I was blessed to have an amazing mom growing up. My sister and I were her everything and she gave us all her life and attention. She raised us to be strong, to not rely on a man for things, and to use our brains. She’s the reason I don’t know a stranger and I try to see the good in everyone and everything. My mom showed me so much love and compassion that when I became a mother at the young age of 20, I was scared. Could I love my child like this? Would I be good enough?
I think we all have this fear before we have our first born. That dreaded feeling of “will we be able to love this baby enough?” I remember people telling me all the joy and love that would fill my heart. But, it wasn’t until I made that last push in labor and all the sudden this squishy 10 lb. 9 oz., 22.5-inch-long baby was on my chest and…I was in love. And I’m not talking just happiness and feeling warm inside. It was a love I can’t explain, a love so deep that I knew no matter what my future held, my love for this human was all that mattered. It was my mission to give him all my love and all my life just how my mother did (and still does) for me.
My sweet baby
Looking back, my son was such a good baby. He turned into a wild man as a toddler, which lasted until about age 10. I was young and we grew up together. I had the energy to play along, and I loved it! He was my little buddy and he thought I was the most beautiful and smartest human on the planet. Sure, he was attached to my hip but he still loved to play with others. He would make me things, bring me flowers (weeds) from outside, and tell me stories. I was his mommy and his everything. How could I not give every ounce of my love to that? Motherhood was so easy to me.
Then puberty happened
I’m not really sure when it happened or how it happened, but change came in with fury! Hormones from hell hit my perfect boy. I had no idea how to deal with this monster that was taking over my child. He challenged everything I said and I had to tell him no and take away privileges. I mean of course he did dumb things as a kid, but this was different. The older he got, the worse the attitude and the further away I felt from my child.
He acted like I didn’t know anything and looked up to his peers and people I didn’t even know instead of me. He retreated to his room and never wanted to talk. It was like I was an inconvenience to him if he had to answer a simple question. Punishing him for doing bad things was horrific and the entire family suffered. Motherhood was exhausting me on all levels; emotionally, physically, and mentally. To be completely honest, this kid was becoming really hard to love and it was breaking my heart.
Calling out to my puberty war veterans
My son is only 15, so I’m currently in the thick of my war. I often feel lost and like I’m completely failing as a mom. Am I doing everything right? No way! Is any mom doing everything completely right? Of course not! I see a therapist, I rely on my veteran mom friends who survived the teenage years and my mom friends who are on this bus with me. Sometimes we just need to laugh about who’s teenager is worse over a glass of wine. And, of course, my own precious mama who reminds me that I wasn’t the most pleasant teenager and she now gets the pleasure to sit back and be mams (aka grandma) who doesn’t have to punish and doesn’t have to do the hard stuff while she watches me be the woman she so proudly raised.