We weren’t all blessed with amazing, wonderful, storybook mothers. Even if you did have a storybook mother, maybe she was a bit more like Mother Gothel than Mother Goose. Maybe your mother has passed away. I hope you were like me, and had a mother that tried her best to provide and mother you. At different times in our lives, our needs change and because no woman is perfect, no one woman can fulfill all of your needs all of the time. In all of these cases and more, you are essentially mother-less at times.
So many women have told me about their situations…and to not have a mother is tragic. We all need someone to love us unconditionally and be able to impart the support and wisdom that is supposed to magically appear with the birth of a child. Life isn’t fair and it’s not a Disney movie…if you don’t have the mother you need now you probably won’t have it in 90 minutes
There is two solutions to this problem and at least one of them is guaranteed to work every time, for every situation.
Be the mother that you need.
Yes, you. If you need a mother’s love then be extra loving to yourself. If you need a hard truth, grab a notebook and pen and write until you figure out that truth. It may seem silly at first but you can pretend to be your own mother. We all have an inner child anyhow, right? Take care of that inner child so well that you don’t miss the mothering that you lack.
If you went back in time to take care of younger you…what would she need? Is she lonely? Does someone honestly just need to run a comb through her hair? Maybe she just needs to get out and have some fun. Look at your life now and ask yourself what it is that you need most. Kids are great at telling us what they need…be sure to understand your own needs and try to take care of them.
It’s easier said than done, yes I know. There have been times in my life when I have mothered myself, and I do aspects of this daily. I think as we grow into adults we all do this on some level; we move away from home and need to care for ourselves. Oprah.com published an article on it because this is so common. As with most en devours, with practice this seems easier and more natural.
Adopt A Surrogate Mother
I have a few women who I consider surrogate mothers. It’s honestly not that I don’t value my mother…she is amazing and I adore her. Like I said early in the post however, there is no way that she can be all the things that I need as my needs shift constantly. Sometimes I want affectionate mush, while at other times I honestly need my distance. This isn’t about using someone. It’s about knowing what your needs are and finding a way to fulfill them without hurting anyone.
I have a surrogate mother,June, that was able to help me through the death of my daughter in a way that no one else could. She also lost her daughter, who was a few years younger than I was. We both understand the grief of a child like few can and both like volunteering to help other bereaved parents. June is stern with me when I’m not taking care of myself or being honest about how much responsibility I can handle at one time. She loves my family as her own and I love her family as well. I know she’s always there when I need her.
My grandmother acted as a surrogate mother during a time when my actual mother wasn’t available. She had more wisdom than I did (and she still does). My grandmother can be a bit of a man-hater (my mother’s words, not mine) and at times grandma is cranky! That’s okay because when she says off key things, I can just think “Oh that silly, old grandma”. The point in me telling you that? Remember that surrogate mothers still aren’t perfect (no one is). My grandmother won’t be the person I would vent to about marital woes.
who Can mother you?
No matter what kind of mother you have (or don’t have), you don’t need to feel alone. I’m sure there is another woman in your life who is more than willing to support and love you. She doesn’t need to even be older than you…my younger sister has acted as a surrogate mother at times as well. If you don’t have another woman in your life who you feel comfortable putting in this sacred (yet unofficial) position you can be that person yourself. Be your own best friend. As always, if you ever need me…I’m here.