Home > Ovum Donor Pregnancy > Mothering

Mothering

My mum visited.  For a month.  Most people assume this was a great thing for me and that with a young bub she gave me all sorts of help.  They are wrong.

Despite being my mum, my mother never really mothered me.  From a young age I did a lot of keeping the household together.  It means I learned to cook when I was quite young and am quite a good cook, but it’s not a nice way to spend your childhood.  My mum was always in the house but absent – reading, asleep, ‘so, so sick’.  So I had to step up as the oldest able child, and things were no different during this visit.

This visit was like having two children.  She didn’t cook, clean, or help with my boy.  She wouldn’t make decisions about what she wanted to do, so I have to figure something out each day – and then reorganise plans if she didn’t wake up before 2 pm.  She would spout the most ridiculous political views and conspiracy theories.  She would gasp loudly and freak out at the silliest, most insignificant things.  I could go on and on, but I won’t.  It was a really difficult month, but somehow I made it through and I’m very proud of myself.

The experience made me think about mothering.  I had to do it from a young age, so I’ve sort of always done it.  I remember in graduate school in the UK reminding people in my house to wear hats and scarves and being called ‘auntie’.  And organising and cooking house meals.  And taking in strays when I was a university student in Paris and collecting people who didn’t have anyone to spend holidays with; I once cooked Christmas dinner for 6 in a toaster oven.

The experience also made me reflect on the idea of becoming your mother.  People talk about this all the time, but they always seem to have silly example like saying certain phrases.  I don’t think I ever could become my mum; you don’t have to.  I like getting up in the morning, no matter how tired I am, because it’s another opportunity to spend a day with my son.  I can’t wait to cook for my son.  I’m pretty relaxed and am just taking things as they come.  I don’t make projects so big and complex that I never execute them; I’m more of a shoot first and figure it out as I go person.

It’s lovely now to mother someone who really needs me.

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Categories: Ovum Donor Pregnancy
  1. 23/02/2012 at 2:41 pm

    I think I’d shoot myself if my mom visited for a month. And she’d probably want to shoot herself, too.

    What you say about mothering is so true … a lot of people talk about becoming your mother, but I think that it’s possible to choose NOT to do so … I know that there are things I do automatically, but then I try to make them conscious.

    Christmas dinner for 6 in a toaster oven? I am beyond impressed!

    (Sorry that blogger is being so impossible these days … runningmama has a hard time, too. I wonder if there’s something I can do to fix it, hmmm.)

  2. Athena
    23/02/2012 at 3:03 pm

    You’re doing a wonderful job! Some mother’s just don’t have what it takes. My mother being an ethnic woman with no education, worked full time yet the house was clean, a meal was cooked and spent every minute she had available with us. If I could do half what she did for my sister and I – I would be brilliant. My mother in law on the other hand, is useless and she wonders why her son can’t stand her.

  3. a
    24/02/2012 at 1:29 am

    A month?! My mom was going to come for 2 weeks but left after 10 days because I was so mean. I don’t know what she expected – I’m generally cranky anyway. But she was very helpful. She cooked and did laundry. I’d have killed her if she had expected me to entertain her.

    Excellent job on making it through – and with all your experience, E’s childhood will be just as it ought to be.

  4. Doctor Dandle
    25/02/2012 at 4:35 am

    Ha, I forbade my mother to come and stay with us after H was born. I’m not sure if she’s forgiven me for it, but I know that it was the best thing for me.

  5. 27/02/2012 at 1:57 am

    Wow you are a strong woman…I don’t think I could take a full month! It is interesting the differences we find in ourselves and our parents now that we’re parents isn’t it?! Just have to say how good it is to “see” you back here…you’ve been missed my friend!

  6. 02/03/2012 at 12:42 am

    Just read this more closely, and not what I was expecting. Such a shame that you can’t have the relationship with your mum that you would so dearly love. I guess, it re-enforces how you want to bring up your son and you have to stick with that approach that you and your husband have agreed on.

    I think part of the length of stay is linked to geography, which is diffiult, I can remember my Grandmother going to Oz for 4 months to stay with my Aunt, who was so worn out at the end of this as she just wanted to sit, and needed hosting every day. Perhaps if you are to do this again that in the preparation stage you explain a bit more about what you need, i.e. for you to be able to leave her and go out as just the 3/2 of you, or that you need her to go out a couple of afternoons a week, and that it would be great if once a week she could cook. Also ask her where she would want to go and visit so that you have some plans in place. Maybe next time, Eskil will be bigger anyway and so his routine of clubs and things will have kicked in too. Sorry if you did that and it just didn’t work. Some times we just gotta do this stuff, if not for you for your son so that he gets to know his Grandmother.

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