Happy Mother’s Day!
I have been lucky in my life to have a wonderful mother. She is sweet and helpful to me and is a very nurturing person. She has at most times in my life been my best friend. I do know that she loves me more than anyone else in the world loves me.
She worries incessantly about me.
A little story to prove my point: When I was working in pediatric oncology I had death after death. Once on a Sunday afternoon, I was in the ICU with a family who was holding their child who was taking his last breaths. My mom called and I quietly stepped out to tell her where I was. I was tearful and she was saying, “don’t go back in there honey. Just go home and take a hot bath, don’t go back in there”. I’m explaining that no matter how wrecked I was that it was my job to go back in there.
When I got home much later she had been there with flowers and had dinner covered on the stove. There was a time that every time I had a death she would buy me a little gift. I don’t think she even realized she was doing it but a day or two after I had a death she would leave me a little bag with something wonderful in it. I was racking up for a while. Finally that subsided. It became hard to keep up.
See? I have a wonderful nurturing mother. I want to be like her.
But we are different, mom and me. She wasn’t initially supportive of me getting this divorce. Well, you know what I mean. She loves me and supports me but probably thought I should stick it out because he did support us and he was a man (kind of) and in her world, women need a man. She didn’t have a career and was always a SAHM and, yes, she was dependent on a man. Lucky for her, my dad was a good man. He wasn’t a womanizer, he talks to her and most of the time makes her feel adored. When I started telling her how unhappy I was and the things that Stanley did that made me cry, she would say, “oh, they all do that!” Her advice to me throughout those years was to lower my expectations.
Finally, I realized that her fear was that divorce was going to make my life harder and she sees that my life is already hard. I am a working mom with 3 kids and she worried that if I divorced him I would have more responsibility than I did before and that he would be mad and help less.
I got this personality trait from her.
Once she realized that I was seriously not going to live forever with his crap, she just got mad at him. She calls him names (ok, they aren’t terrible but they are terrible for her!) and takes his beer bottles (that he saves to reuse for bottling his home brew) to the curb for the garbage man. Just for meanness.
Who do you think taught me to carry a purse?
It was AWESOME when she got to that point.
Because the truth of the matter is that it was hard for me to live with her disappointment about my choices. No matter how many times I told myself that her experience was different from mine (for instance, Stanley may have done some things that ‘most’ men do but he didn’t talk to me or make me feel adored) and that I do have a career and don’t feel like I have to be dependent on a man, I still can’t stand her disappointment.I want to be to my children like my mom was to me. Nurturing and going through life looking for some little way to make life better for them. She has always, always been there for me. I also have determined that it isn’t a bad thing for children to be afraid of disappointing their momma. It has kept me on the straight and narrow for much of my life. I will say I have no idea how to instill that in kids. But I am on the path to learn.I am also on the path to go buy a Mother’s Day Gift. In a hot pink gift bag!
Happy Mother’s Day!