By Alex: 030
I want to be a better parent, does that mean I’m already a decent one? Having babies is painful in lots of way, suddenly your heart is outside of your body. That’s what they say. Fear surrounded things like a heavy fog when I had a newborn for the first time. Less so for the second one, experience I guess, no baby blues, or maybe just less time to worry with multiple children. Every year, sometimes every month, seems to bring a new fear or worry or level of concern. Sometimes an old one slips a little further away too, simultaneously allowing in relief and ushering in sentimentality. It’s complicated. Its complicated. I’m leaving an indelible mark on two tiny humans. I’m woven into there consciousness, their sense of self, their view of the world, their confidence, their relationship to the world and to others, everything. But I’m not a finished person. It’s complicated. I’m not always a nice person, not always calm, not always good. I get tired and angry and frustrated, then try to cover it with love, erase it with love and hugs and kisses. Am I fucking them up? Does this road lead to co-dependent or abusive relationships? Shit. Are they scared? Scared of my reactions? Do they worry? Do they know I love them no matter what, have I made that clear. Is that clear when I get angry at them for spilling juice. I’m angry but I love you. I’m angry. I love you. They live side by side. It’s complicated. The anger is mine, but the love is all theirs. I’m trying, but there is no time. Years swim around me, water filling my ears. Is this drowning or if I let go a little will I just float. I should let go more. I’m missing things in my desperation to get things done. I don’t want that for my babies. I want them to live well and I don’t want to destroy that in them. It’s a natural inclination that gets smothered by the world, but I’m their mother. I should protect them from that. I should nurture their joy, despite my lack of it, in spite of my lack of it. Should should should. How do you help someone thrive when you feel like you are just surviving? That’s what women do. Join the long, selfless list. There is no list. Invisible. Do I want that for my daughter. Do I want my that for my son. Set the example, action not words. They will remember the actions, the way I made them feel. Is love enough. Can it be enough and we’ll work the rest out? We can work the rest out.