Let's jump forward. I'm the mom of two little ones. Being a mom is the toughest job on the face of the planet. Not only are you worried about your job as the sole caregiver and protector of these precious and wonderful little people, but you're also criticized at every single turn. From your decisions what to feed them, to discipline, to the television programs they watch, to how you handle a mid-store meltdown, almost every person out there is judging you and knows better than you do how to raise your children (whether they have children or not!). Along with the clarity of life that comes with motherhood, you know in the back of your mind to turn a deaf ear and do things that you know are instinctively the best for you and your children, but it doesn't make it any less hurtful when someone says you're a terrible mom because you bottle fed your baby or because gave your child a cookie instead of an apple or because you swatted them on the butt for trying to run out into traffic and the list goes on. It's never ending... and it's maddening. And sometimes it's enough to make you second guess yourself even when you know you're right.
For me, because of my own childhood, I feel like I'm being judged more than the average mom. If the daughter of a junkie grows up to be a junkie with children she neglects, too, it's expected. It's why Dr. Phil talks about breaking the cycle so much. The odds are remarkably high that a child will do the exact same thing as a parent that he or she experienced as a child. If they were abused, the odds are that they will become an abuser. I've actually witnessed first hand this cause and effect.
And I am determined not to make the same mistakes. There is no way in hell that I will ever just hand over my children to someone else. While I have had to learn to tune out the criticisms and judgments, I do feel like I'm on a mission. I'm out to prove to the world that I am a better mother than my own birth mom. But that doesn't come without it's own drawbacks.
I have to physically and mentally restrain myself to keep from going overboard. I'm often very vocal and opinionated in my own community when it comes to children's issue which isn't always a good thing. I have to struggle to keep myself in check that I'm raising my children to eventually become adults and that I can't bypass every pain and struggle for them or they will never learn how to endure or deal with those situations. I want to shield all the bad things from them, things that I experienced but to what point? Yeah, I have something to prove but I also have to remember that I can' t strip them of every bad experience if I want them to be well rounded.
I guess in a way, I've already proven that I'm a better mother. While I will never know why she did what she did, I can rest in the knowledge that at least from me, it will not continue.