I feel well equipped to become a mother to a child.
All my life I have been a mother. I have been a mother without choosing to be one. It has been pinned on me. I was my own mother for most my life. And once I was old enough, I mothered my mother, who never mothered me.
My mom is a hippie. Now for many people that might sound like something very nice. It sounds like freedom and open minds, like creativity, Woodstock, and colourfull clothes.
Growing up with a hippie for a mother though has too many downsides.
One of the downsides in my case was having to mother my mother instead of enjoying my childhood and just being a kid.
Starting at about 10 years old I had to take care of her more than she did about me a lot of times. Financially we were way under the poverty line. So I guess that her money troubles were so important that she forgot how to be a mother at that point. Instead of checking my homework, making me do chores, and teaching me about life, she told me about money troubles, her stalker, her depressing past, and her suicidal thoughts.
She was there, she loved me, no doubt about that. But she did not know how to be a mother. She tried, but sadly she failed.
The good thing, I must say, is the fact that I turned out to be a very self dependent person. I usually don’t need anybody to do anything for me, I will sort stuff out. I am great at organizing things quickly and efficiently. I am great at helping friends when they have a problem, no matter what problem that is. I know where to go and what to look for in most problem situations.
After all, I did this all my life. I sorted all my school troubles without having my mother involved because she refused to get involved in anything. I made sure that stuff gets done at home. When my brothers were at home I made sure they were somewhat under control. I would put the blanket on my mom when she fell asleep. I would clean the flat when needed. I would help with the shopping.
Every time I had a side job I put two thirds of my money into the household. When I got my first full time job I still put two thirds into the household instead of saving up to move out because my mom had no cash to keep the household going without that. Once I moved out I still kept buying groceries for my mother because she could not afford it. And once I couldn’t afford it anymore either, I was still available as the mental safety net that my mother needed. She told me her sorrows and I caught them and I gave her advice. And every time she followed my advice, things would improve for her.
But she is somewhat comfortable in her misery so she would always find something else that is bad and that burdened her and that, in turn, had to burden me because I had to listen and give advice again. This went on for many years.
In the mean time I got very very sick, mentally. I needed help but my mother was unable to help because I was her help, I could not tell her that things are too much for me now. I was 22 at that point.
Let’s skip a few years.
I am 30 now. My depression is gone. I worked hard to get my sanity back and some things are still a bit difficult but I am working on it and my husband is a great help.
Recently I had this trip back (see my post about home) and it was horrible. It put me back in this horrible state of mind. I was so dependent on my husband to be there and to keep me sane, it is difficult to put that in words. Starting on day one, I got this weird headache that did not go away until we left the country again. Also the day we met my whole family I was so moody (for no apparent reason) and my hands were shaking so bad.
Being around my mom and the rest of the family is not a healthy thing for me obviously.
Now my mother and I are still in contact via Facebook but the problem is that even with about 2000 km between us, I am still her “mental trash bin”. Every time she gets in touch with me, she will tell me how life is bad, how her health is spiraling downwards, how this and that. I used to try and help with all that stuff. I explained to her how to fix her health, to take her medication properly and what will happen if she does not. I told her that she needs to eat (she is diabetic) I told her about her other medications, what those do and why they are important for her life. I found numbers / email addresses / contact centers for all her worries and problems. I even got her in touch with people that she needed to get in touch with. Nothing helped. She says she wants to fix things but even when all the solutions are being handed to her on a silver plate, she will not take them.
Instead she keeps complaining and she keeps expressing her suicidal thoughts to me instead of her therapists (yes, she has one but of course she isn’t going although she doesn’t even have to pay that).
Recently I had a revelation.
I am sick of being my mother’s mother. I need a motherly shoulder to lean on sometimes, why can’t I have one?
I cannot keep doing this. If she really feels she wants to die, then that is her decision to make. She has scared me with this for too many years, I don’t have the energy to spare anymore. I can’t keep investing all this time and energy if she doesn’t appreciate it. She once told me (I was 14) that if I wasn’t there for her she would kill herself. And now she did not sugarcoat that, she said it like that. I am sorry, but that’s a bit too much. I can’t enable her like that any longer.
They say that you can’t help a person that doesn’t want to be helped.
It’s true, you know.
I may sound cold here, but I can’t see her as my mother. Indeed I see her as a dear friend. Not even a best friend because my best friends don’t just take from me, they give back.
My Andrew recently said something very sweet to me and I think it is very true and important. He said something along the lines of (sorry can’t remember the exact wording)
“I would like to be your mother. I mean be there if you need me.”
He is actually one of the few people who are there if I need them. I summed them up on the sub-site “family”.
Apart from all of this:
I actually feel ready to become a mother to a child at this point. I would love to have a little one and have it grow up to be a great person. I would love to do that. A little baby-leela that will get the care and safe feeling that I never had 🙂 Let’s see when that is happening 🙂