A few weeks ago I was driving home from work and I heard “Love me Less” by Max Schneider on pandora. The song peaked my interest so I hit the replay button and listened to the words.
“Would you love me less? If you knew the places that I’ve been? If you knew the damage that I did?”
The song took be back for a second, back to my college days, back to my going out every night drinking seven days a week days. It took me back to my high school days full of drama, long nights, best friends and even a few fights. The first thing I could think was “would my children still love me so much if they knew about all the skeletons I keep hidden in my closet, under my bed and even in the attic?” (figurative skeletons – do not call the FBI)
I, by no means, am a perfect person, nor have I ever been but I have definitely grown up more with age. My two girls only see Mom, the woman who wakes them up, snuggles them, feeds, raises and plays with them. They don’t see the damage it took for me to become who I am today. I wear the scars but they are not on the surface. I have always had a short temper and a big heart which has gotten me in trouble a time or two (or twenty).
As I listened to the song, I wondered if I should tell my girls about the demons Mommy faced, or if I should keep them hidden. As the song continued, more lyrics struck home like “If you knew the person that I was, If you knew the power of your love to change me, And if I introduce you to my demons, tell me you won’t love me less.” I got pregnant with my first daughter at 22 years old, suddenly everything changed, going out seemed less important, friends that were not really friends started to fade away, and life seemed to have a bigger purpose and meaning. It amazed me that a person I had not even met yet had such an impact on my world views.
In my 30 minute drive home from work, I decided right then and there that as my girls grow up and get older, I will tell them. Tell them about my skeletons I try to keep hidden and hope that they can learn from them. I do not want them to grow up thinking Mommy is perfect and does no wrong, because NO ONE can live up to perfection. No amount of Instagram filters in the world will ever make me perfect, and I don’t want any little girl growing up thinking that the only standard is perfect. This world has thrown curveballs at all of us, depression, death, anxiety, sickness, fear and addiction just to name a few. We all have secrets, struggles and skeletons but I think it is how we choose to grow and learn from them that defines us. I have lost a few friends in the last ten years, friends I thought I would have for a lifetime, but as I grew I began to realize that they were only friends for a season. A season in time that has come and gone and run its course, but my husband, family and children are my constants. My husband is my best friend and our girls are our everything, and somehow through all of my drama, growing up and mess, they still love me. Love me for my mistakes, love me for ME.
So I will slowly start cleaning out my closets of the skeletons; I will “Marie Kondo” my past and show it to my children. I want them to know who mama was, who she became and who she is today. Because I know in my heart that after it all they will NOT love me less.