wings and things

The maternal conundrum

on April 18, 2014


Sometimes we want them to get lost, stop interfering and giving advice, and to stop implying what we should do/be.
Other times, we limp, bruised and bloodied, into their laps, for the kind of hugs that nobody else can give.

On my bulletin board I still keep a note that Ming wrote some months ago – “Stop mothering me!” At the time, he was referring to my overbearing attitude to his diet, so I stepped back from this, finally willing to let him fend for himself.

But. tonight, it kind of went the other way because Ming was asking me why I had taken so long to be okay again, since the car accident. My response was sarcastic: “Not sure, Ming – might have something to do with the fact that five kids were injured?”

Ming: But, Mum, they are all okay now and I always knew they would be!

Me: Well I didn’t know for sure, so I was terribly worried.

Ming: So, Mum, please can you stop worrying now? They are all good!

Me: Okay. I am still reeling from the court case result and can’t quite believe it, Ming.

Ming: Just accept it, Mum – it’s over now. Stop (s)mothering me!

56 responses to “The maternal conundrum

  1. I just wrote about worry and mothering. Glad all is well.

  2. Rhonda says:

    Some things they will NOT understand until they become parents Jules. No way around it. We never stop mothering, but we do, eventually, learn to do it silently. xoxo

    • jmgoyder says:

      Sometimes I tease him before you we go anywhere by saying, “have you used the bathroom?” You should see his ferocious expression!

      • Rhonda says:

        I don’t even have to imagine it…I too have been known to ‘tease’ just that way. I believe it’s part of our job description. 🙂

  3. And the worry never stops even when your kid is in her 50’s – just ask my mom. ❤
    Diana xo

  4. susanpoozan says:

    To be a mother can be very tricky!

  5. I think that your posts highlights exactly how the discrepancy in people’s acceptance or reaction to the same situation can lead to miscommunication and friction. It is made even trickier when you add different expectations to the role each represents to the other. In sum relationships are work and hard work at that. But you do exceptionally great work! Hugs Jules xox

  6. Ming is right. If he’s learned his lesson and everyone is okay now, it’s time to move on.

  7. FlaHam says:

    Julie, Ming is wise beyond his years, but your not wrong for mothering him. Hell your his mother, it kinda gives you rights to mother. But the accident is over, the kids are all okay, and Ming got a very fair and very just penality. It is time to move on, and we all know something will happen to move on to. Take care sweetheart. Bill xox

  8. mrs fringe says:

    Just catching up here, and so, so, SO glad to see good news for you and yours. ❤ But I have a couple of words for Ming, that you might or might not want to pass on. When really big things happen–car accidents, illness, etc, they're called life changing events for a reason. Can we/should we move forward? Absolutely. But there's no "over," no forgetting them. Good and bad, they change us, we (hopefully) learn and grow from them. 🙂

  9. Ah yes! Stop mothering me but when you fall over please get straight back on the bike because I need you to keep mothering me.
    (I know the feeling).

  10. tootlepedal says:

    How could you be such a monster as to love your own child and worry about him? I just can’t understand it.

  11. The accident really took it’s toll on Ming but even more on you… and it has taken you a long time to recover …(maybe even still going on)…. Something happened in my life many years ago and for a very long time …it would play over and over in my mind… and that kept feeding the hurt and anger and confusion that I felt over it. I think part of it was that I felt guilty that somehow I was also to blame…. but I didn’t want to admit it. I finally did and it made forgiving the other person possible. I’m not saying it didn’t come to my mind again because it did..but when it did I really consciously did something to snap myself out of ‘staying’ in the thought… . I’m not even sure what….but anything to keep dwelling… And maybe sometime you might have a talk with Ming.. minus what you said sarcasm… and literally tell him the turmoil that went on inside you… because you went through h*ll . Then I hope that somehow you can see how you and Ming were blessed and dwell on that …. end of unasked for advice…. Diane xoxo

  12. BTW… I wasn’t comparing my story to yours’ re the admitting somehow I was partially at fault… you were certainly not… but I was saying that you might somehow ‘feel’ for some reason that you were…. just had to clear that up… Diane

  13. artfulanxiety says:

    Mothers are awesome. If I share something with mine, just to get something off my chest, little do I know that she’s sitting at home, pondering, wondering and trying her best to come up with a way of fixing it – even though I’ve completely forgotten about it!
    Good on ya, mum!

  14. My Heartsong says:

    I think I need the lesson from this. I am tempted(no, beyond tempted) to nag another when I don’t think they are taking a matter seriously enough.It means I care and it is a lesson in letting go, as well. Not easy, usually when I let go there are my claw-marks left behind.

  15. you are a mother and it is your job to keep mothering–I just think Ming wants you to be happy

  16. Judy says:

    Just because it’s over – doesn’t mean you’re not trying to process such a traumatic event. I know how that is with PSTD of watching my parents both die in my arms. It was over, but not really as I had to deal with grief. Julie, in some ways this sounds like less of a “mom vs. son thing” but more of a “man vs. woman thing.” I think women understand the emotional part so much more than men do. In every instance, I remember my husband and sons responding in exactly this way. It is very detached and in some ways might provide balance for us. But when we are hurting, it sure is nice to have understanding. That’s why women friends are so important!!! Love you.

  17. I am impressed with Ming’s and your interaction and communication. I know they aren’t always easy discussions. But the fact that you have those conversations, are endearing. He wants you to “be” in a better place. 🙂

  18. Trent Lewin says:

    Aren’t we parents meant to worry, in between the many moments of sheer joy and exuberance? I have no other answer.

  19. Yeah I so get why it would take you so long to get over the car accident, and how frustrating it can be for you with Ming, children are so frustrating I know mine are

  20. Always walking on eggshells. One day Ming will understand and appreciate.

  21. When he has children (God willing), Ming will understand……. MAYBE. A mother’s love is unique and all encompassing…….. And yes, (s)mothering!

  22. Interesting how our positions change, all the different perspectives and shifts. Good ole human condition. Happy Easter to ya’ll! xoxo

  23. It’s hard – isn’t it, Julie? the fine line between mothering and smothering? My child is finally home with us for a while till HIS court date comes up – and I am eternally grateful that I know for sure he has a roof over his head and food in his belly – and at the same time struggle with allowing him to work through his issues and not smother. Fine line, my friend – fine line! Love to you – IttyBitty

  24. harebol says:

    Mothering vs. Smothering… a fine line indeed!

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