Two nights ago, Kyia and I had a huge ass daughter hates mother, mother thinks daughter is a disrespectful and ungrateful brat fight that lasted about 6 hours (well 3-4 hours of it was calmer and involved talking and discussing and compromising). We both said some hurtful things. I fucked up by bringing her deadbeat fathers name into it. 13 years of keeping my insults and hatred towards him to a minimum (in front of her) and mostly hidden came flying out. I may have slipped up and spewed about his abuse … she never knew. I always just say “we just didn’t get along” when she has asked about why we broke up or are not together. I hate myself for that (the fuck up, not the break up). I didn’t give a lot of details, but I said more than enough, more than I ever should have. She did not EVER need to know about the abuses I encountered at the “hands” of her father. I am so sorry for this. I know it did not help at all. I know. In fact there is a chance I made things worse. As a child who had a mother who spewed insults and hatred about her father, I know the resentment I feel towards it.
Back on track. During this fight Kyia glared at me with what looked like hatred in her eyes and said in her nasty hateful tone, “What exactly do you ever do for me?” First, I laughed. Really Child? Someday you will be a parent and you will know that the things a mother does for her child are unlimited. The short answer to that question is “literally everything!” The long answer is much more detailed and complex. This is what I want to talk about today.
What have I done/ do I do for my daughter?
Well, there are the obvious things such as, I put a roof over her head, food in her belly and clothes on her back. I give her all the necessities of life. But let’s dig deeper and be clearer. I am not going to point out “everything” I do, I don’t have the time or space for that, there is just too much. I am going with what I think is important right now. Kyia, my answer to your question (FYI, before you get all high and mighty and self-righteous, this is the answer that she won’t be actually getting …at least not the “your father is an abhorrent dick ones).
I left your father for you. He was a violent alcoholic, a liar and a cheater. He was possessive and controlling. He was an abusive scumbag. He was mentally, emotionally and sexually abusive. He was on his way to being physically abusive, it was only a matter of time. I had my bags packed and was making plans to leave when I found out I was pregnant. Being raised without a father, I decided to stay a bit longer to try and work things out. I hoped that the idea of being a father would make him a better person…it works this way with most people… not with him. He did not get better, he actually started to get worse. So after about 3 months, to protect you from his abuse, I left. I moved across Canada to be surrounded by loved ones. You gave me the strength to protect you. I left him for you.
I endured pregnancy and child birth for you. When discovering my pregnancy I cried for 3 days straight. Literally. Barely slept, barely ate. Could not stop crying. There were two reasons for this sniveling sob-fest. The first being the father. I would be stuck with this vile douche bucket for the rest of my life if I had a baby! The second, I did NOT want children. Ever. I considered my options, all of them. It took me 3 days to realize, yup, I want this child. I fell in love with you. My love for you outshined my hatred for your father and my annoyance with other people’s children. I wanted to love you, raise you and protect you. I then spent the next 8 months suffering cramps daily, nausea constantly, dizziness, pregnancy brain and extra stress. I did not have an easy pregnancy. I did not have the worst pregnancy, but it was not easy. I was not the glowing mom-to-be as a lot of pregnant women are. I was sick every fucking day. I was in pain, every fucking day. I suffered, every fucking day. I spent 36 hours in labour. During your birth I ripped. I ripped 13 stitches worth of ripping. I ended up with a UTI AND an infected tear down there. My Vagina felt like it was on fire for 6 weeks! It did not want to heal. I endured pregnancy and child birth for you.
I protect you. I protect you from your father. If he had his way when you were an infant, he would have taken you only to show off to some chick while they were getting drunk and high while you slept, likely on a bed in which you could fall off. I made the rule that he could only “take” you IF he was with suitable supervision, His father and his father’s wife (ex now) mostly. I knew your grandfather would keep you safe. I allowed you to go there anytime they wanted you. But only if your grandfather was there. I protect you from yourself. You do some stupid things. If I let you do every little thing you “wanted” to do, spur of the moment, you would be in a casket in no time. I will not be having that. I don’t allow you to touch the fire, I do not allow you to run in front of cars, I do not allow you to jump off bridges. I do these things, not to be mean and hurt you, but to protect you. I protect you from others. I talk to you about strangers and the dangers they could impose. I teach you that when you are in trouble (or even think you are) to get help from a trusted adult (mom, police, teacher etc.). I protect you from as much as I can without putting you in bubble wrap … or at least not too much bubble wrap. I protect you.
