I have said before that my mother suffered from depression as I was growing up and she still does and it was her that clouded my view on medication and treatment.
I love my mum dearly, but she was not always the most emotionally invested person, in fact I received more love and attention from my father and grandfather. Now this is not to say that she wasn't a good mother, but it is to say that when she was depressed she would say some terrible things, which resonate to this day.
"I wish I had never had children", "If I was to do it all again I wouldn't bother", "your father loved you more than he loves me", "I wish you were a boy". I Could go on, but I think that that will give you an idea. I went though stages of hating my mother. I left home at 16 and I really believed her to he a hard and heartless woman.
I never, ever wanted my boys to feel the same way about me. We had tried every so hard to get them and to be where we were, so I felt that I needed to be the "perfect mother", the complete opposite of my mum. They were always well dressed, I lavished them with attention, cooked food from scratch, sang to them and read to them.
If they were ill, I blamed myself, if they didn't do as they were told, well again that was me and not them. I was the one letting the side down, I was the imperfect mother.
It took a lot of self realisation and bloody tears, heart ache and pain to realise that I am not my mother and I don't need to judge myself on her.
I was looking to her for approval and it was never coming and that was her issue not mine and finally after all those months of counselling I asked her why she never commented on my parenting. I wish I had asked her before then. She told me I was the best mum she had ever met, that I did a wonderful job with the boys and she was proud of me. I also asked her why she had never told me before, to which her response was "well you never asked".
That was an epiphany for me. I realised that I am not destined to repeat my mothers mistakes nor was I responsible for her happiness.
It was the moment I started mothering for me and I set my own standards and finally realised that perfect is not what children want. To this day I have a saying on my wall:
There is no one way to be a perfect mother,
but a million ways to be a good one.