Being Mum – Being Child

May 14, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Posted in parenting | 4 Comments
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For every mum there is a child and for every child there is a mum. This is one thing we all have in common: we all have a mother. There is this one person in your life you call ‘mum’. What happens to you when you think of your mum?

8 months ago I became a mother and my daughter is just starting to say mum-um-um… to my delight, of course. 4 months ago however I’ve also lost the person I called mum.

My mum’s death was sudden and as such unexpected. It left me wondering how orphans feel growing up without this one person to rely on, to talk to, to get support, love, encouragement and guidance from? Am I now an orphan?

It also made me contemplate the relationship I had with my mum over the years. I always felt close to her, even though we had our moments of disagreement and relationship challenges. I spent intensive times with her, especially in the last 15 years as I lived overseas and only saw her once a year but then for a few weeks or on holiday trips together. Growing up I always felt supported and never doubted her love for me. Still, like every mother – daughter relationship, we had our ups and downs, differentiating myself and my life from hers and practicing allowing her to be different to what I expected her to be.

Mothers, like sons or daughters, change. For me it wasn’t very easy to see her change, becoming older and partly more stubborn in her own ways. Even though I believed she had every right to make her own choices, I was annoyed at certain ones and downright angry at others. I had however learnt to keep my frustration and anger to myself, probably as I had learnt it from my parents. So outwardly I might have seemed accepting but naturally inwardly I had my human thoughts, emotions and reactions.

Having a child of my own opened my eyes to motherhood in a whole new way. I’m amazed at the intensity of what it takes to mother a child and it’s only been 8 months. In comparison to my mum, I have a very actively supportive husband who is taking his role as a father seriously, where my father, representing his time, was far less involved.

Mother’s Day has been created to remember those amazing things mothers do and show them our gratitude. (No, I haven’t forgotten Father’s Day but that’s another time of the year.)

The role of a mother (or a father) never stops, not even with death. As mentioned above, it is 4 months ago that I’ve lost my mum, but 8 months ago I also had the younger of my twin girls die. So not only do I have a child, I also have lost one and so have experienced the whole spectrum of having a child, losing a child and losing a mum in a short timeframe. I still very much feel this child of mine with me, as well as my mum. I will always remain mother to two girls, if people ask or not. I am a mother by honouring her soul who has passed on.

My mum and my younger daughter are still with me, even though not on a physical level. Neither mothering nor being a child never stops. Now I might not have ‘real’ conversations with them, but I still have them inside of me. I think of them, am angry and sad for their leaving me and my other child and I miss them.

If your mother is still alive, what are you waiting for?

If your mother has passed, what are you waiting for?

Have you found peace in the relationship with her?

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4 Comments »

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  1. Wow! You poor thing going through two such great losses in such quick succession. Thank you for sharing – it is good to be reminded every now and then when the world gets on top of us that the most important things are all too often those things that we simply and often wrongly take for granted 😉

    • Thanks for your comment Jo,
      Yes, taking a deep breath is what I do very consciously and often these days… It has indeed reminded me to be more aware.
      All the best,
      Nathalie 🙂

  2. Nathalie,
    I love your comment ” I am a mother by honouring her soul who has passed on.” that is a beautiful thought, I find it hard to think of myself as Liam’s mum because he is not physically here but that is a lovely way to think about it. You show such strength in your writing, thank you
    Amanda x

    • Dear Amanda,
      Thank you for your comment.
      Given our story I became very aware of the fact that I was already a mother (and my husband a father) during pregnancy. We cherished every moment with the two girls inside me, sang to them, read to them… We knew that nothing is ‘certain’ and that we want to make the most out of whatever time we have. You know that as well and it has thaught me to be very aware of this in every aspect, even with the girl that is with me. She is healthy and alive but there are no guarantees, even though many of us feel invinsible.
      All this knowing and feeling however is no absolution from the experience of grief. Like every emotional process it’s there to be experienced ad especially with grief there are no shortcuts…
      All Love to you, Nathalie


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