I never thought I would grow up to be a mother. I never wanted a husband, babies or a white picket fence. I told myself I didn’t need love.
I didn’t know what it looked like, so I didn’t know what I was missing, but I don’t remember ever wanting a family. I just wanted to be alone. It was easier. Not that I was a loner, I was actually a very social person, just not a very intimate one. People never really new “the real me” because I did not. Loving others required knowing a language I did not possess —empathy, compassion and vulnerability. I was not made that way. I was far more logical, methodical and practical. Some might even say, emotionally cold. I would say that my emotional nature was underdeveloped because I wasn’t asked how I felt, told I was loved, etc. I didn’t grow emotionally. I liked systems and results. I liked winning at making friends, money and working hard.
But today I am changed by motherhood. Today, I am waking up thinking of the single mothers, birth mothers, co-parenting mothers, alienated mothers, women who long to have children and be mothers, mothers who long for a moment to themselves, women who are mothering other mother’s children, sons & daughters who are angry at their mothers, mothers who worry about their children, mothers who miss their children, mothers whose families are raising their children, mothers who have lost their mothers, mothers who have lost their children, LGBT2Q mothers, mothers who are afraid to leave fear-based relationships for fear of change, mothers who feel shame no matter how hard they work and no matter how they try, mothers who work so hard to find support, solutions and spiritual guidance to be a mother.
I’m also thinking of the mothers that came from a place of self-esteem & self-worth and were internally equipped to choose a loving husband and provider that are waking up grateful for their lives. But also the mothers that regardless of a good life, nothing and no one is ever good enough.
I’m thinking of the mothers that are going through a transition, from marriage to divorce, single to married, blending families, raising toddlers, teenagers & grandchildren! There are so many different definitions to the word “mother” and I am thinking of all of you. The list is endless!
What I’ve learned about motherhood is a mother is a woman that does what is in the best interest of her child. That looks different for everyone. We all want to do our best but “best” looks different for all of us. At one time I believed being a “good mother” meant being strong, silent and stoic —like my mother. That led me to struggle with addictions. I have learned that I need support to be the mother I want to be. I am a much better mother with a TRIBE.
If you are ANY woman that identifies as a mother on ANY path of healing & recovery, you are welcome to JOIN OUR TRIBE. We have a weekly and monthly meet ups. You don’t have to do this alone. You really don’t. There is NO SHAME in not knowing how to do something you’ve never done! We want to walk with you in love & acceptance — every good thing comes from that place.
Happy Mother’s Day to all of you Warrior Women doing your best. I freakin’ love you and all that you do and are —JOIN OUR TRIBE!!!
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Frances Stone is the Author of A Reflection of Love ~ A Different Kind of Love Story, a Recovery Counsellor and a Radio Co-Host of Talk Recovery Vancouver, a show about addiction and recovery issues, located in the DTES of Vancouver, BC. In her spare time, she does laundry and mothers three clever, curious and challenging little humans.