The Narrative Of Motherhood; Letting Go Whilst Holding On

letting go while holding on to teensI’m living a contradiction as a Mother of teens; I’m letting go whilst holding on!

I know that I’m not getting the balance right because there are times when I’m holding on so tight that my children feel like a life line.

How do I even begin to let go?

Holding On

I’m holding on to the threads that I wove during my years as a Mummy. The long cuddles, the kissed fingers, the laughter and tears that have created a blanket of mothering spun from threads unique to me and my children.

As they enter the teenage years that fabric is worn thin; it’s been wrapped around their shoulders as they tossed and turned with fever, it’s cushioned them from hurtful words in the school yard and comforted them in the dark of a sleepless night.

These last few months have found me patching and repairing it, but the blanket is unravelling.  I’m desperately trying to hold it together, while my children are throwing it off, emerging from my maternal cloak of protection. Independent. Separate. Grown.

And in the silence that surrounds me, a question forms.

When did mothering become smothering?

My approach to mothering is fulfilling my need to nurture, hold and protect, but is it still serving the needs of my children?

Letting Go

My boys are becoming young men and their needs are changing.

This change was the prompt that began my blogging journey 12 months ago.

A year on and this journey has led to a defining moment.

The moment when my narrative of motherhood had to change, adapt and grow.

I need to write a new story.

When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves.

Viktor E. Frankl

Time is relentless, and the boys are growing up. I cannot change this.

What I can change is my myself.

Transformation

The ultimate culmination of growing up is the move from dependence to independence; the transition from relying on others to relying on yourself.

As a Mother I also need to make that transition.

I can’t continue to create a sense of self based on my children.

I want to grow with my children, in love, connection and independence.  This means discovering and re-forging my own identity outside of Mum, in much the same way that they need to find their identity outside of being my child.

I need to become independent of my children.

Who am I when I’m not Mum?

I’m really not sure yet, but I know I want to find out.

 

Plunge into Change

Follow my journey to discover an identity independent of Mum by opting-in below.

 

 

,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You

Autumn benchYou

 

You are the anchor that holds me tight

When I am adrift in the night.

Your are the harbour that shelters me,

When the storm rages, it’s you I see.

You are the light that pierces the dull day

My inspiration to find a way.

You are the warmth that curls over my skin,

Calming the tension that tightens within.

You are the roots that spread far from the tree,

Steadfast and strong, holding me.

You are the earth, moon and stars of my world,

Side by side out lives have unfurled.

You are the silence that is all around,

Filled with beauty waiting to be found.

The story behind this poem:

I wrote this while I was travelling in the Northern Territory in Australia in 2014. I had just received the devastating news that my friend’s husband had been diagnosed with incurable brain cancer. When I thought of them, I thought of his strength and how he was her rock; I couldn’t imagine how she would be strong enough to cope with the thought of losing him. As their journey progressed this poem took on a new significance, as she found courage and strength to become the ‘harbour’ that sheltered him.

He lost the fight with cancer on Saturday 28th March 2015. Rest in Peace my friend.

In loving memory of Gary Purmalis.