Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Before I Write

I have to write a post about motherhood. And I kind of wish I hadn’t agreed to do it.

I know better, really.

I’ve never been able to find the right words before. I’d rather stick a fork in my eye sometimes than figure out what to say about my mother, and what makes me think the words will come now, anyway?

Because truthfully? I have a hard time describing my relationship with my mother.

I remember when I was a kid, the newspaper had a contest every Mother’s Day where you could write a letter telling about mom, and win her a free breakfast at Denny’s. It was gut-wrenching finding a way to say positive things about mom. I desperately scratched insincere words on paper, crumpled it up, started over, and wracked my brain. I wanted to be able to do it. It just wasn’t there.

So now I am sitting here repeating history. Struggling, just like when I was a kid. And why? For what? So I can prove to myself that it can be done?

I mean, when I write this post, do I share the way that my mom made me feel inadequate while I was growing up? How the comparisons she made between me and my sister were painful? That no matter how hard I tried I was never quite good enough?

Do I say that there were no sharing of secrets, very little talking over of problems, and almost no girl talks or snuggles when I was sad because it usually ended in some kind of judgment?

Is it okay to tell how I felt largely misunderstood by my mom? Can I mention that I have no recollection of her expressing her pride in me or giving me a compliment?

Is it mean to say that much of the time I wished for a different mom?

I can’t say that.

I think that when I write this post I should probably leave these unflattering unmentionables out. It might be too difficult for others to understand the full affect that my mother’s kind of mothering had on me. I wouldn’t be explaining it well and I would risk offending someone. Namely my mother.

They might not see how, even though I felt that my mother’s mothering lacked certain qualities that I craved, I did know deep down that she loves me. That she wants the best for me, although she has the greatest of difficulty showing it the way I would like her to.

That because of all this, I found inner strengths that I might not have otherwise. Strengths that I draw on daily to be the best mother, and person, that I can possibly be.

That in spite of all this, I love her, too.

I think that when I write this post I will say that. Now I just have to figure out how.

My name is Kim and I am a guest at Heather’s place today for the monthly Blog Exchange. You can usually find me over in my space, In Full Bloom, where I rant, rave and reminisce regularly. And today you can find Heather there! If you would like to be a part of the Blog Exchange or just read about some other thoughts on motherhood, click here. And thanks for having me!

*Note: In no way do I mean any disrespect to my mother by my post. My goal in writing it is to honestly share a very real side to motherhood that many people can be uncomfortable with. Myself included. And frankly, I found writing it to be very liberating.

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Heather said...

I have to admit I called my mom to warn her that this post was not written by me.

But I think it was written with great honesty and insight.

Thanks for being a great BE partner!

Anonymous said...

My worst nightmare is reading this 20 yrs from now describing me! I hope i still have enough time to fix a similar situation. Funny i thought somebody was describing MY mom!


Amanda said...

Brave, that's what this was. My own feelings are there too. Thank you for having the courage to write this.

Dana said...

This is a perfect post. Motherhood is not all roses. Writing about our moms and kids isn't easy. We all struggle with the words from time to time, but you chose to be honest and that hits home. We'd all like the sugar-coated maternal bliss to happen to us and sometimes (most often) it doesn't.

I think all daughters have some difficult emotions about their mothers. I know I do.

Cori said...

AGH! Kim this is a great post. This is exactly why I didn't partcipate this month, I could not think of anything wonderful to say. I have the hardest time picking out Mother's Day and birthday cards for my Mom. Nothing too nice or sappy, I just don't feel it ya know? But you're right in the end and at the bottom there is after all love. Thanks for sharing. You said what many can't.

soccer mom in denial said...

I really struggled with my piece this month and almost didn't because of the same things Cori says. Thanks for being honest. And quite simply braver than me.

Jenn said...

brave woman - your relationship is what it is and you blogged it well. and that's what this blogging thing is all about.

Jennifer said...

Your relationship is similiar to mine probably not so in some ways though. This is why I chose to write about me as a mom instead of my mom.

Thanks for the honesty. It is refreshing to know that other bloggers didn't have rosey childhoods either.

Heather @ Desperately Seeking Sanity said...

My post was tough too so I just chose to pick the funny stuff I remember from growing up....

Because that's how I deal with life... with humor!

GREAT job!!! Made me think about my daughter and how we had it out this morning...

Mom Thumb said...

You said it. I spend hours at Hallmark trying to find the most impersonal Mother's Day card in the store. Those mushy ones just don't cut it.

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