looking back on motherhood - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 9 Old 03-17-2014, 11:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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This article is about looking back on motherhood (among other things)

 

What do you think?

 

 

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kristin-armstrong/the-dollhouse-years_b_4966296.html

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#2 of 9 Old 03-18-2014, 12:08 PM
 
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Good Article!


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#3 of 9 Old 03-19-2014, 11:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks. But i noticed noone's responding. The comments on the article on Huff Post died an early death too. The debate from those comments centered around whether or not motherhood is a role or a purpose. Personally, i would love to hear more about how to make sense of  parenting as is constantly evolves, moving from one child to 2 or more, older children, school and its impact on parenting, etc etc.....and then what to make of the teenage years....its a big subject i guess.

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#4 of 9 Old 03-20-2014, 08:24 PM
 
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I thought the article was incoherent - it took me quite a bit of work to see what she was trying to get at. It was also kind of trite "Oh, I lost myself in early motherhood because I was so busy, but now I am developing myself again & letting my kids develop and free themselves too" - as though this were some unique insight & life process.

 

Whether or not being a mother is a role or a purpose? I would say "none of the above". That's probably why not many people commented.

 

Being a mother is like being a daughter or being a sister or a son or a brother  it's  a relationship,one of the forms of kinship.

 

As kinship, it's a nest of rights and obligations - work & joy & pain.

 

One can make one's kinship relationships the whole point on one's life  & work (a vocation, a calling)- but  that can make for a very limited life.  But to completely ignore one's kin or to drop out of those rights and obligations (with no "family of friends" to have relationships with instead) can create an isolated and unhappy person.  

 

Yes, and this is not news & I am at risk of being trite too - but at least in considerably less words. :)

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#5 of 9 Old 03-21-2014, 08:30 AM
 
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contactmaya i think a lot of parenting is personality driven. personality of child and of parent. 

 

a lot of parenting is a big no no and not talked about. 

 

the hardest thing about parenting for me is to change with my dd. i was the talking , explaining kinda mom because that's what my dd needed when younger. now as a middle schooler its more about silence and acceptance. its taken me quite a bit to get used to that. 

 

the thing that is different between my mother and me, vs dd and me is that my mom and i are completely different people. while i really admire and respect my mom i dont get her neither does she get me. but i love and care for her but i am not 'connected' with her as i am with my dd or how she is with me. however dd and i are very similar. so there's the personality bit.

 

now, you've asked a difficult question. HOW TO MAKE sense of parenting as it evolves. HAH!!! by the time you make sense it has evolved again into new territories. 

 

however i will say one thing. being a mother is my favourite way to be. its what i enjoy most. its what i most think about. its what i research most about. doesnt mean that's all there is about me. i have my own hobbies and things to do. 

 

if my only died or disowned me - i would be devastated. not talking emotionally but just due to the amount of time i spend on her (mostly independently - not really one on one now that she is in middle school). like everyone else i too create my life around my dd. when my retiree friend's dd moved away to a new state to start working, she let her settle there a bit and when it looked like she was settled and wasnt going to move my friend moved to her state to be closer to her. however she has also an only. i would like to do that myself - no matter where my dd moved - even if africa.

 

i would take her disowning me more deeply than i would if my parents did that. 

 

as to the article - meh!!! 


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#6 of 9 Old 03-21-2014, 11:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by skreader View Post
 

I thought the article was incoherent - it took me quite a bit of work to see what she was trying to get at. It was also kind of trite "Oh, I lost myself in early motherhood because I was so busy, but now I am developing myself again & letting my kids develop and free themselves too" - as though this were some unique insight & life process.

 

For me, the  article is a start to making sense of lifes adjustment pre an post parenting. I personally dont agree with identify with everything in the article, but i appreciate the hindsight it offers as a starting point for making sense of things

 

Whether or not being a mother is a role or a purpose? I would say "none of the above". That's probably why not many people commented.

 

I agree that that particular debate is pointless, but it came up in the comments on the article.

 

Being a mother is like being a daughter or being a sister or a son or a brother  it's  a relationship,one of the forms of kinship.

 

I agree it is kinship, but it is so much more. It is surely work (fundamentally more so than with other relationships though i see you mentioned it below)   and requires such a complete change in one's life, that it doesnt compare to other kinships. I mean, my life doesnt revolve around my mother or sister, though i love them. But it surely does revolve around my kids. I dont know if that ever stops, i presume it does as they begin to get their own lives when they approach adulthood. But even then, that is a huge adjustment for one who has placed them at the center for a good 10-15years. My kids are 2,5, and 8  fyi.

 

As kinship, it's a nest of rights and obligations - work & joy & pain.

 
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#7 of 9 Old 03-21-2014, 12:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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contactmaya i think a lot of parenting is personality driven. personality of child and of parent. 

 

a lot of parenting is a big no no and not talked about. 

 

the hardest thing about parenting for me is to change with my dd. i was the talking , explaining kinda mom because that's what my dd needed when younger. now as a middle schooler its more about silence and acceptance. its taken me quite a bit to get used to that. 

 

the thing that is different between my mother and me, vs dd and me is that my mom and i are completely different people. while i really admire and respect my mom i dont get her neither does she get me. but i love and care for her but i am not 'connected' with her as i am with my dd or how she is with me. however dd and i are very similar. so there's the personality bit.

 

now, you've asked a difficult question. HOW TO MAKE sense of parenting as it evolves. HAH!!! by the time you make sense it has evolved again into new territories. 

 

You put that very succinctly, that  is basically what i am asking.....an its so true that that it evolves constantly. However, maybe if i had a bit more time to myself, i could make an attempt-not with a 2yo, but with all kids in school-we'll see.

