Being a borderline millennial and having two daughters has made me a devoted Taylor Swift fan. Since her new album dropped it’s all I listen to with my girls, which gets dicey because it’s got some “grown up words” in the lyrics, but damn that girl writes catchy tunes.
There’s a line on her new album that says, “And I know I make the same mistakes every time, bridges burn, I never learn, at least I did one thing right.”
Obviously Tay’s not writing about parenting, but when I heard this line it was like she unwittingly summed up everything I feel about my identity and how it’s tied to motherhood. As a person, I am flawed. My instincts betray me at times. I know right now some of you are like, um yeah, spoiler alert, I already knew that. I’ve met you/seen your Instagram. I don’t even like the word “flawed” because it sounds pretentious like when people refer to acne as blemishes. But as a mom, I think I’m doing it right. I say this as humbly as possible: sometimes I amaze myself with the qualities motherhood has brought out in me. *Cut to ten years from now when my daughter is on Google Fiber Presents MTV’s Teen Mom Season 47 and this post is used to show how my delusions of grandeur sabotaged generations…
Which brings me to this: none of us know if we’re doing it right because THERE’S NO SUCH THING.
I was recently in a group of women and I got that feeling when you’re just not fitting in. I noticed that every time I tried to join the conversation I was interrupted or low-key dismissed. I mentally recorded every perceived slight and silently wrote off the women I felt were being cold to me. But if my six-year-old daughter was telling me that she had this experience, I would tell her to not take it personally, keep on being herself, and give it time. Sometimes being a parent means self-correcting for the mere fact that you hope it will make your kid turn out better than you are.
So I know I make the same mistakes every time, bridges burn, I never learn, at least I did one thing right…
I have no answers, just my thoughts that you may or may not find familiar. That’s the point of this. Carrying the baggage and insecurities that come with being a woman, combined with your idea of how you think you should be as a mom is a weird balancing act. But if you’re loving your kids the best way you know how, you’re doing the most important thing right in my book.
My favorite quote from my favorite historical figure: