Have you ever experienced how you can sometimes have an idea of yourself that is so strong, an image in your mind that is so vivid that it is like it is entirely removed from reality and that either reality will disrupt the image/idea you had, or the image/idea will be disruptive for reality? For me, that image has been imagining myself being a natural and perfect mother.
I always wanted to be a mother, ever since I was a little girl. It wasn’t something I obsessed over, I don’t remember playing with dolls and pretending that they were babies for example. But I always knew that I wanted to be a mother and I ‘knew’ that I would be good at it. I had this idea that it would be natural and easy for me to be a mother – much in contrast to my own mother who has often admitted that she doesn’t really handle small children well as she does not enjoy them or know what to do with them. Now, my mother wasn’t a horrible mother, but she also wasn’t the ideal image I wanted her to be. So instead, I set off to become that myself.
I remember even one time in my life saying that becoming a good mother was my primary goal in life. Obviously as many people, I didn’t have the perfect mother and so just like so many others before me I wanted to give my child what I didn’t have growing up.
I’ve always been quite ‘natural’ and ‘good’ with children. If I am at a party and there’s children there, I usually make sure to play with them and be with them, often because I find them much more interesting to be with than the adults. So over the years I created this image of myself in my mind of how great and ‘natural’ a mother I would become – not realizing that I was busy creating a ghost in my mind, a glossy, ideal image through which I would separate myself from the practical physical act of being a mother even though I hadn’t even had children yet.
It is interesting: I can easily imagine myself holding a baby, changing its diapers, or holding a toddlers hand. I can even imagine how I would experience myself with a crying baby on my hip and how the sound of its screams would keep me awake at night. What I mean to say is that I don’t have a fairytale fantasy about how wonderful and joyous it will be to have a baby. Fortunately I also have people in my life who are brave enough to share their experiences with motherhood and the process they walk in self-honesty, so it is certainly not like I surround myself with smiling ladies talking about the joy of motherhood.
So the part about the actual child is not something that I am particularly deluded about, at least not as far as I am able to see at the moment. However, when it comes to motherhood, it is something that I’ve spend years building up in my head, its something that I’ve imagined with firm conviction that I would be absolutely excellent at, so much so – that I have become afraid of not living up to my own idea of myself as it is projected into the future.
Motherhood and being a mother has become this ghost in my mind that is haunting me from all the past desires and fantasies I’ve created and in turn, I’ve become a ghost inside myself in relation to potential motherhood.
As I started looking at these points with the assistance of a friend, I realized that I’ve worked a lot with redefining what it means to HAVE a mother, but I haven’t looked at the word ‘mother/motherhood’ in relation to BEING a mother.
And what I see is that I’ve created a strong demarcated polarity of the extremely positive, firm idea of myself on one hand, an idea that I’ve come to define myself by and then a growing fear as its polarity on the other hand, a fear that speaks with a low trembling whisper: “But what if I am not able to be who I thought I was?”
So how I’ve seen myself as an ideal mother in my mind is to be someone who is infinitely patient, stable and calm, someone who is warm and playful and not restrictive or controlling in any way, someone who knows instinctively what to do when it comes to practically taking care of a baby, someone who will always be supportive and caring and never react.
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to create an idea and an image in my mind about how I am going to be as a parent, an idea and image that I’ve committed so much to and believed so much in that I’ve literally separated myself from the reality of what it means to be a parent (or prospecting parent)
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to create a positive ideal in my mind of how I think and believe that I will be as a parent, as a direct polarity to how I saw and perceived adults and parents as a child as being not up to the task, thereby creating an idea and image of myself as being better than them, better than other parents and more superior – – not realizing that I, by doing so was equally trapping myself in the opposite negative reality of being an inferior parent, where I fear not living up to my own ideal image
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to create an image and idea and self-definition of how/who I am going to be as a parent, when I haven’t actually been a parent yet and don’t know how/who I am going to be as a parent – also not realizing that being a parent is much more about deciding who I am and who I am going to be based on real-time feedback and not based on an idea in my mind
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to create the idea in my mind that I am going to be the most amazing, patient, fun, caring, perfect parent who instinctively just does everything right without having ever done it before, because I am apparently ‘born like this’
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to not realize that within creating an ideal image/definition of myself, I also create an expectation for myself to live up to this image, I create a pressure for myself to live up to my own ideal
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to separate myself from the reality of being a parent (or prospecting parent) through accepting and allowing myself to be influenced and affected by media showing ‘the perfect mom’ in advertisements and movies
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to subconsciously integrate images that I’ve seen in movies and advertisements of the stereotype of a perfect mom into my mind through which I’ve built and created an image and idea of myself as a perfect mom – not realizing that an ideal is like a still image, a moment of perfection captured, like a smiling mom in a kitchen with kids all around her baking – not realizing how and image is a snapshot of one moment and how in reality things aren’t absolutely perfect, like the next moment maybe the flour is knocked over or a child starts crying or the mother is for a moment focused on her baking and stops smiling – taking a picture in that moment would present an entirely different image of what kind of mom she is – even though it’s the exact same situation
