Ha ha tricked you!! I know that was so mean. But I decided that everyone is talking about mothers today. And I can tell you that I have an awesome mother and so many of the young ladies around me have really crappy mothers. But itS not like you haven’t heard that before.
So I’m going to use this post to talk about Mothers who struggle with mental illness. I’m not sure genetically where my bipolar stems from I am almost positive that my Grandmother on my fathers side has/had it. She is still alive but she is suffering from dementia along with a few other things. But she exhibited many of the characteristics that I have or that I had at one time. It has been an interesting couple of years trying to figure out what is what. For me sometimes I don’t know for sure if my interactions and reactions with my kids are normal or the bipolar rearing its ugly head. Most of the time I think kids are just the hardest thing any human being ever has to deal with. You have moments or periods of time where you feel like you are just sailing along and then it seems that over night things are completely crazy. I personally struggle with raising my voice. I have always been told I yell to much period, but I mean sometimes kids are so loud you have to yell. At least for a minute there isn’t any other choice. But for me I spend more time analyzing everything that happens instead of just enjoying how things happen and the great moments that can be found amidst the chaos.
Even before I knew about my diagnosis I spent so much time thinking that I was a bad mother who couldn’t get her stuff together. I still feel like a failure on a regular basis but I have been able to give myself permission to cut myself some slack. No one is prefect no matter how hard we try. No one will ever measure up to the perfection that exists in our heads. I have come to realize that it’s the crazy moments, the family dinners, the inside jokes, the sleepovers, the joy of a new birth, the sadness in the final goodbyes of someone we love. Women especially seem to hold this close as they walk through life. We think we have to be perfect, that we have to make everyone happy, and that when we do mess up we are the worst mother, sister, wife on the planet.
I’m here to tell you that’s not true. Your family and more importantly your children would never be the same without you. They don’t care about a perfect house, or dinner on the table every night, they don’t care if you are beautiful or wearing sweat pants and no make up. You’re children love you because you are their mother and because of what you do for them. They don’t need all that other stuff. All they need is you, for you to be present, for you to sit and talk with them about their lives, for you to have family movie night and watch a kids movie while you eat popcorn and sleep on a mattress in the living room floor. They need you to love them no matter what they do and even if you are mad. I make my kids say “i love you” back when I say it to them. Not because I want to punish them but so they know that even when they are mad I still love them and I know that they still love me. It’s in those moments when you are honestly tired of your child’s voice and they say “mommy”, you respond with “ugh yes”, and they look you in the eyes and say I love you so much!!Thats when you know you were made to be a Mom. That those sweet moments have the ability to change your life in a heart beat. That;s how I know that some of these things have nothing to do with bipolar and everything to do with the difficult task of raising kids.
My kids know that I am bipolar. At differing depths because of their age but I am open with them about my struggles and my difficulties. I want them to understand that sometimes I react badly and it is of no fault of theirs. I purposely humble myself and tell them that I am sorry because it’s not their fault my brain is having a very negative day.
Being a mother has been my most rewarding experience in life so far. To watch them grow. To see them go through periods of hating you just to turn back around and need you. Being a mother has probably been one of my greatest gifts. I looke forward to watching my kids continue to go and spread their wings. To be more wholly who they are and to make their mark on the world. For me Mother’s Day isn’t about me it’s about my kids and the unbelievable amount of joy that they bring to my life. So for all you mother soak up the love today cause it’s gonna be a long year before it rolls back around.