Swan Mothers

Discovering Ourselves through Parenting

Forgiving Myself My Own Ignorance

IMG_5803.jpgIt takes considerable knowledge just to realize the extent of your own ignorance.
Thomas Sowell

When my daughter was born one week before my twenty-ninth birthday, I thought I was prepared for motherhood. I’d been a youth group leader and camp counselor since I was fourteen. For years, I taught kindergarten in Saturday school. Since becoming pregnant, I’d doggedly perused the 649 shelf in the library, hauling home and reading dozens of parenting books. I knew what to expect during my baby’s first year.

Scratch that. I was familiar with timelines for normal development. I had read about infant behaviors. I had developed a how-to-parent-a-newborn plan. And I was wholly unprepared to be a mother. I had expectations, for my child and myself. I thought having an agenda was a good thing.

Let’s raise children who won’t have to recover from their childhood.
Pam Leo

Within a few days of being home with my much-wanted, instantly-loved child, I yelled at her. She had been screaming for hours. I had changed her, nursed her, rocked her, left her in the crib for a bit, sung to her. In my ignorance, I never considered that she might be in physical or emotional pain, that there could be a reason for her distress. I was failing — so soon! — at being the kind of mother I had prepared to be, the kind I was supposed to be.

Immediately after I yelled, I lay on the bed beside her, and joined her in despondent weeping.

Education: the path from cocky ignorance to miserable uncertainty.
Mark Twain

Almost two decades have passed. I think I have forgiven myself for that horrible lapse of self-control, the abhorrent dearth of understanding, but I continue to regret it. My children are my greatest teachers, and I continue to remember the profound lesson: I have much to learn. Always.


This post was inspired by Forgiveness Prompts For #1000Speak January Link-up. #1000Speak is a group of bloggers from all over the world are coming together to talk about compassion on the 20th of each month. The above is my first contribution.

I write about my parenting journey, and the journeys of other mothers, in Swan Mothers: Discovering Our True Selves by Parenting Uniquely Magnificent Children.


Advertisements
Leave a comment »

Amy M. Newman

The Literary Mom: Wife, Mom, Reader, and YA Author

Cognitive Archaeology

Revealing the Evolution of Human Cognition

The Witch & Walnut

* The Slavic Witch * Eastern European Folk Magic *

Inner Art Spirit

Living an affirmative, creative life by Patricia Robin Woodruff

Inner Art Spirit

Living an affirmative, creative life by Patricia Robin Woodruff

A Writer Afoot

Discovering Ourselves through Parenting

Блог Сонячного Зайчика

блог про свята і будні мами в декреті

Mystic Landing

A place for all things mystic - tarot, spells, chakra healings, magic, mediumship, enchantments

Dances with Tricksters

Sacred Heart on Fire with Idolatry

Mnomquah

Discovering Ourselves through Parenting

writers co-op

Writers helping writers. To follow this blog, click on the three white lines above.

writers co-op

Writers helping writers. To follow this blog, click on the three white lines above.

The Book Smugglers

Discovering Ourselves through Parenting

It'll All Work Out

Because it always does, even if it's not the way you want or expect.

Circle of Ancestors

Reconnecting with our Ancestral Traditions

Circle of Ancestors

Reconnecting with our Ancestral Traditions

Jean Bakula

Astrology and Tarot Readings

Pioneer Valley Witch

Modern Mythology, Homebrew Witchcraft, Tarot

Spirit Passages

Discovering Ourselves through Parenting