Hi guys. 🙂
I’ve been thinking about finally writing some other posts, other than my usual series, and looking forward to doing it, and I planned to do some more writing over the weekend, though, quite predictably, I was never able to publish anything as it was my Mum’s and my brother’s birthday, also I had some rather bad anxiety and quite a lot was going on here. Nevertheless, both my Mum, and one of the recent writing prompts gave me an idea for a post. One of the recent words of the day at Word Of The Day Challenge was commit, and recently me and my Mum talked about commitment and dedication in relation to my grandma. I’d like to write about my Mum, and how I admire her, and thus also generally about mothers and motherhood.
There are lots of things that I admire in my Mum, but the one I would like to focus on now is her commitment.
Her commitment and dedication to motherhood, to us, her children, and to our whole family. I really don’t know where we’d be if not Mum, and I’m not just talking about the fact that she gave birth to my siblings and me, but that she is like an adhesive for our family, and keeps together us and everything in our house and family. I am happy to say that I have a good relationship with my Dad, but it has never been as deep as my connection with Mum. And even if I was ony to say on behalf of myself, I also don’t know where I’d be without my Mum.
Being disabled, I need more help with many things than an average person, sometimes a lot more, and my Mum has always been there for me, ready to help me out with really different things. Even when I was away from home at the boarding school, she always tried ther best to find the time and possibility to visit me or take me home for the weekend while she didn’t really have to as there was a rather big distance between the school and my home. She also tried her best to make my life easier there, and when there was a time I was emotionally abused by some of the staff she was the one to notice it despite the distance between us, and she was the one to make it stop. I’ve heard many very positive comments about my Mum at school, both from the staff and my friends, that I am really lucky to have such a committed and involved Mum. Not that other kids didn’t of course, though such situations also happened sometimes as they always do, that some children came from families where they weren’t loved, but because she did so much more than she had to, and her involvement was very visible. I also have mental health difficulties, since years but that both me and some of my family became more aware of only in recent years, and while my Mum doesn’t always understand it, she’s still there for me, if not in any other way than at least happy to help me practically. She’d been helping me to get to therapy, picking my prescriptions, she is my “spokesperson” in all sorts of new or difficult situations when I feel anxious or whenever I’m just not fully able to stand for myself, and I appreciate help hugely. She’s done so many big and little things for me that I probably wouldn’t be able to acknowledge all of them in a single post even if I dedicated it only for such purpose. 😀
My Mum is definitely a type of altruist who gets easily engaged in what she does and is very responsible and caring, that’s her nature, but sometimes I wonder whether all those commitments she has made over the years since she’s become a wife and a mother, whether they sometimes don’t make her feel unfulfilled in other areas, like her professional career for example, or her social life that would extend beyond her family.
My parents got married when she was 22. Mum was learning to be a beautician and after that tried studying pedagogy but didn’t really have a heart for it and didn’t feel motivated so quit it and then, two years after their wedding, they had me. They had to go a long way until they realised that I’m blind, it wasn’t like that I was born and they were told that, my blindness was congenital but well doctors just didn’t notice it and left my parents to figure it out on their own, and as it has turned out there were some other things we had to figure out blindly, pun intended, even much later on, but that’s another thing actually. Anyway, when Mum finally did figure out that I’m blind, soon after Olek arrived so with two little kids and one disabled she didn’t even think about looking for a job, despite at those very beginnings the financial situation in our family was really not the best, and by the way it’s also partly thanks to Mum that now Dad has the job he has and that our situation is much better nowadays. But Mum, even when I went to the boarding school at the age of 5, still was a full time Mum and still is, even though both me and Olek are adults and Zofijka can mostly take care of herself during the day, and so can I for the most part. And we really appreciate her for that, but as I said, I wonder whether she doesn’t feel a little disappointed with her life sometimes, having so many commitments, many of which she really didn’t have much choice about.
They say though that you usually copy your parents in your life choices. ANd that would be true for my Mum, because the thing was very similar with my grandma.
