On Mothering

I do not really think about the idea of feeling mothered too often. Until a few weeks ago. I met a woman who calmed me. It was not anything she really did, but I wondered if the vibe she gave off was one of a “mother.” Random I know. This woman is slightly irrelevant to this post as I may never see her again, but the hour I spent with her began a chain of events in my thoughts over the course of the next few days. Mothers. Mothering. Lack of a mom. My mom passed away 20 years ago. I have lived more of my life without my mom then I did with her.

Yes there have always been individuals in my life that have “mothered” me in different ways. I have tears in my eyes as I remember the ones that had a lasting effect on me. And, while many of those that mothered me are not deeply present in my life today, they are still in some ways always present with me. I saw how they mothered their own children, how they loved me, or how they taught me to love. It is interesting for me to look back over those 20 years of the diverse mothering in my life.

Jump to today. I am a bit of a hard-core person. I go all into a project. Usually it is hard for me to stop until I am done. You know you can count on me, trust me, and that I will not let you down. But with being hard-core there is an intensity that I exude that sometimes is well: intense. This woman a few weeks ago calmed me for that hour. I have no idea why. I have no idea if I would like her, or if she would continue to have that effect on me. It makes me wonder about all my friends, family, and co-workers who have lost parents, siblings, friends, co-workers in their life. How do they continue to feel fathered, mothered, taken care of? Why did this women calm me?

Is it that I need more mothering in my life? Do I need to let go a bit and allow myself to be mothered? I guess it depends on what our definition of mothering truly is. Sometimes I think it is knowing that I could pick up the phone and cry, share of my day, or ask for advice. Other times it is to tell me that everything is going to be okay, or to tell me how proud she is of me. Whatever the definition, I imagine a good amount of us could use a bit more mothering in our life.

I can be taken care of. There will be enough.

A quote can sometimes sum up your past, present and maybe even your future. Although probably hard to truly find a quote to sum up a future that has not happened. While reading “The Law of Divine Compensation: On Work, Money, and Miracles” by Marianne Williamson, I came across an idea that sums up an aspect of my childhood. It is hard to walk away from ideas and experiences that were ingrained in your thought and life at such a young age. At times I feel like I am still being chased by this idea:

“’I have an issue about being taken care of. I never think that there will be enough’.” Page 109

Maybe it was because for many years of my life (and my sister’s) we had to fend for ourselves. We were not taken care of. We were the caretakers for my mom, dad, and grandma. So it does not mean that no one cared about us, but it does mean that we were rarely looked after, watched, parented, or cared for in the way we should have been. It took me until I was much older to truly understand that my childhood was not like my peers’. Jumping ahead to adulthood where I have evolved, grown, and become my own person over the years, I still have a hard time with being taken care of. Chris is really the only one in my life that I completely allow in to dote on me in that way. Maybe I am that way because of so many years where I had to figure it out for myself and be creative for how I was going to fend for myself that I have a hard time allowing others to jump in. The sad truth that runs through my mind: They were not there before so why should I expect anyone now?

About their being enough… When there is not enough money in the bank, when you are not allowed to go about normal school activities because you do not have the proper attire, and when you are the recipient of the food bank, you begin to wonder if you will ever have enough from day-to-day. My problem now in adulthood: while I know from the top of my head to the tips of my toes that I have enough, I still have never shed that little birdie on my should that says: “There might not be enough. Save ’cause you never know. Do not get that because you spent too much already.”

I know I have all that I need right now, but I am still learning to let others care for me and I constantly battle that little birdie. Some things never change, but maybe little by little I will wear myself down and change my mantra to: “I can be taken care of. There will be enough.”

It’s a good start.