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Sunday, July 3, 2011

Being a mum

My mother, like any good mother, has made her fair share of mistakes in mothering me. But as parents we all try our best and sometimes, the mistakes she made came from loving me too much. And that's not a bad thing. My mother is far from perfect, my mother is not a candidate for Sainthood but my mom loves my brother, me and my daughters in a way few people are fortunate enough to experience.

And now she has cancer again and we don't even know if it's operable. I'm trying to be a cheerleader but I'm scared shitless. I have no idea how I'm supposed to live my life without her. No one loves me and loves my children as much as she does. My mother dragged her unhealthy, cancer laden body out of bed day in and day out to get my kids ready for school when I last worked some time ago. C can't get out of bed and care for his own children if he has a cold. The adrenaline that's necessary to care for young children comes from love. My mother's body is failing her but that love has kept her here, probably past her body's expiration date, because she knows my brother and I still need her. My grandfather always used to say that he lived as long as he did (104) because us kids still needed him.

And now I still need my mom but my needing her doesn't magically stop what's going on inside her body. I've been trying to stay positive and hope for the best but as the days pass and the wait for any glimmer of good news continues, I am collapsing. I have no one, no one to help with the kids except my mother's next door neighbor (thank G-d for her) but she's got her hands pretty full at the moment with her family issues. Now that Eliza's home from school, she craves constant activity and stimulation. I just don't have it in me to not only be the caregiver but playmate of a five-year-old.

Remember the good old days, when we had neighbors, when kids went out in the street and played with other kids? What happened to that? I moved to a little town where everyone kind of knows everyone and still feel completely isolated. Getting Eliza together with other similar age children requires a lot of texting, phone calls and leg work on my part. Eliza is a wonderful child and makes friends easily. She's not the problem--it's this new playdate, mom chaperoned safe vacuum world we've created that makes parenting today so hard. The fact of the matter is most moms are more inclined to make playdates with the children of their friends. So because I'm new here and I'm kind of shy and don't have any siblings or lifelong friends nearby with kids, I've become my daughter's current BFF. And I'm not being a very good one for the moment.

As a child, my mother was not my BFF but my mother. She cared for me, tried to guide me and did everything she could to make me love myself. She took me on special trips to parks and planned special outings for us but she was also just as inclined to let me watch TV for hours or send me off down the street to a friends without double-checking every five minutes that I'd arrived safely and was now having my healthy snack. She gave me the freedom to grow up, to learn how to function in this world on my own, to find and create my own sources of amusement when there was no one else there.

So now, why do I feel so completely incapable of functioning without her?


Patty said...

I am so sorry you are going through this - I am praying that your mom does beat this cancer. Hang in there. I know it's hard on so many levels - from worrying about your mom to trying to entertain without a large support system.

Litgirl Mama said...

Thanks Patty for your continued support. It really means a lot. I don't know how to contact people on this system so I hope you see my comment here. This has been an extremely challenging time for my family and the only thing keeping me going is the support from friends and people here.