If We Were Having Coffee // All to Myself

Hello dear readers. Welcome, happy Sunday, and thank you for stopping by for a bit of caffeine and catching up. I am in desperate need of company just now. I’ve had the house all to myself since Friday and this morning, in particular, feels especially lonely. I don’t do well on my own, even the dog is depressed and want little to do with me. So, I’ve got some music playing, the drapes open wide, a strong cup cold brew, and now you, to cheer me up.

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If we were having coffee, I would start by wishing all the Mother’s out there a happy and joyful Mother’s Day. I hope your children remind you how much you mean to them. We’ve all taken a parent for granted before and it’s good to recognize at least once a year (though of course, it should be more) that our mother’s, while not perfect, did the best they knew how and made us who we are, for better or for worse.

Of course, not everyone had a great experience growing up, and for a lot of people, Mother’s Day can be a little complicated. Some people had abusive, or absent mothers, some people had another person in their life who was more of a mother to them than the woman who gave birth. I have a friend who’s celebrating his Father today, the parent who did double duty. I wish all of you a happy Mother’s Day too, and I hope you, and the ones you celebrate, feel valid and recognized today.

As for my mother and me, it’s a little complicated for us too, but we’re a forgiving family. I can see how hard it was for her having me so young. I’m grateful for all her hard work. I’m grateful for her love. I’m grateful she did better by me than her parents did by her. I’m grateful that she taught us that at the very least, we should grow up to do better than her too.

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I’ve had the house all to myself since Friday evening and, it’s driving me crazy. Anyone who knows me knows I hate being away from my girlfriend. We’ve been together so long, lived together most of that time, and with working the same schedule, at the same place, it makes it hard when I don’t have her around. It’s probably not super healthy, I suppose, but it’s how I am, and she doesn’t mind, much.

She’s staying at a hotel this weekend and enjoying a bit gambling and good food with her mother.

I’m stayed home to celebrate my own mother with my siblings and taking care of the house. I saw them yesterday for a small, low-key get together at my brother’s house. It was a wonderful visit, my niece is growing up so fast, my sister and I cracked each other up the whole time, my mom got hilariously annoyed with us all, and my brother has two new, very cute puppies I got to play with! I was only sad my brother’s fiance wasn’t there. I wanted to congratulate her face to face after I found out I’M GOING TO BE AN AUNT AGAIN!

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you that health-wise this was a weird week. I started off feeling amazing on Monday. I felt like my old self. I felt happy, even after being at work all day! Then slowly throughout the rest of the week, I slide further downhill.

Part of it was diet. I didn’t stick to the bland food plan I’d set up. Part of it was the stress of planning Mother’s Day. Part of it was simple exhaustion. I need to rest, but I feel too guilty to stay in bed or to say no when people ask me to do things.

I am hanging in there though. I only have nine more days until my first infusion, and that light at the end of the tunnel that I hope is there. I cannot wait.

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I am counting down to the end of the school year and feeling a little sad, and very anxious, about losing my kids to summer vacation and about starting new work hours.

For those who don’t know, I work on a Special Needs school bus, and this year I had great kids! Of course, I love my kids every year, but this was the first year that all my kids liked me! I had all high schoolers and nearly all boys and all year I got to talk about video games and superheroes. I was quizzed on who has what superpowers, who is who’s arch nemesis, and which heroes were faster, stronger, and smarter than which heroes. We made up gross foods combinations to eat and imagined how to escape dangerous scenarios like sharknados and rabid beavers. We talked about space travel, dinosaurs, sports teams, and horror movies. I had a lot of fun!

I’m going to miss them, but maybe I’ll get to see them again next year.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I’m still plugging away, writing blog posts and working on some bigger projects but there were setbacks. My writing got away from me. That is, I let a few tangents get the better of my focus and by the end what I started to say looked like nothing I meant to say by the end, and I spent the rest of my week trying to correct course. This week I’m starting again, and I’m going to work on being more organized.

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the clouds are rolling in and I can feel the weather changing in my bones. I have a lot left to do today to prepare for the week, and I had better get to it before this energy leaves me. I’m joining in on some interviews at work, so I have to prepare a question, and I’d like to post something here tomorrow, not to mention the laundry, the dishes, and a slew of small house projects that need completing before the work week can begin.

