I had a super wonky childhood. It left me a totally crippled-by-fear-of-failure parent for a long time. I've graduated to being a slightly neurotic parent. Most days I can deal with my humanity, and the fact that I can't do everything for my kids, or protect them from the universe by keeping them in the Mommy Bubble.
My husband still needs to reassure me from time to time, "We are doing fine. They are great kids. Stop worrying so much!"
What it comes down to is, I'm an adult. I cannot blame my shortcomings on my childhood. I cannot ruin my marriage and my motherhood letting it make me so scared and nervous. Because I make choices every day that make me responsible. Yes, my life experiences may color my outlook and affect my decisions, but they cannot be the driving force in my life. The time came a long time ago for me to decide who I was going to be.
I already knew this...but a light bulb moment came today when I realized that this will describe MY kids eventually. I will have given them the foundation to make their choices already. Then it is up to them. I will have made mistakes. Chances are I will not have ruined their lives though, and they will make the decisions each day to either build on the good things or be forever warped by the errors I made as I journeyed through parenting. That will be their choice.
This took a load off of my shoulders. I will still call older parents for advice. I will never stop reading books that will help me develop as a parent. I'll keep learning how to be a better Mom. But I don't have to hook the next 80 years of their lives on what I do this minute, whether or not I made every second exactly what it should have been-I am a good Mom. Overwhelmingly, I am teaching them what they need to know. Then it's in their hands.
I have a feeling the more I grasp this concept, the better their lives will be. My crazy never helped them have a better childhood, or taught them how they can be functioning adults. It just made life harder. I have them for such a short time, then the rest is up to them.