Dear Mom I Thought I Would Be

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dear mom I thought I would beDear Mom I Thought I Would Be,

I had this vision of you. You were perfect. I dreamed about you when I was pregnant. I was excited for you. I was confident in you. I thought nothing could get in your way.

You were graceful. You were patient. You were soft-spoken. You made it look easy. You had it under control. You were my hopeful expectation. My best self on a very good day.

I had a fabricated idea of you in my head, and it looked something like this:

  1. You never yelled or raised your voice.
  2. You were always in control of your emotions.
  3. You consistently engaged and played with your children—all the time.
  4. You always put your children’s needs before your own. No matter what.
  5. You were completely confident in yourself as a mother.
  6. You always knew what to do.

These were my expectations of you. There was no room for error.

I tried to be you. I truly did. I held on for some time. But slowly, the sleep deprivation kicked in. In time, that baby became a toddler—a strong-willed, opinionated little creature. One who tested limits had a voice (a loud one at that) and, at times, didn’t know what the heck she wanted.

Where solving and soothing was impossible. Where flailing bodies, full-blown tantrums, and unpredictable behavior was the norm. Where answers and solutions didn’t always exist.

And it’s not that I didn’t expect this behavior. I think I did. It’s just, well, I didn’t understand the lack of control that came with raising another human being.

I didn’t anticipate the feelings of defeat. I didn’t anticipate feelings of inadequacy. I did not anticipate the feelings of being mentally and physically exhausted.

I didn’t understand. Not at all. Not one bit.

So, Mom I Thought I Would Be, this is the mom I am and have become. I’m not you. There are parts of you in me, but I am not you. I am more than that because I am real. I am a real mom.

I am a mother who loves deeper than she ever imagined. A mother who feels more than she ever thought. One who has experienced higher highs and lower lows than she could have ever anticipated.

I am a mother who is humbled—a mother who now has tons of empathy and compassion for other moms. I am a mother who wishes she had more control but also understands that she needs to let things go. I am a mother who needs a break. A mother who knows that sometimes her kids can wait. A mother who has realized she has so much more to learn.

Do I still wish I was you? Sometimes.

In those moments when l feel like I can’t keep up, when I lack energy and my patience is running thin, then “Yes,” I do.

But most of all, I know I cannot expect that of myself because that is not fair. Because life isn’t perfect. Because my children are not perfect. Because I am not perfect. Because perfect does not exist.

So, Mom I Thought I Would Be; I am slowly letting you go and embracing the mom that I am. I look at this mom in the mirror. I see her dreams and purpose. I look at her and see how far she has come.

Her eyes may be tired, but she inspires me. She is real. She is me.

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Alisa is a psychotherapist, life coach and mom of three. Alisa is a native of Fairfield County and lives with her husband (a New York transplant), daughter (October 2012) and two sons (January 2015, June 2018). Following the birth of her second child, Alisa left her full-time job and pursued her dream of starting her own private practice by founding Balanced Being Counseling, LLC and Balanced Being Coaching, LLC (abalancedbeing.com) located in downtown Fairfield. Alisa specializes in working with young women and moms to decrease stress and manage feelings of anxiety and depression. She is trained in treating perinatal mood and anxiety disorders and is an active committee member of Postpartum Support International- CT Chapter serving as the Communications Chair. Alisa is the creator the Facebook Group, Balanced Mama, a non-judgmental space for moms to feel inspired, gain support and come together among the chaos. She is passionate about motherhood, supporting women, buffalo chicken and a good margarita.

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