figuring it out, one day at a time

It is an incredible adventure into the unknown, and my kids and I are figuring out this motherhood thing on our own and that’s pretty cool! No absent mother could give you better advice than following your own mom gut…so give yourself some credit and trust it. At the end of the day, my kids will never know that fear I have sometimes navigating through this, and they will never know what I felt when I was their age.

My hope is that they will always remember how their mom gave it her all every day for them and how much they are loved…and that is our main goal as mothers isn’t it? To the motherless moms out there due to their mother’s choices: you are not alone, you do know what you are doing, and you got this! Embrace the fear of the unknown, and be the mother you wish you had growing up!

 

Our next recos: Setting Boundaries: Why My Mother and I Have a Safe Word

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