Updated: Dec 5, 2019
In my mind I have always had my own thoughts on what a mother was supposed to be.
I have always thought that the things that a mother was supposed to do came with sacrifice. All of the things I never thought I could be.
I saw only my flaws and how those things would negatively effect children.
I never realized that as a mother you must continue to push forward.
There is no feeling that is too overwhelming.
There is no moment where you can stop and quit.
You can't breathe and have your own life or thoughts.
I was wrong.
As my children grew and this journey got harder, I soon realized that I was the one who had to determine what I was supposed to be as a mother.
I could not let my flaws define me.
I began self reflecting and realized that I knew what the definition of a mother was, I just needed to believe that I was capable of standing firm in my role.
At the age of 26, I was a wife and mother of 4 that was homeless. I had the weight of the world on my shoulders and didn't know if I was coming or going.
I was losing my mind and couldn't understand who I was or why my children still loved me.
I didn't understand how my children could wake up in someone else's home and still laugh at the t.v. while never questioning what was next.
My beautiful resilient and amazing children that had grown with me through our trials and tribulations.
Did I have what it took to keep going?
I cried for them.
I prayed for them.
I laid awake at night overly thinking about what could possibly be done next to get us to the next step.
I begged for them.
I laid down my own peace of mind for them to have peace.
I endured discomfort and pain so that they would never have to feel it.
I gave up my selfishness to ensure that when my children woke up and laid down at night they would dream beautiful dreams when we slept in a nightmare.
I was betrayed by many.
I was almost destroyed by the past things that had arisen in my life to haunt me when I thought that it couldn't get any worse.
My faith was strong enough but I hadn't realized that was all I needed to remember to make it.
Why allow my children to struggle with me instead of sending them with someone else?
My children were my reason for continuing to go on.
I wanted to see them grow.
Their personalities grew day to day.
I never knew that all of my children were individually different people.
I never understood that I couldn't put them in the box I wanted them to live in.
The struggle showed me what I hadn't known.
The struggle made me wonder how I could be better.
The struggle hurt.
The struggle was worth it.
I have never wanted to live more than anything until I went through the struggle.
I chose to be here for my children because they are the purest form of me and my husband.
They show me the things I was too scared to see and follow through on when I was a little girl.
How did I learn to be a mother?
I questioned my mother as a child.
I questioned my mothers choices as an adult.
I questioned my mothers motives.
I questioned my mother as a woman, a wife and human being.
I wasn't capable of accepting that all people have flaws including my own mother.
I fought against trusting her.
I fought against any idea of being able to be her daughter.
I never wanted to be able to do any of the things she felt I should do.
I was rebellious because I never knew that my mother didn't truly know how to be a mother, she was just doing what she knew.
She was fighting whatever battle she viewed as overwhelming.
She was reaching out to whoever she thought was showing her the love she needed.
She was trusting people that she never knew wanted to destroy her because in her eyes they smiled and told her the things that fulfilled her at that time.
She had never understood what it meant to be loved by her children because she didn't know what that love was supposed to feel like.
She didn't actually know what that type of love looked like.
She was mentally, emotionally and physically broken.
She was incapable of doing what I felt a mother was supposed to do because my idea of a mother was not the same thought she had of what a mother was supposed to be to me.
She worked hard. She needed love. She needed to find herself but didn't know how.
How could I forgive her?
I forgive her because I had to forgive myself.
I forgive her because I made some decisions that my children couldn't possibly understand that sometimes led to worse situations for our family.
I forgive her because I grew as a mother through the struggles.
I forgive her because God showed me that he can fix the broken and heal wounds that I never thought I would stop feeling pain from.
I forgave the woman who was once broken so that I could rebuild a strong relationship with my mother and my children could have their grandmother.
I longed for what my children are now going to be able to have.
A family that is built on a strong foundation.
A family that is there in the happy times.
A family that is there when they are in need of encouragement.
Being a good mother means looking at yourself and seeing that even with all of your flaws you are able to be there for your children.
Those conversations matter.
Those pictures matter.
Those moments of silence where you wrap your arms around them matters.
The peace you feel at night when they are sleeping peacefully and you still have to wake up in 3 hours on the longest night you have had to endure matters.
The tears you cry because of how much you love them matters.
It takes so much time to appreciate the process of becoming a great mother but it never stops.
You always keep growing.
You always have the opportunity to be a better mother.
No matter how old your children or grandchildren are, you will always have a chance to make up for the things you feel you have done wrong.
No matter what the problem is you work through all the issues so that your children can grow with you.
Their flaws aren't flaws at all.
They are things that you can see and help them get stronger through.
They will not accept a label by the people around them because they already know who they are and they will stand firm on that foundation.