Yesterday’s post from Kristen’s at Motherese had me thinking all day. A few days ago there was Aiden at Ivy League Insecurities exploring thoughts in this post. Just before the weekend there was this post from Sandy at Momisodes. And like a good movie, if you’re still thinking about it the next day, you know it was good. All of the posts dealt with the degree of guilt we take on as mothers, second guessing ourselves and our decisions.
Kristen’s post tackled the struggle between working moms and SAHmoms. More specifically, how we, fellow mothers, crucify each other if the choice of another mother doesn’t match our own. It got me thinking about one of my favorite songs by Tori Amos, aptly named, Crucify.
This song is off the first album I ever purchased by Tori. It’s considered her debut album. I know every song on this album so well I have no idea which ones were played on the radio, which ones were most popular. I identified with so many of the songs – and Crucify is one of my favorites.
Thinking this would be a great song for a Tunes for Tuesday post, I sat back and listened. I almost didn’t go with it. I wanted something current. This isn’t. I was hoping I’d choose a lighter, happier song – like a love song. This isn’t.
But a song that still resonates in me now – as it did almost 20 years ago? This is. And that’s a bit scary to me.
I just had to dive in.
“Every finger in the room
is pointing at me
I wanna spit in their faces
Then I get afraid of what that could bring” – I’m the type that thinks of the absolute perfect comeback. Fifteen minutes later. In the moment? My insides are jelly.
“I got a bowling ball in my stomach
I got a desert in my mouth
Figures that my courage would choose to sell out now” – I’ve been challenged about my own choices as a mother. Am I calm, decisive and direct? Nope. I’m defensive, insecure and shaken.
“Why do we
I crucify myself
Nothing I do is good enough for you
And my heart is sick of being in chains” – I was a young adult when I first found this song. Trying desperately to break away from a very dysfunctional mother. What scares me now is that I can still apply this song to my life, with other people, almost 20 years later. Have I not grown? Have I not learned? Why am I repeating patterns?
“I’ve been looking for a savior in these dirty streets
looking for a savior beneath these dirty sheets
I’ve been raising up my hands
Drive another nail in” – As mothers, we are so hard on ourselves. What I don’t understand is why we have to be so hard on each other.
“Got enough guilt to start
my own religion” – I love this line. I was raised Catholic. I know a lot about guilt. And then I became a mother. I didn’t need the Catholic Church anymore. I had the Church of Motherhood, showering guilt down every day. Do I work? Do I stay at home? Do I let her have processed cheese? Candy? Soda? How many activities are too much? Are they socialized well enough? Too much TV? Why isn’t he potty trained yet? Why have we been sick once a month for the past year? Flu shots? Vaccines? Down time? Bed times? Are they getting enough sleep? Green vegetables? Too much juice? Not enough water? A never-ending list.
I cry” – A cacophony of screaming voices in my head. Second guessing. Judging. Evaluating. Disregarding. Embracing. When all I want is peace of mind, support, calm.
It’s been a never-ending cycle for me. I moved on from my mother to other people, other things. I look to other mothers for support and understanding. I crucify myself every day. I don’t need to be crucified all over again by someone else.