I hope you made progress where progress was needed this week, and if you didn’t, I hope your setbacks can be overcome in the coming one. I wish you all a happy Mother’s Day full of love and gratitude.

Until next time.

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Thanks for reading! If you like this post check out my weekly-ish newsletter for inspiring reads + existential musings on life, love, and inevitable human suffering. Or help support what I do by sharing a cup of virtual coffee.

Written for the #WeekendCoffeeShare link-up hosted by Eclectic Alli

Photo by Edan Cohen on Unsplash

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The Kind of Mother I Hope to Be….One Day

I have never been very enthusiastic about the idea of having children. I just didn’t think I was the type who was very nurturing or motherly. I realize now this is because I have never felt very feminine. I don’t feel womanly in that way.

What I mean is, I don’t think pregnancy is for me but that doesn’t mean parenthood isn’t for me. So I have been rethinking motherhood. I let myself consider the possibility that I could be in charge of a little life one day. The thought is terrifying.

I want to be a good mother but it seems like a hard thing to be. It seems like something where you are bound to fail and your failures could affect another person for the rest of their lives.

I’ve had some mothers tell me I was lucky that since I am in a relationship with another woman, I was free from the threat of pregnancy.* But lately, I have been rethinking that too. It’s not so much that I am lucky we can’t have children naturally, I am lucky that I get to think this through before I bring another life into this world. I get to decide if motherhood is for me and what kind of mother I want to be before I become one.

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I want to be the kind of mother that allows their child have control over their own emotions.

Many parents want to have absolute control over their child, even they way they think and feel. I¬†want my child to feel free to think and feel as they want, ever if they can’t always¬†do as they want.

Parents often forget that being a child isn’t easy and that it is a frustrating and confusing time. To many of us grow into adults still harboring those same feelings because we were never allowed to feel them as kids. I want to be the kind of parent that lets their child be angry, hurt, sad, and happy because I love them enough to treat them like a person in their own right

I want to be the kind of mother who lets their child know how great is is to be around them.

I only know a few parents who I can say actually interact with their child every day. Not just because they have to but actually sitting down with them and doing an activity or taking them somewhere, just for them, on a regular basis. Most parents I know work, go home, feed their kids, yell at their kids, put them to bed, wake up, take them to school, then go to work. I don’t want to that.

I want my child to know I am happy they are here and I look forward to seeing them. They are not a burden in my life, quite the opposite actually. I want to do fun things and learn about the world all over again with them. My child will open up a whole new world for me and I want them to know I need that as much as they need me.

I want to be the kind of mother who’s child knows their best is always good enough.

I want to be the kind of parent that praises the effort more than the accomplishment. Both are important but by praising the effort a kid knows that trying new and difficult things is what is important, not being the best at things. Too often kids are pressured to do more than what they can and they feel guilty because of it. The feel inadequate in a time when they should just be having fun and learning about the world.

I want my child to be the kind who has courage and curiosity. I want them to know that they have not failed as long as they tried and can honestly say they did their best. Life is hard enough, I want my kid to have a little time where just trying new things is fun and fulfilling.

***

I know that being a mother is not easy. I know that all mothers want to be good mothers and that it’s easier said than done. I know I will get frustrated, I will get angry, and I will wonder if this was the right choice. I just hope I won’t feel like that all the time. I want to enjoy being a mother. I want my kid to enjoy being my kid.

I want to raise a happy child, not just a smart or accomplished child. I think many people can look back and the best memories you have of your parents are those times when you knew they loved you by the way they acted. I think most of us can say we wish we had more times like that.

I want to be the kind of parent we all wanted to have, but I worry I won’t be. When I look inside myself I cannot say for sure if I am, or ever will be ready for that kind of responsibility. I am too selfish, too absent-minded, to emotional, too fragile, to raise another human being.

I will probably be a terrible parent…

But maybe not *shrug*

‚ÄúIn a child’s eyes, a mother is a goddess. She can be glorious or terrible, benevolent or filled with wrath, but she commands love either way. I am convinced that this is the greatest power in the universe.‚ÄĚ

// N.K. Jemisin, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms

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*FYI: telling a lesbian couple (or any couple) that they are lucky they cannot have children is very rude and hurtful. Don’t do it.