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to not realize that parenting as well as everything else I’ve never done before, is something I am going to have to discover and create myself within/as AS I go – and not something I can force to become something based on a single image in my mind
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to not realize that by accepting the ideal of being a perfect parent as something that I already am, I’ve created an expectation and have put pressure on myself to become that, only that, exactly that – because otherwise I fear being a bad parent, a messy parent, an impatient parent, an angry and tired and irritated parent – like the parents I saw and lived with as a child
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to not realize that just because I am a parent does not mean that this in itself changes the totality of who I am here, meaning I’ll still have whatever ‘issues’ I have now, only there will be the additional and primary responsibility of taking care of a child – so the parent I would want to be to give a child the best life it can possibly have, is something I am going to walk, exactly as I’m already walking my process of self-perfection and purification
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to fear that I will not be an ideal parent and that I will somehow ‘contaminate’ the child through my own polluted mind, not realizing that while this is not entirely invalid, my fear is based on thinking and believing that its possible and that I am to a certain degree already ‘pure’ rather than walking the process of parenting in real time, just like I’m walking my process now – where I take responsibility for myself and as such stand as an example to my life
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not realize that being a parent is first and foremost about being a guardian of the life that is the child – and I cannot expect myself to be able to do that perfectly for another if I haven’t even done that for myself
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to expect that parenting will just come natural to me, not considering that since parenting is something I’ve never done before, it is going to be a learning process
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to take pride in the image and ideal of myself as a perfect parent, not realizing how the desire to be a mother is a preprogrammed system
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to exist within and as a tension field of conflict within my mind between my ideal image of myself as a perfect parent on one side and the fear of not being ready, not being good enough, of harming my child on the other
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to not realize or consider that if I were to wait until I was perfect before I became a parent, I would never have a child
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to not trust myself to walk through and correct any points within/as myself that are not yet in alignment with what is best for all life when and as I become a parent – which actually reveals that I don’t trust myself to do so now either, as from this perspective, the process is no different when I am not a parent, the only difference is that I will be directly responsible for not only my life but also the life of another, which I realize that I am anyway at any moment, simply not in as a direct and obvious way as when I become a parent
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to not realize and consider that my fear of not being good enough as a parent, my fear of contaminating my child with my own ‘issues’ – is actually a projection where I am projecting my own innocence, my own potential of becoming life, of creating myself – onto a future child, instead of focusing on doing that for myself which I see is required for me to do, to be an effective parent
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to not realize or consider that the effectiveness of who I will be as a parent is a direct reflection of who I am as a ‘parent/guide’ in my own relationship with myself – and so my fear of not being an effective parent is actually revealing parts and aspects of myself that I am already living and that is not yet effective
When and as I see myself going into and participating in thoughts and imaginations about how natural I will be as a parent through which I participate in a positive experience of superiority – I stop.
I realize that I’ve created this idea of superiority based on comparing my idea of myself to other parents that I’ve deemed to be inferior but that I also within that create and exist within and as an inferiority within myself where I fear not living up to my own ideal and my own expectations to myself.
I realize that I don’t have to be a perfect parent and I don’t have to be entirely natural, in terms of knowing exactly what to do with a child – because I have never done it before and so obviously I can’t expect myself to be absolutely perfect at it.
I realize that by creating an ideal image of myself I’ve created expectations for myself to live up to that are in complete misalignment with reality and so I’ve created a conflict inside myself where I am feeling inferior to my own projected ideal – an ideal that isn’t even real
I realize that being a parent is exactly the same as guiding and directing myself through this process, its an absolute responsibility and I realize that any fears I have about being a parent is a direct reflection of who I am in my own relationship with myself as I walk this process
As such, I commit myself to bring all fears I have about being a parent back to myself, and I commit myself to first and foremost make sure that I take responsibility for me, that I walk my process and that I build and create a trust within myself to live and move with integrity, common sense and self-honesty – because that will be the foundation of creating myself as an effective parent
I commit myself to focus on creating a sound and supportive relationship with myself where I develop my own integrity and self-honesty and self-support before venturing into the even bigger responsibility of caring for a child
I commit myself to become the ‘parent’ to myself, the guided directive responsibility that I would have wanted as a child and that I would want to give to a child coming into this world, because I realize that this is the most important relationship I will ever create and that this will be the foundation of creating myself as an effective and supportive parent
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