Monday, July 23, 2007

Mothering and Menopause

Sometimes I wish I could start all over again with the mothering thing, now that I'm so wise in my 50's. Of course, it would be easy peasy with babies and toddlers, (if I were 20 years younger), cause they can't argue back like teenagers can. They also don't hold you to promises you made two years ago in the thick of an argument.

Anyway, Moms can rest easy now, all the handy resources you need are on-line. I was just sent a link for a great website for Montreal Moms, appropriately called so if you're a mom in the neighbourghood check it out. Things have improved a lot since I was a mom of young babies, and resources are neatly listed on this web site so you can find what you need, and where to go, what books to read and even where to get great cupcakes!

re Menopausal Mothering - menopause makes me tired, and I haven't really found too much menopausal zest yet, although I hear it's coming. But I am finally willing to say good-bye to the Little Mother in me. I mean the over-zealous, ever capable but over responsible Wendy who treats her husband like Peter Pan, and her kids like the lost boys. I think my kids (15 and almost 17) are turning out pretty well, in fact they are pretty incredible. So it's time to let go and stop micromanaging. They can do laundry, they sometimes cook *under pressure, and some day they will put all my daily lessons to good use out there in the world. The kind of mothering toddlers need, they don't need anymore, i.e. constant surveillance. One of them is off by himself to Cortez Island in B.C. to help my nephew build his house.

So I'm off the hook for most of the day, which is a relief. One of the side effects of menopause is that I need lots of naps, so I am getting in touch with my own inner toddler. I have enough to do just taking care of my beauty rest and my own projects, without worrying that someone is sticking their fingers in the sockets while I sleep.

This free time allows me to work at home. I spent the morning reading and researching class material for an upcoming women's centre class in the fall, The Feminine Mysteries (yes, that does sound exciting!). It's a good balance - they sleep till noon, and I get time to read!

In the middle of this reading, I filled out a questionnaire to find out who my inner goddess is. To my surprise, it wasn't Athena, the father's daughter brainiac, nor the wild huntress Artemis, but Hera (the wife and empress) and Persephone, Queen of the Underworld, healer and mystic that I most resembled. Well they were all pretty equal, even Aphrodite was up there on the scoreboard. Proving that neither motherhood or menopause have been able to extinguish all my sexual genes. And the draw towards connecting with inner wisdom that comes with menopause is spooky but real. (see The Goddess Within, by Jennifer Barker Woolger and Roger Woolger)

Anyway, somewhere in my notetaking and reading, I came to terms with what bugs me about being a menopausal mom and stay-at-home wife. And I am now willing to let go of it. I am willing to walk away from the overly capable, responsible (and cranky) Little Mother I was bred to be, as eldest of eight children, and just take care of me, for a change. Just tuck my chin and nose in, out of every body else's business and take care of my own business.

(at least for today- tomorrow is another challenge!)

rambling on,

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