It seems to me that most of my problems are linked to my mother’s absence.
A few examples:
- My toddler and I often have nowhere to go; Mom was retired and lived only a minute away.
- I worry that I bother people with my little joys and concerns; moms make it their business to care about the details.
- I don’t have the financial means to give my daughter much beyond her basic needs; Mom loved spoiling her grandbabies.
Now, I realize this is just my own negative slant on the world and I hope to move beyond it someday- but it hasn’t happened yet in the five years since Mom passed.
Life is challenging for any motherless daughter, but for the motherless mother in the early years of parenting, the days stretch long and empty before her.
I am excellent at achieving joy for short bursts of time. I focus on my blessings, find ways to accomplish personal goals, get inspired by other joyful women… but the joy is always temporary. It doesn’t take long before the loneliness for my mom creeps back in.
Everything tends to point to her empty place, even when I try to stay positive – like if I’m holding my daughter’s hand and feeling glad to be alive, we cross paths with a happy mother/daughter/grandmother trio. While basking in the sweet flutters and kicks from my precious unborn baby, I see a friend’s pregnancy photo- and all I notice is her mother’s proud smile as she beams in the background. The bottom line is, without Mom here, the hard moments are harder and the happy moments take extra effort to hold onto… but they are worth the effort.
I’ve recently begun following an inspirational singer/songwriter/mother on social media who seems to embody pure joy. She creates beautiful songs and videos that move me. I see her genuine smiles and think, “I can do that… If she’s found that joy, so can I.” But today, she innocently posted something that hurt me.
I knew nothing of her life except that she was happily married and had two little girls, until she posted that she was at her parents’ ranch to celebrate her mother’s birthday… I immediately started sobbing. Though I’m sure she has struggles and battles I know nothing about, just reading of her happiness invoked my usual sadness. Suddenly, she wasn’t the role model I needed. “Of course she can be so joyful,” I thought. “She still has her mother and her home base.”
That was disappointing, but it taught me something: I am missing a person. The only way to fill that void is with other people – not feelings, accomplishments, or even celebrity role models.
My mother is irreplaceable, but meaningful interaction with others can dull the pain. I am grateful for the existing support I have, but will strive to add more people in three specific areas of my life.
One – People to socialize with. If my daughter and I don’t have enough to do, it’s up to me to change that. I’ve slowly found some good friends, but there’s always room for more. Perhaps there are soul sisters out there just waiting for my daughter and me to come along…Back to the libraries, church groups and playgroups we go!
Two – People to help. Not people to help me, though the baby/toddler years are a handful- people for me to help. Bonding with other motherless daughters, helping charities, forgetting my pain while easing the pain of a stranger… those things bring me more joy than anything else.
Three – People to lead me back to Jesus. I get so wrapped up in this life; it’s easy to forget that my treasure is in Heaven. My mother is, too… I need to focus on that. I aim to become more active in church activities and group bible studies, and to spend more time with others in prayer.
I want to find true, lasting joy – despite my life’s circumstances. I want to view an adult mother/daughter combo without any envy or sadness. I don’t know what it will take, or how long…but it begins with a prayer and the words, “I will try.”