This is a guest post I wrote for my friend’s blog, Just Josiah J. – Autism Adventures, which you can find http://justjosiahj.blogspot.com/ . I hope you’ll go check her out.
I am by nature fun loving, easy going with a touch of high strung at times, and I avoid conflict at all costs if at all possible. Conflict gives me anxiety. I struggle to confront situations that I need to and it builds inside until I feel like I’m going to explode. I’ve had my share of crying jags because I just can’t keep that mask of “being ok” on anymore.
I’m the person you meet and by all appearances, think she’s confident, articulate, and empowered. I carry myself in that manner. I’ve been called a Rocking Mom, Supermom, Wonder Woman, and any other alter ego that you can think of more times than I can count or remember. However, if push comes to shove, I cave.
Contrary to how I appear, I’m not confident in who I am or what I am capable of. I sometimes become so cripplingly inarticulate that I shut down. Here’s an example from just this morning. I had to take a test at work. I struggled to learn the material. I didn’t know how to get the information in my brain. It’s something that all employees have to know. I didn’t know how the test was going to be scored. I almost cried taking my husband to work. I was scared how I would do and freaked myself out all the way to my work. In the end, I did pretty well on the test surprising even myself. It’s when I allow those things to happen, to freak me out, empowered is nowhere near my personage.
That is unless you push my temper too far, or put my family at risk, and then I’m an atom bomb. It doesn’t happen often. When it comes to my children, Christian and Emelie have yet to find me back down from a fight. They know I have their backs, and when they are wrong, they hear it. Being a mom is never easy. Being a good mom is more than not being easy but rather a balancing act. Being a “Supermom” is being able to love your kids enough to enact “tough” love, to teach them respect and empower them, teach self discipline and fight for them against all odds.
I’ve come to that crossroad where I need to reconcile my two natures. I have tried for almost a year and reconciling my two natures is not easy. Being honest about who I am is hard enough because that means I’m taking that mask or facade down. I’m scared to be me. I want to show you who I want to be. For myself, I need to figure out how to be that person. I’m trying to be that Momma that everyone sees and knows that is in there. She’s deep down and letting her out scares me to death. Yet, I do it all the time in my own home.
I know who I am. I can be free to be myself in my own home. I am deep down, who I want to be. I have to trust myself to allow that confidence to carry over and maintain that empowerment. I know how to convey a message. I also know how to make my point and get it across tactfully the first time. It’s when it’s ignored that I need to allow Super Mom to step into her God given role. Raising our children to be productive members of society with adherence to cause and effect relationships. That is including consequences. That “tough” love has to carry over to include those that deal with our children.
I was talking with my friend Karen, bemoaning this topic of having two sides of me. How I felt like a Jekyll and Hyde. How it feels so “off”. She summed it with a good analogy. We are all a three sided coin: Top, Bottom and the Edge. Which side someone wishes to experience depends on how they treat us. It gives new meaning to being edgy.
Overall, I’ve discovered I’m ok with my two natures. I am trying to balance on that edge, but it’s ok to be both sides of me. As long as I remember to also be honest with myself as to who I am, and what I am capable of. Becoming that Da Dada DA SUPERMOM is easy because it’s in my nature. Letting her out, that’s where I need to let go of the guilt. Recognizing, I was balancing her, and was tipped on my side and this is the side chosen.
I think that the same can be said of many moms and dads out there that struggle with empowering themselves to be Super Parents. In actuality we aren’t Super Parents. We are parents of Super Kids. That’s it plain and simple. We are Super Parents because that’s who our kids need us to be. Sometimes we go overboard and need to learn to step back. We need to learn that they have to fall. We have to be there to help them when they do.
The best part of all of this is that it feels kind of good too. To know that I’m not alone and that it’s not ok for now. Yet I know it will be, someday. And for all us parents having these same thoughts, we’ll know that our children will never be able to say that we gave up on them, EVER. Nor will all those other Super Parents out there because we see how each other fight for them. In reality, we aren’t that unique. Really! Ask ANY parent who does what they need to do when they need to do it. They’ll tell you because if we don’t, who will.