I fight for you. I fight you. I fight your dad. I fight my anxiety. I fight myself. I do not like to fight. When we fight, it is usually because I am trying to have you behave in a more respectful manner. I do not want you to grow up to be hated by people because you are a disrespectful, hateful spoiled brat. I want you to learn that you need to treat others as you want to be treated and if you are mean, there will be repercussions. When I fight with you, I am fighting for you. I fight with your dad for you. I fight my depression and anxiety every minute of every day. It pains me to be such a worrier. It pains me that I just want to stay in bed all day. It pains me that I have no motivation. It pains me that I have no strength. But for you I fight it all. I force myself out of bed. I force myself to let you out of my sight despite the scariest imaginable thoughts racing through my head about the worst case scenarios that could happen to you. I force some fake motivation so that we can do things such as road trips or Day trips to the zoo or even a quick visit to the mall. I force the strength to be your mom. I could easily just lay in bed and let you do whatever you please, but what kind of person would you be? I need the strength to tell you no and to hold you accountable for your actions. It is a daily battle. I fight daily for you.
I take blame for you. How many times did I tell your father that you “weren’t allowed to go” when in reality you did not want to go, so he would be angry with me and not you. How many times have I told you to blame me if you need to hang up on him, to tell him I took the phone and hung up. When you wanted to leave Bree’s house, during our visit home, because “she is mean”, I said it was me who didn’t want to stay there (although that was true as well, we left because YOU did not want to stay). I take the blame when you will be the one hurt otherwise. If someone will retaliate and be angry with you, I take blame for you.
I went to school for you. I would have been content working at menial jobs for a long time and likely never would have had the ambition to further my education. But having a baby changed that. Your life is too precious to me to raise you on “welfare” or in poverty. I needed an actual education in order to support you and give you the life I never had, to give you the life you deserve. I spent 6 years struggling every day, trying to find a balance of school and home. I studied, I fought, I cried, I begged, I pleaded, I tried, I passed and I failed. It was the most difficult 6 years of my life. I went back to school for you.
I moved across Canada (again) for you. I needed a job. The whole theory of going back to school in order to get a better job to support you was destroyed in NB. Despite my graduating a very good course, work in NB is scarce. The only way I could succeed was to move where the jobs were. So we moved. I didn’t really want to, deep down, but we did. I moved for you.
I stay for you. I want to go home. I want to be near my family, friends and the support they offer. Since we moved away there have been a lot of opportunities that have opened up in the Maritimes. I want to go home. I actually don’t like it here much. I have met some nice people, made a new friend or 2, but it just isn’t working for me. But I know deep down that you are happy here. You have friends. You have more opportunity here. So, I stay for you.
I went to court for you. Your repugnant deadbeat father decided he would refuse to sign a letter allowing me to take you into the states. Not because he thought we would stay there, but just because he is a dick and would do anything to hurt me and piss me off. He told you he would send a letter so we could go to the Seattle zoo, he told me to fuck off. He refused to send one allowing me to take you to Disneyland during the only time we were financially able to do so. So I spent hours talking to councillors, I spent weeks researching, I spent days filling out paper work and I spent hundreds of dollars so I could get “legal” full custody with the travel clause (Meaning I do not need his permission to leave the country with you). I went to court for you.
I taught you and I teach you. You knew your alphabet and numbers and how to write them and your name by the time you were 3, you didn’t learn that on your own. I helped you learn how to walk. I taught you not to touch the stove (without shoving your hand on the burner like parents did in the “old days”, yikes). I am teaching you to cook. I taught you cursive. I am teaching you multiplication. I am teaching you how to memorize. I taught you to be kind. I taught you to be thoughtful. I taught you to be respectful. I taught you these things by doing them myself. When we went out at Christmas time with our little candy packs, I taught you to be giving. When I give you a toonie to give to the busker, I am teaching you to be caring (and kind and giving and empathetic and an array of other characteristics). When I told you we do not give money to people unless they are doing something (people on the street “bumming” money vs the guy with the guitar playing a song or the homeless guy trying to sing), I am teaching you that you need to work for or earn what you want. When I tell you why I am putting on my blinker, I am teaching you to drive. When I scold you for interrupting me when I am talking, I am teaching you patience and to not be rude. When I say no, I am teaching you that life will not always give you what you want. When I lecture you for being rude, I am teaching you to be respectful. By not giving you everything you ask for, I am teaching you to be grateful. When I punish you for misbehaving, I am teaching you that there are consequences. When I hug you when you are sad, hurt or crying, I am teaching you compassion. When I make your breakfast, hug you, drive you to your friends, read to you, laugh with you and do any little thing for you, I am teaching you love. I teach you.
