Monday, April 14, 2008

Swimming in the Transformation Soup

For the past year or so something has been amiss in my life. I haven't been able to put my finger on it but I've felt like I'm swimming upstream in what Sark calls Transformation Soup.

Last week's visit with The Mother and The Sister allowed me to finally see that my relationships have been put in a blender and turned on frappe', taking the past dynamics and chopping them into bits. The daughters are now the mother, and that's a terrible shift for someone who's aging and dealing with those issues. My own children seem to be equally unsettled under my continued nurturing attempts.

My sister and I find ourselves with adult children, and we're adrift on a sea of "not much to do" in the nurturing department. Years of worrying, wiping, organizing, cooking, dressing, pushing, teaching and all-around mothering are behind us. Well, all but the worrying part. Suddenly, after what seems like a lifetime of motherhood on-the-job training, just as we've worked out all the kinks - we're handed a pink slip! We find ourselves obsolete, experts without students. It's like losing your job but still having to go into the office everyday to sit in a chair and just observe. Our opinions are not needed (or wanted) as our children attempt to make a life by themselves, for themselves. And that's not a bad thing, they're using the lessons we've taught. The problem is that sometimes we're still trying to teach, long after the lessons have ended. It's exasperating for all parties involved.

My sister and I talked about this at length. I don't blame the kids for being annoyed at attempts at mothering at this point in time. Sensing the coming changes a couple of years ago I "adopted" a kid from a terribly dysfunctional family, fed him a steady diet of advice and chocolate brownies and got him into college and on his way. I certainly can't keep repeating that from now till the grave. Can you just see me out trolling for a kid who needs nurturing?

So, what's a mother to do? I'm sitting in a puddle of skills here.

My sister and I came up with the solution, almost at the same moment. We decided that the answer was to turn the nurturing around and to nurture ourselves. Now THAT'S certainly easier said than done.

As a young mother I never would have believed in my heart that I would find purpose in cleaning up after a sick child and driving a million miles to soccer games. I did. Now I just need to figure out how to do it for myself.

If you haven't read Sark before, give her books a look see They're colorful and get you to think about your life in a different way.

I seriously considered including a warning for young moms.....READ AT YOUR OWN RISK. Would you want to know what's coming down the road? Probably not.


Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Just sitting here nodding my head. Great post. Should be required reading. It's also shared with that wonderful sense of humor of yours..."trolling for kids" hahahaha.

Let us know how the self-nurturing goes. I thought that this post was going to be all about your mother never realizing that you were going to turn it 'round to be about me. Oh yes, I'm feeling the pang of a well-landed arrow.

Thirkellgirl said...

BRILLIANT post. I can completely relate, although my mother passed away two years ago. It's amazing how much time she, and my daughters, have consumed, and how much emotional energy. I have even told dh that I'd like to build on so his father could move in with us because I need somebody else to nurture (just yesterday, in fact), but he doesn't think that's a good idea right now. I'm not sure it occurred to me that I could use up all that energy nurturing *myself.
I love your blog. :)

Elizabeth said...

Motherhood is the biggest commitment EVER - and the most wonderful - but it does get tiring.
Be a little kind to yourself.
Greetings from Marrakech.

KatKit13 said...

This is quite possibly the reason I've been considering getting yet another dog (we have one dog, one cat).

I have a lot to offer, and no one to take me up on it. I sooo get where you're coming from. Excellent post.