Through My Daughter’s Eyes: Motherhood and Self-Perception

You know those days when everything catches up to you? And you just can’t take anymore? And you are depressed about yourself? And you wonder why and cry and cry and then cry some more?

I know we’ve all had some of those days. I certainly have had my fair share. My most recent one was just yesterday. So many things have been going on for my little L medical-wise, my husband has been out of town, my house was not as clean as I wanted, and I was just so depressed about myself.

So I cried and cried because I just couldn’t take anymore. I didn’t want my brain to be so overloaded with things. I didn’t want my body to look the way it did. I didn’t want to be a “temporary single mom” while my husband was out of town. I didn’t want my little L to have to deal with so much. I just felt down-right worthless, sad, and overwhelmed.

I called the person I see as downright amazing. My mom.

As I was describing how I felt about everything, bawling my face off, and just laying on the couch because I couldn’t make myself do anything else, my sweet L walked over to me.

Mother and DaughterShe climbed up on the couch, looks at me with those baby blues, and started to wipe my tears with her blanket.

“I wipe your tears Mommy.”
Then of course I cry harder.
“It’s okay, Mommy, I help you feel better.”
She wipes my tears, tucks blankets under my neck, and gets me one of her dolly pillows.
“Here Mom, a pillow for your head to feel better!”
I cry harder. How come she is so sweet?!
“Uh oh, Mom! What happened? I get your tears.”
“I will sing you a song Mommy, to feel better.”
She sits by my side and sings softly a song that I can’t make out. The only phrases I catch:
“I love my Mommmmmm. My mommmmmyyyy.”
“Mommy, you sad?”
“Yes, Mommy’s feeling sad. But you are helping me feel better.”
“Yeah Mommy, I get your tears. And sing a song to feel better.”
“Thanks, sweetie. I love you so much!”

Even though I was an un-showered-no-make-up’ed-hair-in-a-ponytail-blotchy-red-faced from-crying-overweight-tired-mom, my sweet little 2.5 year old noticed me enough to come wipe my tears, sing me a song, and tuck me in.

It got me thinking how it doesn’t matter what I look like, how I feel, or what my house may look like – my daughter sees me as her mom. Her buddy, her pal, her friend, her role-model, her mommy.  Someone who has unconditional love for her, someone who takes care of her, someone who will listen to her made up songs and dance moves until sundown.

My L has been through a lot for a 2.5 year old. As a pediatric stroke survivor, she is quite a remarkable girl. Her happy and sweet demeanor is pretty contagious, and her empathy for others is astounding.

I took a step back after this incident and thought to myself, how do I see myself? How is motherhood affecting how I see myself? Is it positive? Is it negative? What do I see in me? What does my daughter see in me?

As hard as it is for me, I realize that my daughter sees me as the person I really am, and the person I can become. She may only be 2.5, but she knows me. How well do I know myself? How well am I portraying myself to her? Positively, I hope.

I challenge you (and me) that next time we’re having a down-in-the-dumps day to take a step back, get down to our child’s level, look them in the eyes, and ask ourselves, “what am I through my [daughter’s] eyes”?

The answer reflecting through [her] eye, back to you will undoubtedly be,  amazing.

kellieA Mom Knows Contributor

About Kellie

I am a mom of a spunky 3-year-old little girl and a wife to one hot husband. My daughter is a Pediatric Stroke survivor and has minor cerebral palsy and is classified as a hemiplegic. A lot of my time is spent dealing with the repercussions from her stroke but I also love scrapbooking, reading, spending time with my husband and daughter.

2 Responses to Through My Daughter’s Eyes: Motherhood and Self-Perception

  1. Sis. Mary Anderson (back home) says:

    Hi Kellie! I was talking to your Mom last night in the church library (my calling is the Wednesday night librarian) and she told me about this great blog that you’re a part of. How neat! You write really well, too! I didn’t know a motherhood “helpline” blog was out there. Your little girl sounds so sweet (like you:). I was a single Mom for Ali for six months once when her Dad was out on a Navy deployment and it was tough like you’re experiencing. I find hot baths to be rejuvenating so if you don’t take them I’d highly recommend them. I’ll come back and read some more of these blogs from time to time. Your Mother is a sweetheart!! Take care. Sis. A.

  2. Crissa Robertson says:

    First of all can I just say that I can’t believe your daughter is 2 1/2! That is so crazy how time flies.
    My mom sent me a link to this post and I have to say you aren’t alone. I had had many of those days myself…the difference is my son is only 2 months and can’t wipe my tears, kiss me and tuck me in. You are one lucky little mama to have such a sweet little daughter. I am glad you could find the bright side to such a sad day. Hope the rest of your week has been better!