Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Motherless Child

I just stumbled on an extremely powerful and moving article over on CNN. It actually complements the post I wrote for Jen over at SemiCharmed Wife rather nicely.

It's about how to create a new mother for yourself if you feel like you haven't received the mothering you need. The article originally appeared in O Magazine. Author Martha Beck starts off by saying to change the way you think about the word mother so that you see it as a verb rather than a noun. Solid advice, I think.

Ultimately she goes on to suggest four lines of thought to determine if and where you still need mothering. I've listed her thought provoking statements below and follow each with my own initial reaction:

1) I feel useless, unlovable, and disgusting when ...
I lose my temper with my children and when I lose control over my domestic duties.

2) I feel empty and needy when ...
I am tired and sleep-deprived and feel like I have more to do than I can accomplish.

3) I feel stupid and ignorant when ....
I am late for appointments or forget events.

4) I feel helpless and incapable when ...
I have to ask for help completing a task that is my responsibility.

Basically, says Beck, if you had an immediate response for each of those, you need your mommy. Or at least the verisimilitude of a mother in your life. She suggests a patchwork mother.

It seems I already have a patchwork mommy, an amalgam of friends, family, and people I've never even met. Over the last month, I have received and am grateful for the mothering I received from certain friends ....

Stacey metaphorically held my hand via e-mail two weeks ago when I had freak out as a result of coming off the Zoloft I've been taking for the last year.

Courtney, my best friend for the last 14 years or so, gave me wonderful and sound advice about child psychology.

Fran and Jen both expressed belief in me and my writing skills.

Scott has helped me more with the house and kids the last couple of weeks and has been extremely encouraging of me as a writer and as a promoter of his music.

A.,Leila, Aleta, Just Me, and Jeremy all had good advice about our food battles.

And suddenly, I feel so loved and connected and at peace. For all my bitching and moaning about feeling alone and like a motherless child, I have been getting all the mothering I need.

3 comments:

Jen said...

And you really are a great writer!

What an insightful exercise--I have to try it!

1) I feel useless, unlovable, and disgusting when ...
I can't control my eating.

2) I feel empty and needy when ...
I'm alone.

3) I feel stupid and ignorant when ....
I try to talk about politics.

4) I feel helpless and incapable when ...
I get stuck with my writing.

Looks like I might need some mothering too...

Aleta said...

I really enjoyed this post! And you are loved and are a beautiful woman! We're the lucky ones to know you - hugs!

As I was reading the questions, I was filing in my response as well and was stunned to see Jen's response - just about ditto mine. The #1 would be weight and trying on outfits and #4 would be when faced with knowing how to cook (I know that sounds weird, but it's true)..

Cyn said...

1) I feel useless, unlovable, and disgusting when ...
my house looks like crap, my car looks like crap and I don't lose any weight for the week.

2) I feel empty and needy when ...
I miss my mother, I am having insomnia and when my bills are piling up.

3) I feel stupid and ignorant when ....
when my bills are piled up or when I can't seem to set a boundary when I want too.

4) I feel helpless and incapable when ...
when I write a blog because there are so many people out there who are better, I'm not sure of my niche yet.

I love your writing --from one Southern belle to another! :)