Take Me As I Am

15 Feb

For Christmas, my brother-in-law got me a subscription to Real Simple Magazine.

I LOVE this magazine for many reasons, but this month there was an article that really caught my attention in their Good Read: Life Lessons section, “A Lesson in Motherhood,” written by Paula McLain.

The story is about a woman whose mother walked out when the girl was four; she simply vanished. Abandoned her and her sisters. In this article, McLain accounts her life long desire to become the mother she never had. She painted grand pictures in her mind of what her perfect family would be like and what being a perfect mother entails. With her first son, she found that motherhood didn’t even closely resemble the life she had envisioned.  One divorce and 11 years later, McLain gave birth to another child. After years of therapy and getting comfortable with who she was as a mother. And after letting go of her past and the anxieties that surrounded the possibility of failure, she never exactly became the perfect mother, but instead, became the mother she never had.

Anywho, there was a passage from this story that really struck me. Regarding the birth of her second child:

” I felt something ancient shift. She seemed to know everything about me already and to be saying…that she would take me as I am. ”

This really struck me obviously due to my fears surrounding being pregnant. One of my biggest fear surrounding this experience involves the possibility of postpartum depression. I am more susceptible to it because of my previous and current (non-pregnant) experience with anxiety and depression. I am worried about so many things. The inability to take of myself, my husband, and a baby, for one. But if I really sit with my thoughts and consider what it is I am really afraid of in this instance, it would most likely boil down to my fear that my past will negatively affect my family’s future.

Will my child inherit my predisposition to anxiety and depression? Will my disorder affect my ability to adequately care or emotionally support my child and my husband? Will I miss out on family vacations because I am afraid to fly? Will I miss soccer games if I have to sit in traffic to get to the field? And so on.

But today I realized that my child and (hopefully my husband) will always love me just as I am. Anxiety at all. And as long as I keep fighting and keep trying then I will be deserving of that unconditional love.

Then and only then, will I be the mother I have always wanted to be: one simply worthy of their love.

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One Response to “Take Me As I Am”

  1. amy February 21, 2011 at 3:54 pm #

    Hi!!

    I’ll be darned if in the last two posts, you weren’t describing ME to a “T”!! You know, everyone is so unique and different, but with anxiety so much can be the same! I feel you on all of what you said. The maternal concerns, the heightened senses…all of it. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy, but as always, it’s nice to know someone that feels the same way!

    You are combatting it so well though. I love to read how you get through it and the positive that you seem to always find on the other side 🙂 We’ll never know if we can’t make it to the soccer games or fly to awesome places…but we are certainly willing to give it a shot, because we have so much love to offer and nothing will stand in the way of that. But something tells me that you’re going to be an amazing mother that is willing to climb mountains for your child!!

    Thank you for your honesty, I just love it!!

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