By Robin Rivera
Some of us are naturally drawn to children and mothering leaving the rest of us wondering where this domestic gene came from, and why didn’t I get it. It’s not fun to me to stay home and cook and clean and change diapers. Well at first it was because it felt like playing house folding all the tiny laundry… until shit got real!
Nights awake crying, college deadlines, welfare deadlines, dating nightmares, lack of sleep, and of the most challenging… Facing childhood trauma when I look into the face of my hysterical child feeling ever ounce of terror I used to feel as a child. I have worked so hard to learn a healthier way to nurture my child especially through difficult times. But when the rubber hits the road I gotta tell you, I tend to fall apart Inside.
I sometimes lose my temper and fear I am the monster I’ve been dedicated to shielding my daughter from. I shame myself for being ill equipped to be a mother. I tell myself I’m damaged, and I can’t do it. In those moments I feel devastated like I’ve failed my life’s mission by breaking down when she needs me.
But this is the dance. The dance through trauma, the dance of life. I pick myself up off the ground, usually after calling a trusted friend, and I do my very best to nurture the aftermath of a storm. I hold my daughter and validate her feelings, I admit my wrong within minutes, we make a plan of how to support each other better the next time, and we express love. That’s the best I can do with this healing heart of mine.
I still try to run from the voice that tells me I’m not a good mother and never will be… But as I wrote a one page summary of my life yesterday, it hit me like a ton of bricks of why everyone says I’m a good mother and how I know it’s true now. I voice texted this revelation to myself as it came to me, and I cried. It goes like this…
“I’m a good mom, not because I’m supposed to be looking good on the outside and all well from my past problems. I’m a good mom because I love my daughter so much that throughout this horrifying pain I never give up on her or myself. I’m a good mom because it hurts so bad, and it’s so hard, but I don’t stop, ever! I’m a good mom because I actually care so much.”
I will hold this revelation close so I’ll be ready for the next obstacle as a parent and as a warrior.
Robin R. Rivera, M.A. candidate, passionately coaches people who are suffering from hardships & negative habits. As a woman who has overcome complex trauma, addiction, and the commercial sex industry, Robin speaks nationally with a message to inspire anyone that they can courageously take back their power no matter what. She earned her Certificate for Integrative Wellness & Life Coaching from the Integrative Wellness Academy based in Los Angeles. In addition, Robin serves as a survivor leader in the anti-sex trafficking movement through consulting and training law enforcement, social service providers, and community members on awareness, identification, & prevention. She was born to wake & shake things up. Robin can be found online at Robinriveraignites.com and on FaceBook here.
I related to your story very much. As i was reading it, i thought, “she is so clearly a good mother.” So i was glad you got to that conclusion by the last paragraph. I remember telling my kids that i would do the best i could, and that that was all i would ask of them; and that i would always love them (if not always like them!)…and, if i fucked up too much, they could go to therapy!! I was being defensively flippant of course. But on some level, i knew i didn’t know diddly squat about parenting. Thank God i knew i knew about loving. You are doing GREAT!! xx’s
I feel your words deeply. That makes you an excellent writer and also, I admit, my soul sister. May we always care too much for our children. Love and Light to you…and your daughter.