Do you see yourself in your children?

Posted Tuesday 15th July 2014   By Ericka Waller

I never wanted to have daughters. I brooded over mini versions of my husband. Brown eyes like pools of chocolate. I never considered the idea of mini versions of me. I did not want to see myself reflected in someone else’s face. The thought of passing on my flaws and failings and fears horrified me. I wanted to harvest perfection, and I was so far from it.

As they grew, I felt cross when people likened parts of my daughters to themselves. I would think “why do they have to be like you? Why can’t they be themselves?”

I don’t feel that way anymore.

I’m proud to see my temper in my middle daughter. She doesn’t take any nonsense.
If someone hurts her she will make sure they know it. Good. 

Thing-three screams until I go and find her tiny plastic Dalmatian before she will sleep, and I smile to myself in the dark as I search under covers. A dog with a bone, just liker her mother.  I never give up, may she never give up either.

Thing-one and I spend hours drawing The Faraway Tree. I see my imagination seep out on her white paper. I feel so grateful for my unconventionality. She will always have a world in her head that she can travel to whenever this one lets her down.

I never thought I would be a single mum raising three small daughters. I used to be scared of my own shadow. Now I lock the doors at night, no longer afraid of the dark. I’m shedding off my failings and flaws and emerging, butterfly beautiful.

I am a mother, a role model, a woman, a fighter. I am going to fill my children’s hearts with love and their heads with the belief that they are good enough. They can do anything. They are in control of themselves and their lives. Their happiness is inside them, a gift to themselves, never to be given away.

When I was first on my own, I would wait until my daughters were finally asleep, and then I’d crawl up the garden and scream into the grass, pulling at tufts, mud scraping beneath my nails. I wanted to bury myself in the worms and decay.

Now I dance upon the same grass with my daughters following behind me. My little size three feet stamp back down the ground I once dug up to hide beneath. I don’t need to hide. I don’t need to cry.

I have three daughters who think I made the moon. This is not a responsibility to run away from. It’s an honour to embrace.