A Thought on Four Generations

After analyzing the whole blogging business, and it’s purpose (which I may be completely off base about), I thought I would try to write about something I feel I have a bit of experience in and something that I know I will continue to ultimately fail and succeed at doing: Mothering.

I am sure (at least I hope) that there are some mothers who understand the above. From my perspective as daughter, my mother failed and succeeded and at a number of different mother-daughter-raising-children-every-child-is-different-there-is-no-manual-breastfeeding-is-hard-bottlefeeding-is-wrong-bottle-feeding-is-great-stay-at-home-parents-are-perfect-working-parents-are-better-stay-at-home-parents-are-wrong-working-parents-are-wrong-homeschooling-is-better-public-schooling-is-better-you-can’t-spoil-your-kid-with-love-rule-with-an-iron-fist-children-should-be-seen-and-not-heard-give-your-child-a-voice-all-teenagers-are-bad-all-teenagers-are-people-too…yadda, yadda, yadda. …rites of passage(s). As a mother myself, I realize that, regardless of the “mistakes” she made, my mother did the best with exactly what she had, which, by-the-way did not include parenting blogs or how-to-anything at your fingertips 24/7, or even a mother herself. She did pretty darn good job considering she lost her mother at the age of 18. Truth-be-told, I don’t know what I would do without her. That being said, we are different parents (as all are).

There are a lot of things I didn’t do when our children were babies that she did, and a lot of things that I know I will do differently as my children enter the age of adolescence. She and I butted heads, of course, (see above), over a great many things. She did this, and it worked, so why couldn’t I? She thought (and still believes) that Zincofax is terrible. She said it stung my children’s bums. I kid you not…my mother was COMPLETELY against ZINCOFAX. It was a serious point of contention. I really wish I was joking. However, there was light at the end of the tunnel. By the time our 3rd child was born, she became ok with me in the mothe role, She began to realize that what my husband and I decide goes, regardless of our rationale behind it. These are our children, and our choices, and they need to be respected.

unnamedAll of the head-butting aside, I realize now that perhaps our children are a way for my mother to be the parent she wishes she had been during those times of trial and error with me. I believe she recognizes what she would have done differently, if do-overs were an option. Unfortunately in the world of parent-hood, we don’t get to re-evaluate, edit, and re-submit our final results. We get one shot. She knows this now, and so do I, and will try, as a mother myself to always keep it in mind.

I hope I get be in her shoes someday…to someday hold my grandchild and remember my mistakes, and want to help my children not make the same mistakes I made with them, (and I have oh-so-many more to make, yay!…where would psychologists be without mothers?). I want to be able to tell my grandchild when they are fighting with their parents, how much their parents love them, even if they truly believe they are acting unfairly to them. I know my mother will do this for me.

My mother’s perspective and vantage point is completely different from mine. I have no idea from where she is coming when she tries to advise or criticize or counsel or coach. All I can do is try to understand it and respect it. Because, at the end of the day, I admire my mother. Craziness (current…my fault..) and “mistakes” (past, present and future) aside, I am proud of my mother. And I am grateful for her. I am still angered by her, and sometimes hurt by her, (I am sure this is not one-sided, and so I’m sorry mum), which simply means that she, like me, is merely human. And,  I love her, unconditionally.

By Danerra Speares

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