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Are You Afraid You Will Be A Horrible Parent?

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Do you wonder how you could ever be a great parent when all you know is dysfunction? I know I did.

Having or adopting a baby is a big deal. When I found out I was pregnant I was super excited but also scared. I had no doubt of my motherly instinct but I was afraid I will hurt my child the way I was hurt.

Emotionally, that is. I did not have visions of physically hurting my children rather, doing to them what was done to me. The same pain I carried with me every waking moment of my life. 

The thing is, I didn't know what that was. I couldn't articulate how I would/could do that but I must have instinctively known the possibility was there. 

Growing up, I felt rejected, abandoned and not good enough and that is just a start. But, I'll say again, I didn't know how I would hurt my children I was just scared I would. 

It was a real thing for me so I went and spoke to my social worker who I had as a teen (that is a whole other story). I asked her what I did so wrong, what was the matter with me, that I was treated so poorly so I would not repeat the mistakes.

She explained to me that I had not been the one in the family with the problem. 'There is nothing wrong with you' she said. "What happened to you happened because of them...not you!" 

I can't tell you what a relief that was to hear that I was not the problem. That may have been the first time in my life I ever felt validated. 

As my pregnancy furthered, the validation diminished so I went to see a psychiatrist. He virtually said the same thing and that my awareness of it would counter my fears and I had nothing to worry about. 

But they were wrong. 

Turns out, what I feared, I also created.

Oh, I love[d] my kids more than anything in the world. I bonded right away and the motherly instinct was instant. 

I was their protector, their safe place, their fueling station for love. 

Until I wasn't.

I began to notice (a bit too late) that I parented from the emotions of my past. My childhood wounds.

When my kids did certain things, I would react unreasonably. I can't say I was completely unaware, I knew my behavior was not expressing the mom I wanted to be.

But I didn't know what caused it, and how to change it. By this time, 3 kids in, I began making excuses like "well any parent would be annoyed if their child did this" or "I'm not the only parent who would be angry about this."

In other words, validating my bad behavior.

I had to validate myself somehow, after all, I had never received any as a child. Unfortunately, that kind of validation leads to a great deal of pain. The same pain I had been trying so hard to avoid.

Suzanne works with prospective adoptive couples who have unresolved issues surrounding their childhood that will cloud their ability to parent. She helps them to be confident, loving parents to their child, and provide an environment where the child thrives. Reach out to her here for a free 'Confident Loving Parent' breakthrough session. You can also check out her free E-book, 9 (Little Known) Factors That Could Affect Your Adopted Babies Mental Health And What You Can Do To Prevent It. 

This article was originally published at SuzieQ Solutions. Reprinted with permission from the author.

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