I've been thinking about this one for a long time. I spent a long time longing for and working hard to physically be a mama. This gave me lots of time to think about parenthood and my relationship with my own mother, which, isn't so great. We don't have a horrible relationship, we just don't really have a good one. She's pretty much openly favored my brother as long as I can remember and it's caused a lot of tension in our relationship. We're civil and I do what I have to do to make sure that I don't make any waves, but when I see people who enjoy spending time with their mother or who look forward to calling her to share news or get advice, I have NO idea what that is like. My mother isn't the one who went wedding dress shopping with me, she wasn't giving me advice on the phone when I was pregnant, and she certainly didn't support me when I was struggling to get pregnant. And I've come to terms with all that over the years, but now that I'm the mama of a little girl, I see things a little differently.
At first when I was pregnant, I gave my mom more leeway then I have in a long time. I started to realize that as a parent, you do the best that you possibly can in any given situation. You're going to make mistakes, you're going to look back in hindsight and say, I should have done that differently, but in the end you want the best for your child. You come to the table with love and that's the most important thing. So I started trying to give my mom the benefit of the doubt and look back on her parenting decisions from her perspective instead of my own, because that's what I hope Bean will do some day.
Then Bean arrived and I can't describe the love that I feel for her. I am bringing love to the table, I am making every decision the best that I possibly can at that moment, and I am doing everything in my power to have a relationship with her that is different then the one that I have with my mom. I have less understanding now then I did before. I see this little person growing and developing and I can't understand how some of the emotions that it's clear my own mother has towards me are possible. I just can't wrap my brain around it. So I'm trying very hard to make sure that things are different for Bean, but to be honest, I'm not sure how. My mother didn't have a good relationship with her mother and spent her entire life as a parent trying to do the opposite so that she would have a different outcome. She tried so hard and yet failed so badly. How do I not fall into that same trap?
I don't have an answer for that. I don't have answers for any of it and I know that my relationship with Bean is going to change over the years. I just want to figure out how to do it right. I want to do as little as possible to mess her up because both hubby and I realize that currently our biggest challenges in our lives (outside of infertility) come from our families and our relationships with them. The last thing I want to be for Bean is a challenge. The only plan that I can currently come up with is to go with my gut. My mother made the mistake of trying to be the opposite of someone else instead of just being herself, and in the end, she turned out just like her mother in many, many ways. So I think the right thing to do is just be real and do what feels right to me. All of my life experiences have gotten me to this point and I can't believe that I'm going to walk the same path that my mother did, because I'm so aware of it, so I just have to believe that I'm prepared and that when I come to the table with love, that Bean will feel it. Because believing anything else at this point, just breaks my heart.