I punish and discipline you. You think punishment is a bad thing, but it is not. I don’t beat you or abuse you. I try to punish you to fit the “crime”. You fall behind on school work because you are too busy snapchatting friends, you lose your phone. You room is a mess after being told to clean it every day for a week, no sleepovers this weekend. Punishing you teaches you. I scold you, I lecture you and I ground you. It teaches you that you cannot do “whatever you want” It teaches you there are consequences to your actions (or lack thereof), it teaches you to not slack off and to not be an asshole. I discipline you.
I nurture, comfort and care for you. I care for you and attend to all of your needs. I promote your growth through love, discipline and hard work. When you are sick, I go to the store and get you apple juice, ice cream and chicken noodle soup. I get you blankets and serve you. I take your temperature and help you to feel more comfortable. I bring you to the doctor and hospital if necessary. When you are sad, angry or upset, I am the one sitting by your side holding you as you cry. I am the one reminding you that I am here for you and everything will be ok. I am the one who nurtures, comforts and cares for you.
I am your maid and I cook for you. I pick up after you constantly. Sure, lately I have started making you do it, but that is because you have started doing nothing. You have become lazy and began taking advantage of my “spoiling you” (for lack of a better term). But I still pick up after you a lot. I make your breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. Yes there are occasional exceptions where I may say “screw it, I am not cooking” and make everyone reheat leftovers or chomp on “snacky” stuff. There are also occasions where we eat out at a restaurant. For the most part, I cook or make all of your meals. I bake often providing you with a healthier and tastier alternative to all the junk cookies we could buy in the store. I do 90% of the chores so that you have more time for you, your studying and your friends. I cook so you eat and I clean so you do not live in filth. I clean and I cook for you.
I attend for you. Every play you act(ed) in. Every music concert you play(ed) in. Every music lesson you attend(ed). Every parent teacher meeting. Every sporting event you participate in. Every Tuesday and Thursday for Tae Kwon Do practice for 2 years. Every birthday party you have. Every hospital visit. Every playdate you enjoy. Every drop off or pick up you need. I attend all of your functions, for you.
I miss work for you. If you are sick or have a play, I miss work. I will call in “sick” to stay home and help you. I will call in sick just to have a mommy/daughter day (but only once a year…I have to keep my job, when I have one, for you too!). I will stay home to attend events and functions. But if “I” am sick, I will usually go to work. If there is a function that I want to attend, I will still go to work. I stay home from work for you.
I fuck up. I am not perfect. I try my hardest and do everything I can to mould you into a caring, kind, intelligent, loving, thoughtful young woman. I do everything I can to help you learn about and understand life. I attempt over and over to teach you lessons to survive on this god-awful planet. But I mess up. Just the other night, divulging you fathers abuse towards me, that was a fuck up. Just like when I let my emotions get the better of me and I over react. Just like when I lose my temper over “not good enough” school work. I am human and I fuck up.
I am your mom for you! I kill spiders and bugs. I open jars. I forgive. I listen. I take you shopping. I get you a drink. I fix things that won’t work (or at least I try to). I tell you stories. I find your lost things. I let you stay up late on weekends. I make sure you get to school. We go to the zoo. I feed you. I clothe you. I give you privacy. I am here. I will never leave. I bought you a bed. I clean up your vomit when you are sick. I do your laundry. I buy groceries. I make your doctor appointments. I bring you to those doctor appointments. I tuck you in. I kiss you goodnight. I walk you to the door. I changed your diapers. I stayed awake all night to keep an eye on you. I’ve bathed you. I’ve washed you. I carried you. I hug you. I play board games with you. I picked your nose. I taught you to ride a bicycle. I wake up early. I took you fishing. I held your hand. I bring you camping. I rub your head til you fall back to sleep. I remind you to brush your teeth. I potty trained you. I let you sleep in my bed when you are scared or lonely. I support you. I give you rules. I give you boundaries. I keep your secrets. I listen to you when you have pretty drama filled issues with your friends. I give you advice. I take you on vacations. I joined snapchat. I let you have snapchat. I cancel my plans to accommodate you. I go without. I save your work. I brush your hair. I pay for your entertainment. I take you to movies. I push you to be the best you can be. I breathe. There are a billion more things I could list, but the most important thing I do for you, I love you. Unconditionally.
It is daunting at times, but there is nothing I wouldn’t do for you. So, the next time you look at me with hatred and want to know what the fuck I do for you…