In the back of a rental car whizzing through France, I wrote the passage below. We were on a trip with my mother-in- law and after days of awkward interactions and hiding behind a self-made wall of negativity I had blamed on her, I realized I had built this wall and it was ugly. Ugly for me and my kids to see. It hit me like a ton of bricks: I had a control issue and it had tarnished my relationship with my husband’s parents and my parents. Writing how I saw control and how I wanted to abolish it was incredibly cathartic.
I have never been a control freak but when I had my first baby the need for control was palpable. I had to know everything and make every decision. Control hardened me. Now that I’ve seen it all I can do it try to combat it, try to be more open and see the hardships that have grown from it. Control does not make me a good mom.
The need for control, like a growing Opuntia, manifested when I became pregnant now it has settled.
I see it strike and sting.
I justify it with my catalyzed parenting ideology. I let it course through my thoughts, isolating me.
Control closes me off, control breeds resentment, control cultivates insecurity.
After days of sitting in its muck, sprinkled with salty interactions and forceful pushes away,
I see it. I’m the mother octopus with heavy tentacles; I let them wrap around their pudgy wastes.
I see my venomous eyes searing- my way, my way, my way.
Control has made me ugly.
Stop. See. Melt.
Pour it all out, mama.
Control is an illusion.
There’s more than one way to put the babe back to bed.
There’s more than one way to feed the babe.
There’s more than one way to dress, bathe, love, cuddle, play, talk, share, seeeeeeee the babe.
Empty yourself of the need for the darkness of control.
Let love, light, flexibility and acceptance fill me.
Recharge me, I pray, the fight is too hard with too much sadness and anger. I can’t push anymore.
Come in, show me your way. Let me see. Let me accept.
Time is cyclical. It will return to me and be only mine.
Let’s share, give and receive.
Have you struggled with mama control? How has it impacted your life? I’d love to hear your experience and how you’ve combated it.