Sunday, August 19, 2007

Birth of a Jurl

My daughter is three years old and I'm already certain raising a girl is more complicated than quantum physics. I look at myself and see a nervous breakdown in progress and I fear that I will pass on all my crap to my beautiful little girl.

It's hard to know where I end and she begins. Is it my fault she loves sweets and french fries? Does she not like her two piece swimsuit because she already has a body complex? Does she eat her boogers because she's developing an eating disorder? Do I tell her she's pretty too often? Do I tell her she's smart often enough?

How do I keep from screwing this kid up? A therapist once said to me "You can't give your children what you don't have." She was referring to my mother's inability to pass on to me the self-esteem she so sorely lacked. That statement haunts me because I wonder about all of my failings and how this might be my legacy to my daughter. If only I could go to the Personality Store and purchase a few things. I'd pick up a gallon of Self-Esteem juice, a box of Happiness flakes, and a cart full of Love Your Body vitamins. Sadly, what I lack I can't purchase so I continue you to work on myself in an attempt to work on my toddler. It's unfortunate for both of us that in her most formative years her mother is in the throws of a mid-life crisis. I'm still working out who I want to be when I grow up and what I want out of my life. On the plus side, I may have some good advice to offer her in thirty years when she has her own identity crisis since she most surely will, having witnessed mine during the aforementioned formative years.

On the flip side of this is my husband who doesn't seem to have any of these concerns. It's as if he believes the only thing he has to pass on to our children is his greatness. Not lacking in self-esteem at all, he is a pillar of certainty. When I'm mad at him I'm quite sure he will ruin our children with his arrogance and inflexibility, but when I'm not mad I'm hopeful he will give them what I absolute belief in ones self. Oh, to be a man and completely obtuse.

My compulsive worry and fear for my children is probably what will leave the biggest imprint. I'm sure that's why so many people sit in a therapist's office discussing their mothers. a mother's love is boundless and knows no boundaries. Mother's make the world go round, but they throw in some crazy to give it pizazz.

I comfort myself with the knowledge that I love her truly and I'm doing my very best. Surely this will counter act some of my crazy, but I've started a therapist savings account for her just to be on the safe side.


Anonymous said...

I don't know you...I was passed your blog about "Reality of a Jurl" from a friend of a friend. Obviously your comments rang true for many and they were inspired to pass your reality to others. If only to assure other women that their life/home/family is not the only one in complete chaos and disorder. But I had a thought I wanted to share. You comment that you hope you are not ruining your child because you have yet to get it together. I have a six year old daughter, a 3 1/2 year old son, and a 6 month old baby boy. My life is far from together. And the crap I pass on to my children is daily. But what I have found in the last couple years (because it was at that point I DID have my breakdown and thought no way on earth could I possibly raise two children and live through it) - is that I have begun to change, not necessarily to improve myself, but for the very concern you expressed, to spare my children the impact of having me as thier mother. I can live with me. But I don't want my children to have to live with me and follow my poor examples. I have recognized one of the marvelous miracles of motherhood. I will do things for my children that I would have never done for myself. And because of them, I will be a better person.

So, in light of that, I have tried to console myself that I too am doing the best I can. And some days are better than others. But I feel strongly that my children chose me as their mother. I think one reason being they were and still are willing to help me change. And I have a hope that my improvement will return full circle and they will be better people. I know they will deal with their own issues when they are adults, but hopefully some day the negative generational patterns that are passed on will be fewer and fewer.

I applaud your own therapy to others. It is refreshing to hear honesty in the challenges of motherhood...and as much as I would love to write more, I am off to fee the crying baby and start "Diego pooter games" for my 3-year old. If mom has a turn on the computer, he feels justified that he should too.

jurl said...

thanks so much for your response. I started this blog because I have so many friends that share the daily struggle of motherhood and i know that if we feel this way so do a lot of other women. So i hope women who think it's just them or are too ashamed to admit they want to kill their children sometimes, and that they're too tired to have sex or even shave, will read this and feel strength in numbers. I'm blessed to have lots of good freinds to hear me vent, but this blog (which I started on a whim) may be the most theraputic thing I've ever done. Especially when I receive such comments.