This morning, I am blogging an excerpt from my journal from earlier this year. Yes, these are my children however the photo is from a couple of years ago. I love them with all my heart.
“Mothers hold their children’s hands for a while – their hearts forever.
Once again during my morning meditation, this quote came to me. This year has so far been difficult for me as a mother. The battle is within me. It’s true you know. It doesn’t matter how old or how independent your children become, a mother is always a mother. Whilst many lament the difficulties in raising a young child, I believe that these are the easiest years for a mother. Whilst your child is young you can hold their hand as they explore the world outside your front door. You can have a say in choosing their friends…their clothes…their toys…their lifestyle. You can stamp out rebellion with a single word “no”. Then there are four other important words we can use “because I’m your mother” or “because I said so”. Life is so much easier in the early years. Problems can be healed with a kiss and a hug. Hurts can be healed with a bandaid. That’s what a mother is for. She is there to guide, help, heal and protect.
But suddenly (it seems in the blink of an eye) your baby has grown up. The fears that you had earlier in their childhood are becoming manifest. They are beginning to question your authority over their choices and to step out on their own. Suddenly they hate you and tell you this. These words cut deep as a mother. Have they forgotten all that you have been through together? You begin to feel as if your child has gone somewhere and been replaced by a being of unknown origin. You question your parenting skills and search for answers. And then (after what appears to be an agonisingly long time) your teenager is gone and is replaced by an adult. Surely motherhood will become easier from this point? In some ways it does I suppose but underneath it all you are still a mother. You want to guide, help, heal and protect. One more important things needs to occur at this time though. As a mother you need to learn how to step back and allow your child to make their own mistakes and learn from the choices that they make. It’s called Dignity of Risk. You allow them the dignity to take risks. This is often painful as a moth and so we come to the battles that have been raging with me. The difficulties I am having in stepping back. My tongue is sore from biting it. Of course I can encourage and suggest but I need to remember that I am parenting adults who may or may not take my suggestions and use them.
I made mistakes in my life as I began my journey as an adult but they were my mistakes to make. My mother allowed this to occur. So I must allow my children the dignity to do the same. But I am a mother…. and I love…. and fear.
The one thing I can still do for my children is to listen. And of course I can still hug and wipe away the tears.
I am a mother and will always be.”
Journal entry – 16th February 2013