I am jealous of my daughter.
Yes, you read that right. I am jealous of my daughter, but not in a way you would think. See my daughter just turned ten and is now entering a whole new phase. Just when you think you got the whole parenting thing down, the preteen years hit. The beginning of mood swings, the talks of puberty, and basically all the conversations of keeping them safe in the world. But lately, the idea of her growing up is hitting me hard.
When I was my daughter’s age, my mom was not in the picture. See, my mom had trouble with alcohol. She was an alcoholic who for many years tried to get help. However, when I was around the age of seven, she decided it was better for my adoptive dad to raise me. Of course, I will forever be grateful for what she did, but it also meant I would be missing something that I have always longed for . . . motherly love.
That is why I am jealous of my daughter.
My daughter may not know it now, but she saved me. She saved me from my own self-destruction. Although I vowed the day she was born I would be the best mom I could be, I realized quickly it wasn’t going to be that easy. After I gave birth to my daughter, it took me two years to get help for my depression.
But what I didn’t realize then is that my depression went deeper than just having a child when I was young. It made me realize that I was still dealing with issues that involved my own mother.
That is why it has been so important for me to be a good mom. Being a mom wasn’t something I thought I was going to be able to do. To be honest, I never even gave a thought to having children. But when I got pregnant, that all changed. I knew that my daughter was going need me just as much as I needed her.
My daughter, in a lot of ways, has taught me so much. She has taught me what it means to be caring, humble, strong, and dependable. My daughter gets to enjoy every moment of being a kid. She has taught me to slow down and enjoy life. I use to think that she needed to be able to have every survival skill ready before she was ten, but that isn’t true.
I’m jealous of daughter because I have always wanted to be my daughter.
I’ve always wanted to have the mom she has. The mom who is there when things seem uncertain. The mom who picks her up when she feels like everyone is against her. The one who talks her through an anxiety attack or who hypes her up before a game. I’ve always wanted the mom she has . . .
I am jealous of my daughter.
But, that’s okay! Because no matter what life brings, I will always be there for her. I will always be her number one cheerleader. I will always be there when life seems hard. I will be there to pick her up when she feels she can’t go on. I am her mother and she is my daughter. And together we will create a new cycle. A healthy cycle. One that I know my mom would be proud of . . . a cycle away from alcoholism.
Originally published May 2020.
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