Featured image via Pixabay

The Complex and Fragile Relationship of Mother and Daughter – Pt. II

You can read Part I here.

I love my mother but Mother’s Day is a complicated holiday for me. I have so many feelings about her and us and us back then and us right now….We didn’t always have the best relationship. I don’t think we¬†were ever close when I was a kid, not since the day I was born, and as an adult, even though things are better, I can’t forget the way that made me feel growing up.

I moved out/was kicked out just after my 17th birthday. Admittedly I had been a pretty (read:very) bad teenager but I don’t think that was entirely my fault. I was young and I had grown up in a broken and¬†chaotic environment and I didn’t know how to cope with any of it.¬†I was fucked up.

My mother didn’t know how to deal with a daughter who just wouldn’t do as she was told. Well, not beyond hitting me¬†and that eventually¬†stopped working. So she thought it best that since I didn’t want to be there and I imagine she no longer wanted me there, that I ought to go. I was shocked but I agreed and I packed up whatever I could carry and I left.

Looking back now I’m not sure how I felt about it. I want to say I missed my mother but it’s not like we ever got along anyway. It’s not like I was missing out on her hugs and motherly advice. To be honest moving out only meant she couldn’t yell at me anymore. I was lost without my mother but I had never really had her in the first place. Not that I can remember anyway.

It wasn’t until a couple of years after moving out that I began to feel real anger at my mother. Before that I had just been sad. Sad that I couldn’t be the daughter she wanted and sad the I had messed things up so much. I thought my mother hated me and I assumed she regretted ever giving birth to me. I mean, what else could explain the lack of hugs and “I love yous”? Why didn’t my mom ask me about myself? Why didn’t she do fun things with me? Why did she yell at me so much?

She must have hated me….

After moving out I lived with two cousins and their mother, my aunt. She wasn’t the best example of a mother either but she was genuinely interested in how I was doing and where my life was headed. Maybe my own mother had been too but she hadn’t let me know in a nice way at all. She only seemed concerned with me after I had already made the wrong choices.

A little after I moved out my mother moved to Missouri with my step-dad and my siblings. That is when I got mad. She hadn’t really been there for me but now she was leaving the state? Now I was really on my own. Now I started to think about how alone I had felt my whole life. Now I thought about what a mother is supposed to be. Now I thought about how the actions of the adults in my life had made me who I was and I had been the one to receive the punishment. Now I thought about my mother’s role in my current situation.

My heart became hard and I figured if my family didn’t want me I didn’t want them, and I set out to make my own family. My cousins became like sisters to me and I had met my lovely girlfriend and I felt like that was all I needed.

Me and my mother still talked every once in awhile, and slowly, without me really noticing, something changed. She visited me here and I went to visit her there and then she moved back and she wanted to see me. I don’t know how or why but while my feelings about her hadn’t changed we acted like none of it had ever happened. I was willing to pretend, I was happy to be a part of the family again….or maybe for the first time.

One day, me and my sister¬†were joking about our rough upbringing in front of our mother and she loudly blurted out that she was sorry. She said she did her best but that she didn’t have a clue how to raise us. She said she was sorry. In that moment I forgave my mother. I don’t excuse what happened to me but it happened and there wasn’t much that could have been done. Most of the events of my childhood were effects from¬†causes that occurred before my birth. I don’t think my parents ever¬†had a chance.

I love my mother and I forgive her for not being the loving mother I so desperately needed, the mother she didn’t know how to be. Today we are close. We talk at least once a week and many times more often than that. We laugh together and I think she might even be proud of the woman I have become. That has meant a lot to me, but there will always be that little part of me, that girl-child Lisa, who wishes things could have been different, who wishes her mother had shown her love.

So this mother’s day I want to thank my mother.¬†I thank her for keeping me alive and I thank her for teaching me that people aren’t perfect, not even mothers. I also want to thank her for not denying the fact that she made mistakes as a mother, that goes long way in both my ability to forgive and to heal. And I want to thank her for being here for me now. Despite our past I am happy to have her in my life now and I hope¬†that our relationship will continue to grow.

Despite our past, I do love my mother.

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I want to say very quickly that these are my views and feelings of my past from my own perspective and not intended to hurt anyone. I love my family very much and only want to be honest about my experience. 

The image is of me and my mother when I was a baby.