 

however i will say one thing. being a mother is my favourite way to be. its what i enjoy most. its what i most think about. its what i research most about. doesnt mean that's all there is about me. i have my own hobbies and things to do. 

 

Thats me at the moment too. Its a natural extension of my 'role', 'vocation', 'kinship' as mother. Actually, i think the word 'vocation' fits best at the moment. But pre kids, i really had no interest whatsoever.

 

if my only died or disowned me - i would be devastated. not talking emotionally but just due to the amount of time i spend on her (mostly independently - not really one on one now that she is in middle school). like everyone else i too create my life around my dd. when my retiree friend's dd moved away to a new state to start working, she let her settle there a bit and when it looked like she was settled and wasnt going to move my friend moved to her state to be closer to her. however she has also an only. i would like to do that myself - no matter where my dd moved - even if africa.

 

i would take her disowning me more deeply than i would if my parents did that. 

 

Thats interesting but it doesnt surprise me.

Actually, my mothers favorite activity is to be around her kids, although she is busy traveling and doing exciting things with my father alot of the time. Family is still what she loves to do most, even now that we are all grown up. I think i will end up the same way. How could all that investment come to an end? It wont? It will just grow an grow.

 

as to the article - meh!!! 

 

Yeah, just a starting point....

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#8 of 9 Old 03-21-2014, 03:29 PM
 
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However, maybe if i had a bit more time to myself, i could make an attempt-not with a 2yo, but with all kids in school-we'll see.

the bold is the key. THE KEY. there is nothing more important than that. i consider myself very very lucky. my mother half way across the world and my mil states away from me would drone this point home ALL the time. 

 

that is important right from day one. i have noticed this is the one thing women, or should i say mothers - would hone in constantly no matter where i was. nurses would take a crying baby from me to try and console her so i could get some sleep. my mother kept asking me on the phone - are you taking care of yourself. forget the baby YOU are the most important. your baby needs you so make sure u take care of yourself. i thought she was crazy. here i was a brand new mother who was truly in love for the first time and u ask me to put myself first?!!! my mil would call and ask me what i did for myself that day. 'no not what you did for baby or what you liked about your baby, but what did you do for yourself.' i was on the way to becoming a single mother. 

 

and i learnt a huge lesson from both my mothers. i learnt to find time while taking care of a baby, toddler, pser 24/7 on my own. a highneeds, SPD baby. i figured out how to create my own time without being away from my baby. when i figured out my formula i discovered those were really special times for both dd and me. 

 

today i recognise this in non motherhood areas. i recognise this with my caregiving friends who are taking care of elderly parents. sometimes all we do is just share a silence together. simple things. 

 

i learnt to become a better mother by taking care of me. dd helped me too. she'd ask me why i was being so mean when seh wasnt doing anything wrong or out of the ordinary. it reminded me that my anger was all about me and my frustrations and i was taking it out on dd. i needed a place to vent. if i didnt i needed to make space to have my down time so i could cope with life. 

 

i am lucky. i have been able to create a life where i have been able to be the mother i wanted to be. my dd may not have many things, she may not have the opportunities, but by golly she has her mother when she needs her. i do feel guilty i cannot afford all the extracurricula activities dd has talent in. but now i cannot continue the life i lead now. dd is growing up and i need to change too. its just being poor REALLY limits your opportunities. 

 

today as dd is a middle schooler one of the biggest discoveries i am learning about myself is the ability to back off. to be truly able to support dd - even when she does things that i disapprove of. but its her decision and i have to give her that.

 

one of the points i keep telling her is - if you truly want to see me happy - then do exactly what YOU want to do. what your deepest desires are. dont think about me. dont take into consideration my point of view. because even if i first protest - when i see you are truly happy - and that you were right and i was wrong, i will once again come around. 'ma how can i do that. i just cant ignore your wishes.' so we start small and i always question her. is this REALLY what you want? she is slowly learning and i am loving it. i thought separating would hurt. it does. but its also so joyful watching them bloom.


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#9 of 9 Old 03-22-2014, 04:27 AM
 
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I love my kids, I love being a mother & wanted to be a mother since I was a child. But, I don't think my life revolves around being " a mother" any more than it revolves around being a  a daughter, a sister, a wife/lover, a member of my profession, a member of my church, a member of my community. Instead, I like to think that I have  many different relationships & links. My kidd and my DH - they are my central relationships (it's called a nuclear family for a reason...) But, I think that if my life were to revolve around them (or DH, or really any other human exclusively) it would put  huge & terrible burden on that person and on that relationship. I love my mom tons and she loves me (and my sibs) but I know her life has other centers of gravity, too.  Same with my dad. That is a comfort to me - I don't have to be all-in-all for them and they don't live through me.

 

The work & care of mothering was much more time-consuming, physically exhausting, and absorbing when the kids were newborns and toddlers than when they were kindergartners & primary school children. Now in their teens, it is more relaxed &  physically far less work (they lighten the house-work load! We can swap books and share interesting magazine articles). My eldest will leave home for university in August; she will be thousands of miles away from me. I will think about her every day we will phone and skype and email, but  her life is going on its own trajectory, while DH and I will remain home-base for her.

 

I also think there is no "post-parenting" - I'll always think about them, care for them. I remember my dad told me his grandard(  who was then in his 90s): you think and worry about your kids when they are 60 like you do when they are 16.

 

I also know that in a few years, being a daughter will become more of an issue, more of a central relationship for me as my parents become more frail. As Meemee pointed out from her friends who are caregivers, what is true for mothers of babies and young children.

 

I am not a Wiccan, but I think that the Maiden-Matron-Crone triad is instructive as we see our lives and how they develop from childhood & adolescence through old age.

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