Tuesday, June 28, 2011

On being a mother and other things

My mom and I ca. 1985

I'm intrigued about whether my mom shaped me to be a successful, forgiving individual and whether I became more depressed, resentful, and bitter after I stopped having constant contact with her.
See, I was always with her when I was a little girl, she protected me, and nurtured me and only as an adult have I come to understand how much hurt and chaos and pain she had in her life with my father, but as far as I'm concerned, even as I grew up and became a young adult I was always her child and she has never ever abandoned me.
She says I talked at about 9 months, I can believe that; she has always told me so many stories of when I was a baby or a toddler, of things I can't remember and they are so sweet. I can hear myself talk to my baby daughter like my mom probably talked to me. But I'm probably not as good as my mom was, and this saddens me.  I am afraid that although I've developed a strong bond with my baby daughter, it is probably tainted (I was reading Attachment and Adult Relationships: How the Attachment Bond Shapes Adult Relationships) because I've been depressed, impatient, tired, frustrated, and honestly quite resentful and bitter because of our old house and monetary problems.
I don't think my mom suffered from depression until I was maybe a little older, and if she has had bouts with it, they have totally been circumstantial and temporay. My mom is an optimist, a joy to all her friends and her grandchildren have enjoyed her (until they turn into teenagers and forget about her) because she is so loving and funny to them.
I miss her so much. She's in central Mexico, about 1200 miles away or two flights away, or a three day drive away. And one of the hardest things for me about now raising little P is not having my mom close by, so they can enjoy each other and I can cherish my mom's company.
Last year she came to be with me a few weeks before my baby was born and stayed a few months after and I can't remember having such an amazing time with her before then. We would go for walks every evening with my huge belly and slow pace and she would help me in the vegetable garden, then after baby was born we would take her with us for our walks when she wasn't napping, but every time I strolled along with my mom, I swear I almost peed my pants  because she would tell me the funniest things. This summer I have had some really hard days, I stopped taking the zoloft in late May, after I found out we're expecting our second child. But even while I was taking the medication, when I take baby in her stroller on "grandma's walking route" a bittersweet stream of feelings overcomes my heart and I wish she were there with me.

I just wish I will be as good a mom as she is, she does have some flaws, can be dictatorial and critical and is probably a bit helicopterish, at least she was, when I was growing up, but I guess I didn't turn to be a criminal or a worse off woman because of her. My father's alcoholism and emotional abuse has probably more to do with my ailments, but that's for another post. My mom tried to shelter me, but as we all know the codependent spouse can only shelter so much. Her path has been so interesting, I could talk for hours about her life, because she talked for hours about it with me. It would annoy the crap out of me at the time, but I know better now.

I see my husband and I know his parents were so different than mine, his birth order is different than mine, his sociocultural environment when growing up way different than mine, and you can see he's a very resiliant individual but I'm afraid that the cornerstone of his insecurities, emotional disconnect, feeling stuffing, and inability to pursue real success and make of himself someone greater than he ever imagined lies on the attachment, or lack of, with his mother.
All he has ever achieved he has achieved on his own, without anyone on his cheering squad, only after he's done something has he recieved some congratulatory comment, if any.  (I'm by no means saying his parents are bad people, just saying the ambition and willingness to help their children believe the sky's the limit wasn't present when my husband was a young man). This takes a toll on our marriage and our financial situation.
I was raised (by an enthusiastic mom) to go and get, to never feel ashamed of being smart (go figure!), to go to the beat of my own drum, and if someone had a problem with it, to know someone had my back. I'm becoming a worm, digging deeper in the dirt to not even suggest that I can conquer the world, that we can bring more money home if he chooses to be the stay at home parent or redirect his goals and take a more realistic approach to the fact that his speech may be the reason as to why he can't and probably will not advance in the financial field, that we could be so much better off if we both had the guts to "go and get", to "stand up and do" and stop resting in our laurels and pretend that where we're at is good enough, when it isn't.
I started off in this relationship being very dominant, wrong approach of course, because, this far into it, it was easier to join him than to change him, our finances are a mess and our lifestyle, plain mediocre; and this, of course makes the depression worse when it lurks around the corner. Then I have no validity in his eyes, "because I'm ill". It's a vicious cycle. Then I want to go to my mom and hide in her arms...or at least go for a walk with her on a summer evening...

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