Reflecting on Mothers...

Mother's Day is rapidly approaching...a holiday where we honor those who have given birth to us. For many, this holiday is about showering their mother with love and gratitude, but for me, I pause.

My mother died nine years ago. She was not necessarily the best when it came to her mothering skills. I mean, technically, she met the minimum criteria of mothering...I am still alive, but I would not say that her skills involved much nurturing....rather, I am a survivor.

My mother was a woman who had children to keep a man in a relationship. Ultimately, the relationship failed and she was left with the child...first me, then my brother. Two children, no men. For a woman who, most likely, shouldn't have had children (I am not even sure she wanted children), now she had two. Two beings that were fully reliant on her, cramping her partying style, limiting her freedom, or so one would think.

My pre-teen and teen years were spent with a woman who couldn't put her children first. She would go out every night (or most nights) leaving my brother and I to fend for ourselves. She invited men to live with us that had no right being a part of our lives (drug dealers, etc)..These were dark years...years of floating emotionally, trying to balance between being an adult to care for my brother and being a child myself. Doing what I needed to do to provide food for us, keep us safe.

Finally, after years of dysfunction, I left...leaving my young brother with my mother and her craziness. After some time, she finally met a good man who helped her get stable, provided a father figure for my brother...

So...here I am reflecting on Mother's Day...Although not the mother she should have been, or the mother she could have been...my mother is the reason that I am who I am. She is the reason that I am strong and opinionated...she is the reason that I can stand on my two feet, the reason I was able to weather the storm of the birth of my youngest. My mother, a woman who did not know the true meaning of sacrifice or putting others first, made me the woman I am now...the mother I became.

My experiences with her as a mother gave me a viewpoint to be a different mother to my own children...in a strange way her lack of real mothering laid the foundation for me...and for that, I am forever grateful!

Comments

  1. It's always a challenge. Those things we didn't enjoy in our past are what have made us who we are. To wish them different is like wishing to be a different person.

    I'm glad you are able to take the positive from it, and be the mother you want for your own children.

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  2. Boy oh boy, you had to contend with more than any child should have to - it sounds like you've turned that negative childhood to a positive adulthood.

    Popped by from the Road Trip.

    thriftshopcommando.blogspot.com

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