Mother Blame, Mother Love
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By: Sarah Grace Powers – Confluence Daily is your daily news source for women in the know.
Last weekend I watched a play (that starred my younger daughter!) called Mama’s Boy. The compelling story explored the family background of Lee Harvey Oswald, the man who (most likely) shot John F. Kennedy.
The play delved into the mind of this troubled man who felt out of place and angry with anything he experienced. But, the essence of the story was an exploration into the even more troubled mind of Lee’s mother…. A emotionally disturbed woman who fixated on her youngest r sons, Lee, and would move hell or high water to keep him close to her forever.
Lee tries to escape the sticky tentacles of his mother, but even when geographically separated, the two can’t escape their dysfunctional dance.
It ultimately remains a mystery why (and even if) Oswald shot Kennedy. But, we know he was plagued by internal demons, and we know he wasn’t able to function well in the world.
The unspoken implication is that ‘Mama’ was the real culprit here.
And, although I get that the dynamic that went on between mother and son was deeply dysfunctional, I just don’t think that’s fair. There’s really no way to know or understand what factors compelled Oswald to take up his rifle that day.
What I do know is that throughout history, mothers have been blamed for so many of society’s ills.
Mothers have either been revered or reviled, loved or hated. Mother mystique goes deep.
And I also know it is the inevitable fate of all mothers to feel never enough. Whether your child is one day old or already a grandmother herself, we ruminate, we regret, we try to move mountains to ease her experience and take away her pain.
If a son or a daughter goes wrong, society will blame us and shame us. What did the mother do? Surely it was her fault.
What a gross oversimplification of the complexity of the relationship between mothers and children. And don’t even get me started on the misogynistic aspect of this Mother-blaming meme.
My relationship with my own mother was also complex, and her untimely death in her early 40s left many much unresolved.
But, my own journey of motherhood has helped me to understand and heal so much about this primary relationship.
When I unexpectedly became a mother—at age 21—my life spun off into directions I could never have dreamed up even, with my prodigious imagination.
My first daughter knocked on the door of my own internal Universe, clamoring for life and it turned out there was no refusing…. Even though I was young, immature, and had lost my own Mom to cancer only short months earlier.
I won’t lie, becoming a mom myself was a rocky transition and I screwed up a lot in those early years. Well, truth be told I screwed up a lot over the decades to follow while raising two daughters.
And yet, somehow I managed to do a few things right. And, I wouldn’t trade those years away – even those lost youthful ones—for all the riches in the world.
My bond with my two daughters is probably the most important thing in my life – bar none. And, even three decades after my own mother’s passing, my connection to her remains—and I know that will continue forever.
Now, I know that not everyone experiences motherhood (or daughterhood) with bonding and love. Your soul contract with your own mother and/or your child might be fraught with challenges. And yet, still there is a bond that can never be severed.
How do you find peace with your mother memories, with your relationship with your children, with yourself?
I believe the answer lies in mother forgiveness.
Forgive your mother.
Forgive every transgression, real or perceived. Forgive every lie, forgive every mistake, forgive every mean word, forgive every eye roll.
That really might be the best gift you can give any mother this Mother’s Day. Including yourself.
Sarah Grace Powers is a Holistic Life Coach and the creator of The Ageless Body Blueprint. She works with women over 40 who want to embrace ageless living and who are ready to release the weight—physical or emotional— that holds them back from achieving their dreams and making their impact in the world. She is a certified herbalist and certified life coach with decades of experience. Download her free report: Five Surprising Mistakes That Sabotage Your Weight Loss Efforts When You’re Over 45.
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