A Better Kind Of Mother

When I was younger, approaching my twenties, I had an idea of what a mother might be. If I was to be a mother, I would be calmer. I would be more rounded at the corners. Noises would not scare me, nor empty houses; I would be secure and grounded. I would not quake or tremble at uncertainty, I would be sure and safe. I imagined having children. I would bear them, rounded and solid, in a wooly cardigan stroking my full belly. I would be a mother; a word that soothes and warns in a breath, a person that keeps the fragile safe and keeps dangers at bay in a single roar.

I feel a failure at the reality of my children’s lives. K is so scared of the normal deadlines of life. J sits and stares at a screen all day. And L, she needs help to drink a drop of milk. There is nothing I can do that is easy. Instead I do the things that calm me: I clean and polish, in the order I am used to. In between the moments I try and make sense of our world. I haven’t left the house in days.

I want to be a better mother to my daughter. I want to help my anorexic daughter eat. I wish my anxious daughter would find a way to show the world how wonderful she is. J stays staring at the computer screen. This isn’t how it was supposed to be.

4 responses to “A Better Kind Of Mother

  1. I know I only know you through what you write here, but seems to me anyone who is so dedicated to their children as to set up a blog and invest as much as you certainly seem to about how to help them recover is a damn good mum. You have flaws, but so do we all and anyone who cares so much as you obviously do is clearly a good parent. xx

  2. You’re a fantastic mother. But that doesn’t mean that you can make everything all right for any of your children. Like the rest of us you can only do your best, whatever the challenge. Be there for them, love them, support them and if necessary kick down doors to seek help for them. Each of them has to find their own way into adulthood and through life just as you did. Just as your children are human beings, so are you. J, K and L would be lost without you being there for them. You are a wonderful parent. Never forget that xx

  3. I only know the parenting I have had during the tumultuous time of the darkness when I was your girls age and I know that to have had your dedication, courage, care and determination would have meant that perhaps life wouldn’t be the way it is today.
    You’re an incredible mother, you are an inspiration and you shouldn’t be so hard on yourself, you give all you can to your children, though they might not be able to recognise it right now, deep down they will know that. xx

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