No suspense, the last of the list is this:
#10 – A thriving mother loves herself
It seems so simple, but is terribly complicated. For some of us, we love parts of ourselves. Others it is difficult to say anything specifically we love about ourselves. Maybe it depends on the day.
It was early February 2012, my neighbor called mid-afternoon asking if I would mind if she dropped off a chicken pot pie. She was making one for her family’s dinner and had extra that didn’t freeze well. It was like manna from heaven and I graciously accepted. She knew Littles was brand new, but she had no idea the struggle I was in the midst of. For one night, I felt like a good mom, because my family had a hot, nutritious dinner.
One of my greatest fears is that I won’t be the role model that my daughter deserves. This isn’t new. I felt at 21 weeks pregnant in the moment the ultrasound technician said, “It’s a girl!”
I have a mother who couldn’t have done it better. She would be quick to tell you that she was far from perfect, but that is exactly the mother I need. I needed to see that perfection isn’t what motherhood is about. Motherhood is a messy love like a pot of pork ragu that simmers for an entire day. Not made of any special ingreidents, but the preparation creates the ultimate richness and a splattery mess all over your stove.
Isolation is a powerful state. The idea of being separated from others makes most of us uncomfortable. It isn’t just physically being alone, it is the experience of loneliness. Frieda Fromm-Reichmann wrote a ground-breaking essay in the 1950s in which she talks about a topic that at the time was largely overlooked. She distinguished “real loneliness” from mourning, since the well-adjusted eventually get over that, and from depression, which may be a symptom of loneliness but is rarely the cause. Loneliness, she said is the want of intimacy. Isn’t it true, don’t we all need closeness and to feel cozy?
#5 – A thriving mother accepts and maybe even prides herself on her vulnerabilities
Vul-ner-a-ble – adjective
Definition: susceptible to physical or emotional attack or harm
Synonyms: helpless, defenseless, powerless, impotent, weak, susceptible