She is a very intelligent, cultured lady, had great ambitions as a young woman, got degrees in such diverse fields as food technology and theology, but she is also a very gentle, sensitive, idealistic and actually naive person, believing that everyone is like her and has the same values. And during her food technology studies met my grandad – also a very intelligent, cultured, strong, manly, fiendishly ambitious and versatile man. – They were madly in love with each other like most couples are at the beginning, the thing was that each of them had their own dreams that were quite different from each other’s, and my grandad was incredibly stubborn and domineering, to the point that in our current standards I suppose we could call it abusive. His dream has always been farming, because of his huge interest in agriculture, so it was clear to him that his wife will have to adjust and live in the sh*thole and dedicate herself to him and breeding hens to help him grow his business.
I love my grandad, have had a pretty close relationship with him, he has always stood for me when I most needed it, even when no one else did, and I always feel very safe with him and like we have a strangely deep connection and understanding for each other, and overall he’s one of the people I admire most in my life, particularly for how comprehensively skilled he is, but although he has mellowed a whole lot in his old age, I feel really bad about him being so bossy and tyrannical to my grandma. He wouldn’t let her go anywhere on her own, he decided what she should do or not do, with whom she can meet, he forbade her to drive anywhere, have her own work or money or any personal life that he wouldn’t be able to fully control. I guess even if she was assertive she wouldn’t be able to resist this and stand for herself, but she wasn’t, at all. He even didn’t let her to go to church on her own, only when it suited him and he would be able to drop her there, which was a big pain for her because my grandma has always been a very devout Christian. Grandad was brought up in a Christian family too, but it was never a priority for them and I guess he was too proud to be able to live through Christian faith where you have to be humble and rely on God rather than on yourself. So he wasn’t really keen on that which was also a big problem for grandma. As the children arrived her life was focused only around the household/farm, selling eggs with grandad and mothering the four kids. Later on grandad started drinking too much alcohol and has once tried to commit suicide, and while it’s no longer a problem and he doesn’t drink at all, it used to be something that grandma really struggled with and couldn’t accept, and tried to desperately hide it from children in which she succeeded as my Mum only learned about his alcoholism when she was an adult. At some point as I told you grandma got a degree from theology and wanted to work as a religion teacher or something like that but then one of my aunts was born and there were quite awful complications and she was a very vulnerable and sickly baby even though now thankfully she’s thriving and perfectly fine.
Now my grandparents’ relationship is less stormy, as I said my grandad has mellowed a lot both to his wife and to his children and all his grandchildren love him dearly, though they’re certainly not madly in love with each other and grandma is still suffering because of grandad’s cynical/haughty approach regarding faith and that he treats her like she’s very inferior to him, but he does appear to love her in some way and cares for her in that controlling, possessive way as some people do since they can’t otherwise.
She has certainly had her fair share of sufferings, but, most importantly here, has been always so very committed, to her husband, children, and every other responsibility that life has placed on her. In a way I admire her for that, but on the other hand, the extend to which my grandma commits herself is sort of strange to me and I feel like I couldn’t do that without feeling frustrated. just every minute. She doesn’t actually have her own life. Her life evolves around her children and grandchildren, caring for her husband, their work, praying, and now there is a little bit of place for gardening, but that’s it.
My Mum is not like that, my Mum is stronger and more assertive, but still has that extreme ability to dedicate herself to others.
It makes me wonder how marriage and motherhood can really change you and your life so much. When it comes to me, I’m happy to help people, but I really don’t think I could commit myself to someone to such an extend and so unconditionally, it feels rather overwhelming and strangling. I still most probably have a fair bit of ife ahead of me and I know things can change, but so far I’m pretty sure that I don’t want to have children, and even if I would want at some point, I most probably wouldn’t be able to be a good mother for many different reasons. But I really admire my Mum in that, and other mothers who do it like this, silently and without shouting how altruistic they are, and I know that if ever my Mum would need someone to commit themselves to her, I will try my best to do it since I owe her so much. I am proud to say that now I can at least listen to her, and that even though it’s usually her who is the listener for others, I often listen to her when she has problems, and I am the first person she goes to since I got out of the boarding school if she wants to talk about some stuff that affects her deeply. i am happy she trusts me and that I can give her at least that.
What do you think about commitments in relation to motherhood/family life? What are your experiences with your mum, or with your own parenting if you are a parent? Are you deeply committed to anyone, be it in a relationship or whatever? If you’re not a parent, do you feel like you could dedicate yourself to your children full time or is your professional/social/any other aspect of your life so important to you that you couldn’t give it up? 🙂