I love my mother dearly, and she is (and was) a great mom. But, growing up, I can remember feeling that I was left with the wrong family. Although we have everything in common, as a child I saw no parallels.
This is a complaint many people have. That their mothers or fathers were not the people they wanted them to be. Either they were abandoned, abused, ignored, or just misunderstood. Most of these people pine for a lifetime, wishing their parents would change.
My wishing lasted until I was 28 years old. Something in me woke up and realized that it was unfair to continually expect and wish for my mother to change. I asked myself what that would be like for my children. The pained side of me asked myself why I was not finding whatever it was that I was looking for elsewhere, and why I was not simply appreciating my mother for who she was.
P.D. Eastman wrote an amazing children’s book titled, Are You My Mother? It is about a baby bird looking everywhere for its mother. This became my mission. I began my search for mothers just like the baby bird in this story.
I was astounded to find that there are so many women waiting to mother people just the way I wanted to be mothered! My first ‘mother’ was one of my bosses. We became good friends. She happened to have seven children already but was more than happy to squeeze me in. We spent time together, had great conversations, had common interests, and most of all had fun! She taught me things about food cooking and family. However, I soon realized that she had her shortcomings as well. So I continued my search.
I found mothers that liked to shop, that liked to stay home and do housework, that liked to gossip, that liked to just listen, and some that told the most fantastical stories. I realized that no one person, including a mother, can be everything a person needs.
As my own children grew, they developed relationships with their friend’s mothers or my friends. I so appreciated that they would receive a broader view and get to have more love in their lives.
What I Learned:
- If you want to find something new, you really cannot keep going down the same road. You cannot force people to be who they are not, and you would not want to be forced to change either.
- No one person can fulfill a role entirely. I learned that we all need many voices, hugs, and whispers of support.
- We all deserve the love we wish we had, and that love is out there just waiting for us to find it if we searched in the right places.
- Once I stopped putting expectations on my mother, I was able to appreciate her totally!
I love you and thank you for being the light of someone’s life!