Things Jerk Brain has said over the past week or so:
-you don't hold your child enough
-in fact you don't pay him enough attention in general
-when you go back to work, Neeps is going to forget who you are and love his daycare providers more than you
-you don't have your shit together at all
-you're so irresponsible
-you're so dumb
-you are a complete failure
Things I have said back:
-you're not welcome here
-you're so full of shit
-variations on the above
Just now, as I sat down at the computer, It said, "Maybe you'll stop sucking and write something for a change."
To which I replied, "I write stuff all the time. In fact, right now I'm going to write about how stupid and wrong you are."
And I am.
See, the thing is, Jerk Brain took it just a little too far tonight. It tried to tell me I'm not the best mother for Neeps. And I looked over at my son, ready to feel that familiar sweep of despair, but the fierce, fanged love roared up out of my chest and I whispered,
"Yes I am."
Because yeah, sometimes I can totally see where Jerk Brain might have a point about a lot of my personal failings. But not this. It's like saying, "Humans breathe water."- it's just objectively wrong. There's no condition in which is might be not-wrong. It's ludicrous to the point of jarring me out of Jerk Brain's grip. Because first of all, no one could possibly love Neeps more than I do. But it's more than that- because love is not enough, never enough, in any given relationship. So let's talk about some of the non-love ways in which I am/will continue to be a damn fine mother for my* son.
-I am not physically, verbally, or emotionally abusive
-I am gainfully employed, with good health insurance
-I have a damn fine lifemate/child-rearing-partner
-We have planned for fiscal emergencies, so if shit hits the fan, Neeps will be okay
-I have an amazing family (blood and otherwise) to help pick up the slack as needed
-I don't do drugs
-I read to him
-I give him lots of physical affection
-I communicate super well, and I will listen to him when he talks, no matter how "trivial"
-I am setting a good example of a (mostly) healthy lifestyle
-I will foster his independence and curiosity
-I will always be willing to play pretend with him
-I will treat him like he is an individual with his own thoughts and feelings
-I will hold him to high standards, so he will learn to do the same for himself (but not, like, cripplingly so)
-I will let him fail, even if it rips my heart out to do it. Because he needs to learn it's not the end of the world
-I will always make sure he knows he's loved, even if I'm not here
The more bullets I put on this list, the straighter I sit, and the more positive things spring into my mind. This is good, because those things are crowding out Jerk Brain's stupid little voice.
And now? Now I'm going to go refill my water bottle, and settle in to some fiction writing. Because fuck Jerk Brain.
*This is very specific to only me, and only my offspring. Other people will have different criteria for their lives, and this is in no way meant to be What I Think You Should Be Doing, so don't let your version of Jerk Brain convince you it is.