Sunday, March 2, 2014
learning to mother without my mom
A few weeks ago, a colleague lamented about how he was dreading having dinner with his mother that evening. As I walked away from that conversation, I felt a range of emotions. I was initially jealous that he got to have dinner with his mom. Then my jealousy turned to anger. How could he be so ungrateful? Finally, my anger turned to fear. What if my daughter dreads having dinner with me when she's an adult?
Sometimes I catch myself wondering what it would be like to pickup the phone and call my mom to ask her advice about mothering. I probably wouldn't think twice about it. We'd discuss whatever I was concerned with and then it would turn to what my daughter's learning lately or a new recipe we liked.
At the same time, it's hard to imagine picking up the phone to talk to my mom. So much has changed in the twelve years she's been gone. I've lived more than one third of my life without her.
Is mothering more about instinct or nurture? Before my daughter was born, I tried to squelch my fears by telling myself I didn't have to worry about how I'd mother because I had a great teacher. I remember my mom as patient, gentle and giving. Now that I'm a mom, I see even more clearly how she gave of herself in ways I never recognized as a child or even a young adult.
I sometimes struggle but always manage to find my way and I'm in awe of mothers everywhere. Whether you're a mom who goes to an office or spends her days with her child, I know you're a working mom. I hope you have friends who encourage you in the journey.
I've found some aspects of motherhood to be lonely, but I am so grateful for lunches with co-workers who are mothers and the ease of texting a question to another mom. These relationships remind me I'm not really alone in the journey and it's normal to question yourself along the way; they encourage me when mothering feels tough.
What encourages and connects you to other moms?