Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Good Mamahood

I'd like to say a few words about motherhood - specifically regarding the trials of those that are doing their damnedest to live mindfully and lovingly.
Something that all r.u.ers strive for, but certainly many others do as well.

It is so devastating when we find ourselves - no matter who we are - being 'less than' what we most desire.

I think a part of it too, is that most of us who are striving for a different way, a better way, have many wonderful people in our lives to show us the way.
We just don't seek out friends who are so very different than us, and who choose to live and parent an entirely different way.
So we surround ourselves with these beautiful supportive paragons, and do our best to emulate and be guided by them (and our little children too, of course).

But in that beautiful and loving space, we often think ourselves alone and without someone to share our dark tales.
We look around for a safe place, a place of no judging, and where we can scream "aaaaaaaaargh!"
It's so painful sometimes!
To Know The Way, and to behave differently (even contrarily) is so incredibly annihilating to our spirit.
We get angry at ourselves, (after the anger at our loves), and reject ourselves utterly - and abandon ourselves to our deserved hell.

Maybe I'm being dramatic, but to me, in these dark moments, this is how it feels.

I know the way. Why can't I do it? Why don't I even care?

It's a place of desolation, friends. It's just not there to give.
I've even said those words to my children. Not often, thank God, but more than once.
"I just don't have it right now."
It's a sort of frantic, desperate, hunted place.

On the other side of that frustration we eventually find our peace, again.
Often it comes with remorse and tears.
Some of us choose to hash out our process in the written word - publicly, even. And some of us write notes to ourselves to place upon the refrigerator - in hopes that we will manage to avoid that dark place for eternity- never to be revisited again.

Here's the thing.
I, for one, have been there.
It is not an enviable position.
It is not pretty.
It's not something I like to remember.

But it's not necessarily anything to be ashamed of either, friends.
Whether you've been there, or not.
It just is.
It's a part of Your (My) Process.
It's a part, maybe, of our own childhood.
It's a part of our own personality.

We need to make allowances for ourselves - and our fellow mothers - and give us all room to grow and stretch and be and discover and evolve.
And most of us do (allow the room).
Just because we aspire to a certain thing, or way of life, doesn't mean that we reside there, in perfection and absolution, in every moment and every day.
I don't think that's a cause to judge or to think unkind thoughts.

Even of ourselves.

Love and more love to all the Mama's.


whimsigal said...

this made me weep...like someone came by and hugged me and said everything's going to be all right.

You cannot know the peace that washed over me after reading that.

You are amazing.

Melissia said...

I really feel the only person you can hold to your principles is you. What good does it do any of us to look outside ourselves and say "hey they are not living my principles"- what a waste of time. I hope you did not think I was judging you. I was observing something I found in my own process.

Stephanie said...

This post was brought on lately by a friend's trial, but I had my own a few days ago, certainly.
A couple of months ago I had the thought that ru + is difficult because we don't hang out with "normal" folks, ones who might sit around and complain about their child - going through this rebellious phase, or that lying one, or that smart-mouth one, etc. We don't blame the schools, or the neighbors, or their age.
We all see the things around us (our children's actions and reactions) as reflective of us, and our attitudes and the environment that we provide.
So we tend to blame ourselves, (and probably rightly so, though to "blame" isn't kind) and take it upon ourselves, and sometimes feel disappointed in ourselves or even loathe ourselves for our inability to deal with things in the way we know is "right".

I was just offering support and understanding and love to all those that make mistakes - be they ones that are mountains or mole hills.

It was more of a reminder to those of us that need it, to be kind to ourselves.

Stephanie said...

Of course everything's going to be alright.
It already is, isn't it?

Melissia said...

You know to be fuly honest I think there was a little judgement in there. It would be untruthful to say that I don't find myself looking at other people and saying "Hmmmm" sometimes. But, I also always find that it is a sign that I am becoming distracted from my principles. Being fully invested in my life and what I am working towards leaves no room to point fingers, at myself or others. I apologize and thank you for posting about it.

Stephanie Ozenne said...

Beautiful post. When I'm feeling down about things, there are a couple of thoughts that help me. First, human beings (including, and perhaps especially children) are resilient. That's not an excuse to stop trying to be the best we can, but a recognition that we're not damaging them terribly when we slip up some. The other thought is similar - what matters is how you are most of the time. Again, not an excuse to be ratty 49% of the time, but a recognition that perfection isn't required. I agree it's important to be kind to ourselves when considering our shortcomings, just as we would be to our children for theirs.

Stephanie said...

I'd like to add something to my comments -
I didn't meant to imply that our children are only a direct reflection of us! That certainly isn't true. I believe absolutely that they are their own beings.
I just mean that their actions, or 'behaviors' are often influenced by their feelings of powerlessness, or jealousy, or resentment, joy, whatever is being spread throughout the home.
Not that they don't have moods, and personalities, and differences, if you see what I mean.

Same as our moods are often changed or lifted by the others in the home - hearing delirious laughter makes us feel happy, a barking dog can be annoying :), a sick, grumpy child can be taxing, etc.
None of us are completely alone and impervious.

Aubrey said...

I really appreciate this post Steph.
It is hard being a momma, especially a RU momma. I know that I tend to isolate and hide myself, rather than share myself when I am in a parenting "funk."
It is hard for me to admit that I am flailing about emotionally to mothers that I respect so much.

Anyway, thanks for the online love. I really needed it :)