Becoming a mother doesn’t automatically exempt you from having demons. I wish it did. No, the past – the mistakes, the regrets, the inadequacies – for me it’s been quite the contrary. I’ve become hyper-aware of the things that plague me.
I wish I could say that I didn’t wake up depressed. That some days the thought of not eating sounds better than all the chocolate and vice versa. The same goes for a line of cocaine, a pill, an upper, a downer.
To say, “I’m not a perfect mother” would be absurd. I’m a mother, but I’m far from perfect. “I’m not a perfect person?” Eh. Let’s be real – perfect isn’t real.
So I move on to the lesser versions of perfect. Good, kind. I apply those to “mother” and “person.” And I have to get truthful with myself and say that sometimes I am not good, sometimes I am not kind.
Sometimes I am not a kind mom. I yell more than I’d care to admit. Sometimes the thought of being clung to for one more second, or listening to one more whine, makes me want to do a complete ostrich and hide my head in the sand.
Good? I’m really good at being “just okay.”
But still, I move on. I flip through my mental dictionary. Nouns. Adjectives. Adverbs. Words that describe.
And finally I come to honest. And I say, “I am honest.”
I’m honest when I say that I suffer from bouts of depression. That I’m a recovering drug addict. That I’m not sure if what I have is an eating disorder or if I’m just really, really aware of my body and what goes in it. I’m honest when I say that there are days when my anxiety is too much to bear. That my fear of abandoning my children is so intense that I’m not always present because I’m thinking about not being here. It’s a vicious cycle, really.
I’m honest when I say that I’m a mother with demons.
And I don’t believe that makes me any less of a mother. I don’t believe that makes me bad – I believe that makes me the best mother I can be.
I’m a fighter.
A mother who fights her demons – on a daily basis.
I fight them because I am a mother.
And my children will grow up knowing that I’m flawed. Because all humans are flawed and I don’t think they should grow up thinking that we’re not.
Becoming a mother has not made me shiny and pure and magical.
It makes me want to be those things.
It makes me want to be better.
Is that enough? Is wanting those things enough? Is fighting enough?
Want < do. Fight < win.
Wanting = doing. Fighting = winning.
I don’t know, I’ve always been bad at math. I’ll probably have to hire a tutor.