Ok, I have a confession to make. I haven't been the best mommy I could be. I've been letting outside people and situations that don't concern me drive me to a point of some much that stress that it started to wear on my patience with Moo. I'm a fixer. When I see problems, I feel the need to fix them even if they're beyond my control. It's a horrible trait that I seem to have inherited from my mother.
For years, we watched as she tried to fix my father and their broken marriage. It's taken years for her to come to the conclusion that you can't fix somebody who doesn't love you and never wanted to be married to you in the first place, but did so because his family forced him to make an honest woman out of you. And yet you would think that when it comes to other things and people she would know not to try to fix them, but here she is still trying to fix her children, her siblings and the rest of the world. And when I look in the mirror, it scares me to see that part of her in me.
You see, I know the cost of being a fixer. You focus so much energy and positive effort on fixing other people and situations outside the home that you have no positive energy or time left for those in your home. I could remember my mom being so patient and gentle with the children she came into contact with at the school house, but when she got home she was 'tired of kids' as she said on numerous occasions. It hurt like hell to hear her always telling us that. And on more than once instance, I wanted to tell her to screw all those others kids because they weren't hers, but we were!!
Of course, I didn't dare utter those words to her face. My mom is more in touch with her Black side when it comes to parenting. LOL. So, I knew better than to try her and showed her the utter most respect at all times. I still show her respect to this day. We disagree very often, but I never forget my place. I am the child and she is my parent. The Bible says that when we disrespect our parents we shorten our life here on Earth and I don't want to cut mine short. Moo is my motivation to strive to live as long as possible.
However, it is Moo that I has had to suffer because of the curse passed down from my mom to me. It me earlier this week as I was rereading Queen Latifah's book 'Put On Your Crown' that I have been a pretty awful mommy lately. I've yelled her and lost my patience. I've brushed her off and not taken the time to listen to her. Why? All because of stress caused by people and things that aren't nearly as important to me as she is.
As I read a story in which Queen talked about her mother, I felt tears well up in my eyes. Mama O seemed like a saint compared to me. The way her daughter spoke of her character and parenting skills reminded me that I had failed in mine. But it also woke me up. One thing Queen Latifah's mom did differently is that she didn't allow the negative to affect her in a way that she took it out on her kids.
And I am determined to develop that same strength. I might be a fixer, but no longer will I allow my curse to make me miss out on another minute of my daughter's happiness. I'm constantly reminding myself that Moo didn't ask to be here. Therefore, when I feel like I'm about to burst I need to take ten seconds to calm down and think about all the great things that have happened in my life because of her.
My life truly is better because of her. And I need to start back showing her that. She deserves to have a mommy who is going to put her first and not second or third. I have to admit that since reading that part of Queen's book earlier this week, I have made progress. I've been more patient with her and have made an effort to strike up conversations with her even though I don't completely understand the words she says. And guess what? Her baby rage has gotten better too.
This is just further proof that my stress was having negative effects not only on me, but Moo as well. These last few nights we both have been sleeping so peacefully. This journey called Motherhood may not come with an instruction manual, but I'll be damned if I don't find the right parts to make it work. Motherhood is tough, rough and unpredictable, but that's what I love about it. I find myself forced to rise to a challenge and I gladly accept the mission to become a better mommy.