As I wave of one half of my family at the airport, I always feel a familiar warm glow of love, some sadness and a bit of anxiety that some disaster may happen and I may never see them again……
For goodness sake! they are only going to Lanzarote for a week!LOL!
I reflect that there comes a time in every mothers life when she feels that hot rush of maternal love deep in her stomach, so strong it’s almost painful and life is never the same again.
Sometimes that may happen the first time the helpless bundle is put into your arms, as it did for one of my children, and for others they need time to fall in love with the child and it happens much later. As it did for the other. But most mothers can remember the first time it happens, when you KNOW you love this little person no matter what.
Last week there was a “bit of a dispute” in the family when, in anger, things were said, resentments aired, judgements made, that probably would have better been kept quiet, so feelings got hurt.
Still, nobody fell out, we are not that sort of family and hopefully when the dust settles and feelings calm down all will be well again.
Hopefully our relationships survive,because at the end of the day we love each other and that will carry us through any disagreements.
But, I can’t help feeling guilty whenever anything goes wrong with my children, or they are unhappy in any way. Is it something I have done ?, or not done?, that makes them like they are. Should I have been more strict? less strict? not worked? stayed with their dad? Lived on benefits? not had any new relationships? Devoted myself completely to them? or been more self focussed?
We all make decisions as parents that we have to live with for the rest of our lives and only hindsight tells us if they are right or wrong. At the time we just do the best we know how under the circumstances.
I hope my children will forgive me for the wrong decisions I made and bless me for the right ones.
On the face of it, postnatal depression, alcoholic, divorce, single parent working all hours, doesn’t sound like a great recipe for well adjusted children, but to their credit my kids seem to have grown into great adults and I am so proud of them.
I think we are a very functional family, in that we all try to support one another in whatever the individual wants to do, without any emotional blackmail or pressure for the individual to do what other members of the family would like, or think we should do.
But it does make me reflect on myself as a mother. Mayabe I should try harder.
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Wow, Denise, what an honest, reflective post! I love your blog for the no-nonsense, no self-pity, brutally honest way you reflect on your life, both current and past. Thank you for being brave enough to share with all of us ~ I admire you very much for it.Jo
Man, that is a difficult one. I know this feeling well. I think it very easy indeed to reflect upon one's choices when things go wrong or there is a crisis of sorts. One ponders, "Should I have made another choice." or done it differently. I don't know the answers but generally I think we all try to do the best we can at the time…..sometimes I wonder if I could have been braver in my choices as well. At any rate, Denise..you are not alone. I suspect you made the best decisions you could at that time…..and life is full of bumps….it seems it is how we sort it all out that matters without looking back..but looking for what is best now and for the future.
Love and guilt – they seem to go hand and hand for mothers, don't they? You hit the nail right on the head. Wondering what we could have done/should have done differently probably plagues most of us. Come to think of it, I'll have to ask Stephane if he has the same thoughts as a father. Whenever I feel that I've made a mistake, I tell my children along with the disclaimer that being a mother is new to me and that I'm learning about each new stage as I go along. And I have to say that having children of my own has made me much more understanding of my mother.Safe travels to the one half of your family who went to Lanzarote.
Very powerful post Denise – I admire you for putting such raw emotion out there for all to read – as I never had any children, I don't fully understand where you and the others are coming from – however, I do remember the struggles that my Mother had when we were growing up – it's difficult for a Mother to have to work so much and still provide the mothering so necessary to her children! If your blog had an "exalt" button, I would certainly click on it for this post!
Wow, as the others have said, a very honest and powerful post Denise. I haven't been through nearly as hard a time as you and I'm not sure I could be as honest and not succumb to self pity.It can be tough being a mother, I know I would go to the ends of the earth for my kids and have always supported them in their decisions even when I'm not sure they are right (having given my opinion first of course). I think it is definitely a "mother" thing. I know David thinks they are adults and should deal with their problems themselves. Equally if they really need him he is there for them.I hope they have a great time in Lanzarote!
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