I am planning a retreat, and in that mode of research for articles, exercises, inspiration. Ran into book store and picked up a pile of books, one of them being The Mother Factor. I did not buy it but perused it, looking at its chapter headings and diving in occasionally.
Mothering has such deep currents for me. Being mothered by a loving mother, also a sometimes violent and frustrated mother, often negligent and preoccupied with her addictions, has left a legacy, for sure.
I can see myself in the child the author describes who is too easily offended at criticism, who needs to rescue others, who reads others emotional needs superbly and feels responsible for other's feelings - under the heading of Unpredictable Mother, yes, that would describe it.
How can I mother myself, give myself nurturance, feed the child that was feeling abandoned and unloved some of the time, or left to hold the fort at too young an age?
It is such an important issue for me since I have been mothering two children. That goes without saying. But hitting menopause, it also became evident that the stresses and emotional baggage were like sparks to the fire of hormonal imbalance. It became necessary to find a bucket of water to douse these sparks, or at least, uncover why they are still smouldering.
Loving kindness, compassion, understanding, all those huge words with Huge Meanings, are only accomplishable in little moments, in one on one's, in how I feed myself, allow enough rest time, provide fun and playful activities, rock my angry child inside, soothe the hurt and not beat myself up with blame.
Mothering myself would involve liking myself enough to take care of me. Understanding my unconscious reasons for ignoring my own needs enough to start doing something about it.
I invite all unmothered or imperfectly mothered readers to stop for a moment, before Mother's Day, and think of serious ways of taking care of your own unmothered self, by mothering your self. Little crooning lullabies, soft music, hush now, sweet child, rest, rock yourself to sleep. Here is something good for you to eat.....