Sunday, October 13, 2013

Waiting for Supermom

I have a recurring dream where my family is there but I'm not.

And in my dream I keep wondering, Where is the mom?  This family needs a mother.

And then I wake up and realize, Wait a sec...I'm the mom!  Oh those poor kids.

Dreams don't always mean anything, but this one is pretty much a perfect representation of how I feel about motherhood: unprepared, incompetent, inadequate, and always behind the curve.  When is the real mom of this family going to show up and put everything right?

Sorry kids, you're stuck with me.  Forget college, I better start saving for your years of therapy!

Most days I feel like I have no idea what I'm doing. I feel like it's kinda irresponsible of the State? God? whatever powers that be to allow people like me to have kids.

It continually amazes me that, in order to drive a car, or represent a criminal in court, or teach other people's kids, you need some minimal level of education, degrees, licenses, etc.  But to have and raise a child of your own, to guide a human being into full adulthood and onto eternity or whatever fate you think awaits them, you need absolutely NOTHING--no knowledge, no understanding, no previous experience, nada, zilch, zero, bupkis.

And that, sadly is what the spouse and I started out with--nothing.  My entire babysitting career prior to having my own kids consisted of babysitting a 10 year old neighbor kid while I was 12.  I don't even remember holding a baby longer than 30 seconds until I held my own, much less know anything about how to take care of one.

As much as I love our modern individualistic existence, I have to say there is one major Major drawback.  Without living in large extended families, it's hard to learn about baby/childcare.  You lack the little siblings and cousins to practice on and you lack the older aunties and grandparents to teach you.

There is not a day that goes by that I don't ardently wish I had taken at least one college class on early child development.

So now I am learning.  Learning about little people and how they grow.  Learning about how we gain our sense of identity, competence or incompetence, and ultimately, our worth.  Learning about how we are wounded and how we pass on our weaknesses and infirmities either by imitation or over-correction.  Learning that I had no idea what patience meant in my previous child-free life.

But I'm afraid I will be too soon old and too late wise.
And Supermom will never appear.
And we will not be saved.


CM said...

I babysat all the time and frankly, I didn't know what I was doing. You know your own kids. You don't need to take a college course on them. As long as they feel loved and you're doing what you reasonably can to try to keep them healthy, you're fine.

Supermom will never appear, but it's okay. Supermom is a myth... and it's one that your kids have never even imagined, because they would never want a different mom. (At least not until they get older and crankier.) You're doing fine.

Alice in Wonderland said...

Thanks for these words CM. I never thought if it that way but it's so true.