Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Mommie Dearest

It's always interesting to pop the top off your head and take a look at what makes you tick.

I remember a long time ago when my kids were toddlers, I went to a workshop on parenting and the presenter said that, when your kids are misbehaving and you are at your wits end, it sometimes helps to pretend that they are someone else's kids. You are less likely to throttle someone else's kids. You are more likely to step back from the situation and act responsibly.

I've found that advice to be very beneficial over the years when examining my own self. Having had the cheese slip off my crackers as a college student, I really don't want to go there again. Having had less than stellar therapy in the past, I'm less than trusting when it comes to laying all the power at someone else's feet.

Thus, I tinker.

During the years of my marriage, I would stand in the kitchen, stare out of the kitchen window, and psychoanalyze why I was so angry. I would delve into the reasons for my sadness. I would take comfort in the fact that I had reasons to feel the way I was feeling.

And then I wouldn't do a damn thing about it.

It's sort of like being the most enlightened person on a deserted island. In the long run, it doesn't really matter much.

Something I've been examining lately is motherhood.

So much of what is going on revolves around motherhood.

Mother-guilt for not knowing what was going on (yes, I know it's ridiculous to beat myself up for ignorance but SAYING it and FEELING it are two entirely different things.)

Abysmal choices by mothers-STBX's manhole choosing to carry on a relationship with a known pedophile when she has a young daughter. (Do you think he fantasizes about her daughter when they're having sex?).

Maternal abandonment issues-something that I've been working on in regards to myself and my first few months of life.

STBX's mother issues-He never moved past the psychological development of a ten year old and always acted like I was supposed to be his mother rather than his wife. I know a lot of women feel this way about their husbands but his is a deep seated psychological issue rather than an annoying immaturity.

There's also the culture of judgment of mother's, mine being right up there at the top. Mothers are judged far more than fathers. One side of the coin is that we're all trying to do the best we can with what we have. The other side of the coin is the reality that we often act out of selfish desires for our own safety, our own security, and our own desires.

See, prying the top off your head can get ugly.

You have to be willing to own what you have done. To admit that there were times when you should have made better choices and that there were times when you were just hanging on by a thread.

To realize that the decisions you make as a mother are made in somewhat of an echo chamber, they might seem transitory at the time but when you string them together, they make a conversation, the foundation of a life for your children.

That is the ultimate challenge and the heartbreaking joy of being a mother.

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