I dreamed about the mother I would one day become. Self-reliant, talented, dramatic, passionate, artistic, ultimate friend, spiritual example, giver, confident, lover of life. And yet today in this very early hour on a school day, I would settle for really good mom. But is it settling, really? To be adored and thought well of by your children?
Yesterday my daughter said she hated me. Flat-out-defiantly-mad-nostrils-flaring-hated me. Surprisingly, I kept my cool. "In your room," I said as my heart stopped beating in disbelief. Fear overtook my body and I had to sit down for a moment. "This can't be happening," I thought. I refuse to have a daughter who 1) has so little respect for her mother and 2) actually feels that way.
My past was being dug up from the trenches with her words. A past in which the words, "I hate you." were said like "hello" and "goodbye". Every insecurity and insatiable nightmare of my own self-worth as a mother was settling on me like a dark and menacing cloud. My fears of repeating the relationship I had with my own mother sent me into panic mode. Oh no - I would not have it. I had to stop this immediately. And so I did the opposite of what my gut reaction told me to do and I actually stayed calm. I reasoned "calmly" and I talked about what she was feeling and why she would say such a thing. Even after a repeat temper tantrum when I explained that sorry was not actually enough and that there are consequences to our actions, I stayed "calm".
Before I knew it my heart started beating again and I could feel actual warmth return to my panic-stricken face. She repented after she finally calmed down and we had a peaceful evening. The truth, in fact, was that she did not hate me. And although that in itself was a tremendous relief, I believe I learned a more valuable lesson from this experience. The mother I dreamed of being one day is no longer any concern of mine. I am one now. And a really good one, at that.