I Am My Mother’s Daughter, and that Scares Me Most of All


I’m a good mother.

My house isn’t a mess, but it’s messy. We have things to do, and places to see, and while I would love a clean home, I know it’s not going to happen until my kids are grown up and gone. Then, I’ll hopefully be blessed with grandkids to remind me how wonderful a messy home can be.

They say a messy house is the sign of a happy home. Then why does my inner voice only whisper, “Why are you so lazy?”

I’m a good mother.

I’m getting better at going out on my own to do things I want to do. A class, a dinner out, or even just an hour or two tucked away with a good book and a hot cup of coffee. Better yet, make that wine. They say it’s important to take time for yourself without guilt. You need an hour or two a week just dedicated to reminding yourself that there is more to life than dirty diapers, homework, and shuttling kids from place to place.

Ain’t no one happy if mama ain’t happy, but all that runs through my mind as I listen to the kids and my husband talk about what happened while I was gone is, “Why are you so selfish?”

I’m a good mother.

It isn’t a phrase that comes easy to me. The inner voices war on a daily basis. They lie to me,  whispering untruths.

“My children are who they are in spite of who their mother is.”

“They would be better off without me.”

“I am my mother’s daughter.”

That last one scares me most of all. What if I am more like my mom than I like to admit? She was beautiful, and talented, but she was also fragile and lost to the world of her illness more often than not. I learned to ride the waves, hanging on tight for the crash that inevitably came. I don’t want my children to learn how to swim those constantly changing tides.


I have a really hard time believing it sometimes, but I’ll keep repeating this phrase until my voice is hoarse and my palms are sweating.


My voice repeating these words, shaky and hesitant though it may be, is what keeps me here. I know my inner voice lies. I remind myself of this fact on the dark days when I can’t seem to find the light. There will be sun tomorrow.

Previously published at Just Me, Julia.

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The short version of who Julia is can be summed up in four words, mom on the move. When she's not working full time as an Optician, part time as a blogger and doing the wife and mother thing, she likes to spend time behind a camera, shopping, or dreaming of her next road trip. Julia blogs at justmejulia.ca about motherhood, life after 40, and the mayhem of both.