Mistakes Before Motherhood

Click to visit the Siren Stories website and read more work by J.J. Barnes and check out her latest novels.

Click to visit the Siren Stories website and read more work by J.J. Barnes and check out her latest novels.

Internet trolls are big news these days as more and more celebs “out” those that take pleasure from sending vile, spiteful and abusive messages to those they dislike or disagree with, both in the public eye and out of it.

One of these such messages was retweeted by Nicole Polizzi, otherwise known as Snooki, and made me think. The message accused Ms Polizzi of being a sex “attic”, I can only assume the poor undereducated troll meant “addict”, and that she will never change and therefore is an unfit mother who should never have been allowed to have her son Lorenzo. Now, don’t get me wrong, she is not the kind of person I’d see myself being friends with, but I have seen no evidence that either she or her fiancé are unfit parents nor do anything that could be considered worthy of their son being removed. All in all from what I can tell she is a young woman who loves her son but did some pretty dumb things in the past, unfortunately for her, unlike most of us, hers were all filmed and broadcast to the world.

In a previous time of my life I did a heck of a lot of dumb things. Unfortunately for me, just as with Snooki, I didn’t realise at the time they were dumb and, like Snooki, some of mine were filmed and broadcast to the world. In a previous incarnation of me I appeared in a few TV shows with an adult theme. Do I regret it? Not exactly. It was fun and gave me a fifteen minutes of fame we all apparently crave, though as soon as I had it under my belt I realised it wasn’t something I wanted and opted out of future appearances. But in a way I do regret it, I was trying to be something or someone that in my heart I’m not.

Fortunately most of my dumb choices weren’t made public, they were kept just for me and these are mostly things I do regret. When I met my husband he made me deal with things, mistakes I had made, and through the therapy sessions he encouraged me to undergo I was able to deal with the traumas I had endured which had lead to me expressing myself in unhealthy and altogether dumb ways. Once that was done and I was clear of it I became the person I am now, and that is someone who is in no way an unfit mother. Yes, I make mistakes, but by gosh I try and I have a happy, healthy baby and a happy, healthy relationship because of it.

I am evidence that given the right circumstances anyone can behave like an idiot. Anyone can do things that at the time seem clever or funny or a great self esteem boost that given time turn out to be the exact opposite. I am also evidence that change is possible. Evidence that changing times in your life bring about a change in you. Who I am now is who under all the bravado and feigned confidence I always was, I just couldn’t handle where I was in my life so I couldn’t handle who I was.

I don’t know Snooki and I don’t know if she feels about her life like I do. But I do know that if every woman who had made mistakes in her life was prevented from having children the human race would dwindle fast. You do not have to be perfect to be a good mother. You do not have to have a life untainted by scandal and error. To be a good mother you just have to let the past go, look to it, learn from it, but don’t dwell on it.

I know I will make more mistakes (I hope not the same ones but I can’t guarantee), I know I love my daughter, and most importantly I know, despite all my screw ups and mistakes, I am a damned good mother.

You can check out all my contact info an links on http://www.jjbarnes.co.uk, I’m on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so you can get in touch on there, as well as find links to all my work. There’s also http://www.sirenstories.co.uk which has all the work by both myself and The Boy (Jonathan McKinney) and loads of extra content such as background stories for different characters. If you want to subscribe on Patreon, its just $1 a month to help support our work and it also grants you access to our extra podcast a week, you can go to http://www.patreon.com/sirenstories.

Thanks as always for reading, and I’ll speak to you soon I hope!

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