Saturday, May 12, 2007

Marred Mothers

I am sometimes struck with awe, when I look upon a large crowd of people, to think that every single one of them was born of a woman. Every single person began as a mystery inside a woman's body. A woman who became a mother when that tiny human emerged from her body.

The Hallmark portrait of motherhood that we celebrate in May is only one path women take on the motherhood journey. It portrays mothers as always there for their children, nurturing, and supporting them. Not all mothers can do this. Some women haven't had sufficient mothering of their own. I was born to such a woman. My mother was was born to such a woman. My grandmother lost her mother at the tender age of five. She and her siblings were adopted out to local farms. The impact of that loss has echoed down through the generations.

My mother doesn't fit the stereotype mold of motherhood. As a child I was always cared for and watched over, but I don't feel that I was nurtured, or cherished, or even seen for who I really am. My mother did encourage me to be independant, she taught me many useful skills, including knitting, and I know in my heart that she did her utmost best for me. I love her and I admire her for going back to school at the age of 40 and for finally pursuing the art that she put aside when she had children.

I just feel that it needs to be acknowledged that not everyone had the best mother ever. That not everyone's mother is an inspiration of the highest order. And that's okay. I feel like I'm beginning to learn who my mother really is. To accept what it is that she can give me, instead of longing for what she can't. To accept her and see her as she really is.

I'm working hard on the best Mother's day gift I can think to give her. I'm trying to learn to unhook emotionally from my mother so that the things she says or does can't hurt me the way they have in the past. If I learn to do this, I hope I can have a better relationship with her. One that is based on acceptance.

Happy Mother's day to the Hallmark mothers, and the marred mothers. What a wonderful gift they have given us.


  1. HAPPY MOM'S DAY!!!!

    It is amazing how very different moms are... and how even more varied people born of moms end up being...

  2. Oh, my gosh, Laurie, I'm all choked up. That was really nice. I felt like I had finally grown up when I stopped focusing on my mother not understanding me, and started trying to understand my mother. We all do our utmost best, and hope our children someday realize that. Happy Mother's Day!

  3. Hi Laurie: I, too, visit your blog, but I find that if I stop and comment on every blog I read I get little done in the way of knitting.
    Mom's - the longer I am a Mom, the better I appreciate how difficult the job can be and I appreciate my Mom more and more!

  4. Anonymous11:19 pm

    Thank you for sharing the feelings of many of us and putting it so eloquently. I don't want to dwell on my mom's shortcomings at this point, and I sure hope my kids see the water and not just the air in the glass. None of us is perfect and by fostering the illusion that perfect moms run rampant, we all feel shortchanged. Thanks, Laurie!

  5. Kirsty1:20 pm

    You are so right about the wonderful gift, and about the varied capacity to 'mother.' Great post.