Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Motherly Advice....on feeling helpless....

Hi Sweetie. Come, sit here, where it's nice and peaceful.

So what's this I hear that you're feeling helpless? I know this happens sometimes when something is happening that you feel you have no control over.

I've been there when I've watched those I love, yes, even you, making decisions that I just know are wrong or inappropriate for some reason.

Remember it happened to me when we had that diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy for Alby, then when my own Mum was diagnosed with a terminal illness. It's an awful feeling of just being in a space where you can't do anything to change the outcome, isn't it.

Yes, I've felt helpless many times in my life. Yet, here I am, whole and breathing, and perhaps a different, stronger person for the experience. You will be too, I promise.

I get that sometimes too, you want to jump in and say 'But things would be so much better if....'

Remember my own Mother had seven children? From time to time I would hear her say things like 'Darling, have you considered....?' or 'What if you tried.....?', but that would be the extent of her interference. She stood by while each and every one of us made silly choices. Silly partners, silly jobs, silly friends, silly spending.

Did that make her an irresponsible parent?

I think not.

On the contrary. Whilst externally we cursed when things went wrong, and wondered why she hadn't intervened, internally we knew, on some level, that she was forming us into responsible human beings. We learned by tidying our own 'messes', that poor choices mean poor consequences, but that with effort, and by accepting and absorbing the lessons therein, all is not lost and you can, and do recover. 

We learned this financially, emotionally and socially. Now look at us. We're all in our 40's and 50's, in happy, stable relationships, financially secure, with loving partners (some of us on partner no. 2, granted), happy children and rosy futures. What a shame she's not still here to see that.

Now don't get the idea that I'm simply abandoning you to the dangers of life. I'm not, and she did not. She remained a powerful influence on all of us by always having a policy that home is where you go when things go wrong. So from time to time, we all returned to our childhood home, sometimes with our own children in tow. We'd shed our tears, lick our wounds, Mum would make cups of tea and serve comfort food and bed us down on the living room floor. When we felt ready to face the world again, or rather when she felt we should face the world, the living room bedding would be put away, and she'd say things like 'well, Darling, you really need to get back to it...what can I help you do first?'. You'd know then, that Mum had done as much as she could do, and the rest was up to you. I will do the same for you. Home is where you come when all else is failing you. Home is where you can come for love, support and good advice. Home is not however, where you come to hide.

I hope you make mistakes. I will watch over you, I will counsel you, but I will not intervene. I will not lend money, and I will not come between you and your life partners, however much I may be tempted to do so.

I am here, as my Mum was, to be Mum.

It's the best possible thing I can do...even if it makes me feel helpless.

What's on your Tray of Bliss today?


  1. Oh I often feel the exact same way as you and respond in exactly the same manner as you despite my inner turmoil at the time. All will seemingly be out of kilter in my world but give it a day or two or even three and the swings and roundabouts saying comes into play. Overcast and gloomy is usually always followed not too long there after by clear blue skies :]

  2. Thankyou Mimi for that sage advice,like you I miss my DM ,as she never saw my 3 grow up,and she also had a terminal illness. Im not so good with words as you and your mum , so appreciate your words, with love Maria xxx

  3. Beautifully and so truthfully written.


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