Being the Mother I Never Had

mothering sunday

On Mothering Sunday my thoughts always turn to those who find this day difficult. Mothers whose children are no longer with them, or those who only have photos and memories of their mother. There is another group of people who find Mothering Sunday hard to bear. Our guest post was written by Alethea, mother of five children who has her own reason for struggling with this day.

 

I’ve been reading blog posts from those who have lost their mum, and so find Mother’s Day painful. Or those who have lost their children, and so Mother’s Day can be unbearable.

I haven’t however seen a blog from someone like me. Who has a mum, but doesn’t. My mother has never really BEEN a mother to to me. Certainly not a mother I can look back and have fond memories of.

I am a mother. I have a wonderful Mother-in-law, but I don’t have a mum I can go to when I am struggling, and she say to me – when I was your age etc.

Or even, when having a trying day with one of the children, that I can moan to her and she remind me of when I was like that, or that age, or silly things I said, or silly things I did.

I don’t know the exact time I was born – My mother always said a different time, and when I did have a relationship with my father, he told me a whole other time of day.

I don’t know what I was like as a baby. I have a few photos, but I don’t know if I was a good sleeper, a happy baby, a grumpy baby.

I don’t know when I took my first steps, or said my first word – or what that word was.

I know how old I was when my mother became too ill to care for me.

I know how old I was when I stopped wanting to see her (and was still forced to continue).

I know how old I was when I was locked in my headmaster’s office at middle school as my mother had escaped her hospital ward and hitch-hiked to get to me and take me away.

I don’t write this for sympathy. I write this as I know I have friends out there who also have their mothers, but don’t. Mainly due to horrific stories in their past.

I hold my hand out to those of you. We rock you know. We are learning how to be the mothers (parents in fact) we always dreamed of, without that perfect lesson we should have had.

 

 

More Reading

How to Break Up with a Toxic Parent  / HeySigmund

“It’s one thing to be dipped in venom by those you don’t really care about, but when it’s by the person who is meant to love you, hold you, and take the sharp edges off the world, while teaching you with love, wisdom and warmth how to do it for yourself, it changes you. There is a different kind of hurt that can only come from the people you love. Kind of like being broken from the inside out… ”

 

A Toast to all the Brave Kids Who Broke Up with their Toxic Moms / Jezebel

“You deserve recognition for completing the hardest break-up known to the human heart.

Whether it was because of an addiction, a compulsive need to put you down, an ex-communication, an inability to give and receive love, or just the turmoil of dealing with a broken woman, you did something that most people regard as taboo. And that takes courage…”

 

Dear 13 Year Old Me…

Have you ever wished that someone had given you really good advice when you were younger? Perhaps you were lucky and had a trendy auntie or the friend of your mum, who sat down and shared some of their wisdom… because we all knew that our parents were so NOT cool, and not to be listened to. (Note to self – make sure there is someone who fits this bill in your daughter’s life in the coming years!)

If I could go back in time and give myself some advice (without totally FREAKING myself out), this is what I’d tell me.

Bringing up a Child in a Non-Native Language

Is it possible to bring up a child speaking a language that is non-native to either parent?
The global population is becoming increasingly mobile, and it’s not unusual for a family to consist of parents speaking two languages, sometimes even living in a country where a third language is spoken. Sometimes it might even be the wish for a child to learn a third language, that the parents feel will be beneficial to their development and future career.
Let’s take an example – one parent is from Germany, the other parent from Venezuela. They meet and fall in love in Paris, but don’t speak each other’s language, so talk to each other in English, even though neither of them are native speakers. What language should they speak to their child? Or consider the case of a couple from Slovenia. Both are Slovenian, the native language of both is Slovenian, but one speaks English to a very high standard. They decide to bring up their child speaking English.
I spoke to Millie Slavidou, Jump! writer, linguist and mother of bilingual children to find out what she thinks about bringing up a child in a non-native language.

Kiddle Search Engine for Kids

You might have heard of the Kiddle search engine for kids. It was in the news this week, when it was discovered that search terms such as ‘lesbian’ and ‘transgender’ were blocked. We took a closer look to find out what people were annoyed about, and if Kiddle is safe for kids to use.

Parenting a Child with a Chronic Health Condition

Parenting brings many challenges, and one of the hardest to deal with is when your child is ill. When this illness is more than a tummy bug or a broken bone, then it gets even harder. Parenting a child with a chronic health condition brings a whole new list of challenges, and adjusting to the diagnosis can be tough for all of the family. Jump! Mag contributor Tina Price-Johnson grew up with a chronic health condition, and wrote an article for children, published today on our site for kids.

Life as a Child with a Chronic Condition

Here’s Tina’s advice for parents of a child with a chronic health condition.

I was 11 years old and in my first year at senior school when I had my first seizure. I was eventually diagnosed with epilepsy and throughout senior school was back and forth to the hospital to see specialists and determine the correct dose of medication. I was generally accompanied by my mum who had to take time off work, and it was my dad who saw my first fit and put into action his first aid training to give me the care I needed at the time. After that it was both parents or my teachers who provided this care.

I was totally freaked out and didn’t know what was happening or why and nor did my parents. In those days you simply did what the doctors told you and didn’t ask questions, and I wish I had asked. So here are my tips for parenting a child with a chronic condition, from the perspective of the child. I hope they are helpful to you:

Being a Non-Resident Mother – Lyndsey’s Story

When a couple split up, the divvying up of possessions starts. He gets the sofa, she gets the dining table and chairs. Neither of them really want the vase they got as a wedding present from Great Aunt Issy, and there is a short disagreement about the artwork they bought on honeymoon. Deciding who gets what is the easy part – where it gets really difficult, and often distressing is when it comes to the children.

In 90% of the cases, the children stay with their mother. Like it or not, our society is built on mothers being the main care-givers, regardless if they are doing this alone or with the support of a partner. What does it feel like to be one of the 10% – the non-resident mother. Lyndsey knows only too well, and has agreed to share her experiences with us.