“Probably there is nothing in human nature more resonant with charges than the flow of energy between two biologically alike bodies, one of which has lain in amniotic bliss inside the other, one of which has labored to give birth to the other. The materials are here for the deepest mutuality and the most painful estrangement.”
― Adrienne Rich, Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution
|Missy Bedell, Literal Mom|
I am thrilled to welcome Literal Mom’s, Missy Bedell, as today’s guest blogger for Wednesday’s Woman. After you read her post here where she examines the mother-daughter relationship, I guarantee you’ll be moved to read more at Literal Mom, follow her on Twitter and like her on Facebook. You can also find Missy at one of my favorite sites as a contributor at Just Be Enough.
Wednesday's Woman: My Mother
Missy Bedell, Literal Mom
Sometimes the time for a story comes and you're afraid to write it.
I agreed to write for Sperk* for Wednesday's Woman a long time ago. And when she reminded me that it was today, I had a bit of a panic attack.
I can write about moments. I can give you kid vignettes. I can hide behind humor and tongue in cheek posts, like I did last week.
What I normally don't give you is information about my past.
And today I'm writing about someone else's past.
We've had our ups and downs over the years. I'm beginning to think that all mothers and daughters do. It's the nature of the beast - two females existing in what is arguably the closest relationship you have with another human being.
The relationship starts off with 100% give on the part of the mother and 100% take on the part of the daughter. But gradually, the daughter earns more and more autonomy and the mother, if she's wise, knows how to pull back her percentage of giving to her daughter, creating instead of a 100% give and receive, a balance of love, support, encouragement and recognition that the daughter's her own independent, brave soul who can navigate the difficulties of life without her mother's hand leading the way.
No easy task. I'm a daughter and I'm a mother. I see it from both sides now. Why my mother has seemed overbearing at times (she's my mother and mothers know best, dammit!) and how I always want to support my own daughters without being an overbearing mother (even if they're doing something I know is wrong and why aren't they listening to me - I'm their mother and I know best, dammit!).
So yes, the mother daughter relationship. It can be fraught with pitfalls over the lifetime a mother and daughter may spend together.
But my mother, despite our ups and downs, deserves a Wednesday's Woman write up more than any other woman I know.
Kimberly sent me an email saying "Wednesday's Woman can be courageous, honest, authentic or humble - any characteristic that speaks to the power of what can happen when we are in touch with our own humanity."
Immediately my mother came to mind. Because of one word.
This is a woman whose husband left her in the 1960's saddled with three young children, no job and no real skills as she'd married him right out of high school and had her children back to back while he attended college. HE attended college. Not SHE.
What did she do? She tapped into her courage, because for this woman, defeat would never be an option. That was for the weak.
She tapped into her courage, talked her way into a job as office manager in her town's dermatology office and made it work. Often by sheer grit and determination.
Likely by some blood, sweat and tears along the way too. Or maybe not tears. This is a woman who, if she'd been a man, would have been considered a real ball buster.
It was the 1960s!
And she did it all on her own for quite a few years.
Eventually she met a man, a good man, and married him. He would become my Dad, when I was born a few years later.
And this December they're celebrating their 43rd or so anniversary.
A second marriage that's lasted over 40 years. Raising a blended family of his, hers and ours. Which has its own inherent challenges.
It hasn't been easy for her. And sometimes I get mad at her.
But she's a mother and I'm a daughter. It goes with the territory.
photo credit: dianecordell via photo pin cc