I AM A MOM.
A title as grand as “Queen” or “President”. In a mom’s world, not only are we the Queen of our children, we are also the Ruler, CEO, judge, jury, teacher, servant and molder of the next generation. And the next generation will show whether we have triumphed or failed. We have it all. And with all this responsibility comes an overwhelming awareness that we as moms’ can create a child eager to embrace life.
Or we can develop a child who will be tied down by a lifetime of baggage.
I follow many bloggers who deal daily with the baggage and PTSD from abuse inflicted on them by parents, especially moms’. Their posts are “gut wrenching” at times, but a great inspiration and reminder of what I am and what I should not be and not do to my children. I feel for each of you and thank you for teaching me what NOT to do.
I grew up oblivious of childhood abuse but both my parents suffered horrible abuse as children. And they determined that their children would not suffer the same fate. My mom is a blessing, with a servant Christian heart full of love for others. Her sweet face shines with her love for Jesus, and she is fully deserving of the title of MOM.
I became a mom at the age of 30, after 5 years of hedonistic marriage. We weren’t sure we really wanted children. But, at 30, I told my husband to decide, now or never. We decided now. And I got pregnant that very first month, a huge shock as I figured I had time.
Darn sperm swim as fast as he does.
I wasn’t ready. Then I had complications. My son’s umbilical cord developed a knot and he wasn’t well fed during my pregnancy. The second I saw him, I was mesmerized with his bright gold-spun hair and huge blue eyes. And then I noticed his fragile, thin, shriveled little body.
He was my responsibility 24 hours a day. I vaguely knew all of this during my pregnancy, but the reality didn’t hit me until I first held him in my arms. The weight of my title settled on me, a huge monster. I couldn’t enjoy him, I was so afraid of what I had done. My son had tremendous eating issues. He has the textural form of sensory integration disorder, and has been failure to thrive since birth, as well as oversensitive to tactile surfaces and clothes. At 14, he still is a nightmare to feed.
As a mom with a baby, successfully feeding your child is essential for bonding and feeling like a ‘good’ parent. But for us, feeding him was just a nightmare. It took an hour to nurse or feed him with a bottle. He would only take a couple of ounces. I spent night and day trying to wake him up, feed him, pump, and cry over my failure at this first most basic task of motherhood. I developed severe postpartum depression.
I hated him for my failure.
It is a terrible burden to hate your baby. And because of it I tried doubly hard. Too hard. I knew it wasn’t his fault, he had a problem, but no one would help me. His pediatrician acknowledged that he had a poor suck, and just said to ‘work with it’. I was too mired in despair to reach out for help. I am a voice for all those who suffered the pain of depression after childbirth. It will haunt me for the rest of my life. And because of it my memories of his babyhood are dim.
Recently my son, who thinks he is God’s gift to the world, started calling me Lori. I looked at him and said, “I am your mother. I am the only mother you will ever have. I am the only person you can truly ever call Mom. There are many children who don’t have the gift of knowing their mom, either through death or separation. You are blessed, and I want you to think about that the next time you want to call me Lori.”
He has never called me Lori again. Of course, he uses my title in other irritating ways now. When he wants something or is irritated or anxious he either calls out “MMMMMMOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMM” or beats a staccato “MOM< MOM<MOM. While I want to say, “Stop you brat you’re killing me!”, I instead take a deep breath, knowing that he is calling me the best title in the world.