I was in the 5th or 6th grade when I had the first of many slap-in-your-face-stick-with-you-for-life insults said to me.
“You’re fat, ugly, and no one likes you.”
Fat? I mean, yeah, I was.
Ugly? C’mon, it was middle school, did really anyone make it through without some sort of awkwardness?
No one likes me? I think my parents were fond of me at this point (this was before I went rogue and got pregnant).
But still, this phrase has stuck with me for almost 15 years.
I’ve always worn my insecurities on my sleeve:
I’m too young.
I’m not educated enough.
I’m not skinny.
I’m a bad mom.
I could go on and on about all the things I really dislike about myself, but then I’d break the Internet. So, I’ll just stick with the last one; I’m a bad mom.
I’m, admittedly, in a very awkward spot in my life. I’m 23, married, and have 2 kids. Oh, and I’m a pastors daughter, which I guess makes me even more terribly cliche in my gawkiness.
I have ZERO friends who can relate to that. I’m young enough that I still have years of youth ahead of me, but having 2 children and a husband makes my youth irrelevant. My “older” friends see me as a baby still (as I am constantly reminded).
“Babies having babies,” I hear weekly.
But here’s the deal, sometime in the past few months, that really stopped mattering.
I don’t know if it’s Rae’s health issues, or Big S’s reminders of how far we’ve come, or if maybe, just maybe I’m outgrowing my insecurities, but I’m proud.
I’m amazed at my ability to mother my children.
That sounds stupid, it’s parenting, not rocket science.
But until you’ve felt the wrath of a 2 year old tantrums, felt a sticky glob in your hair and have literally NO IDEA whose nose/mouth/diaper it came from, and even watch your child go through something as scary as what we’re dealing with with Rae right now, you’ll never understand just how hard this can be. There’s so much uncertainty with mothering. There are so many things you can do wrong that will inevitably send your child spiraling out of control and end up in jail. And it’s all because I fed them peanut butter and jelly instead of organic kale and seaweed for lunch.
Then there are the moments…
His cuddles and half formulated, broken sentences.
“I just….I just….I just….love you. You so amazin’, momma.”
Her tiny eye lashes that flutter with absolutely no worries at all, while I hold tight to her unbroken trust that I will fight for her until we get a diagnosis.
I’m a good mom.
I’m a GREAT mom.
No one in the world loves, cares, protects, prays, and provides for those babies like I do and will for the rest of my days.
I still worry sometimes.
I worry if what he says was true.
But even if I am “fat and ugly”, they like me.
And that must mean I’ve done something right.