Thoughts on Families

Families are funny things.  You see your family at it’s best, worst, and everything inbetween.  You know secrets, pet peeves, and things they don’t think you know.  And you think — wow, if this family can work, despite everything, then why do so many people give up?

I had a post in my head for nearly a year now, about my mother.  I’m nowhere near (nor will I be) the level of motherhood she attained, having borne and reared nine, but I’m starting to understand her more and more.  And I always wondered, on my weak days, how many times did she feel desperate and what did she do about it?  With a growing family and a small income, did she ever turn on the shower just to cry?

And now I add in the question of marriage.  It’s no secret that I never thought they were a great match, but surely she did for a while.  How often did she feel desperate and trapped?  What did she use as an outlet?

This week my mind is racing.  Suddenly I feel like it’s okay to think all those things I thought growing up, but I know it isn’t because it isn’t nice.  I hope my younger siblings are doing okay.  I hope that this change can bring peace, comfort, solutions.  But what I hope most of all, is that now that Mum is finally doing something for herself, after losing herself in the service of her family for three decades, that she will rediscover what a vivacious, intelligent, woman she is.  I hope that she will become the woman she wants to be, and that I always knew she was.

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4 Responses to Thoughts on Families

  1. Philosophical Karen says:

    I have a thought on families today. My parents came by to take my son to visit his cousins. Later, when they dropped my son back home, my mom saw me in the midst of doing some gardening and came over to me very concerned. She told me (as sternly as she ever talks to her 43-year-old daughter these days) that she wants me to “take it easy” for the next two months until I have my surgery. It’s one of the few times I have realized that I will never stop being my mother’s child — though there have been many times when I feel like we have reversed roles.

    I realize that your musings are particular to you and my musings are specific to my own situation, but I just wanted to point out the similarity in the tenor of our thoughts.

    Very similar. I always appreciate your perspective.

  2. You know, I think that it is healthy to allow yourself to analyze your thoughts like that, even if it doesn’t seem nice. I don’t think you aren’t thinking those things to be mean, but hopefully to understand and grow from what troubles your own family had to face. I wish the best for your mother.

  3. sleepyfrog76 says:

    I don’t know what’s going on there, but I have to say that I have felt the same way about families for a while now. And as far as my mother… The older I get the more mortal my mom seems to me. Part of me wants to sit her down and ask her a million questions and have her be brutally honest with me. But then a bigger part of me is just too scared. I like being able to hold my mom up on some kind of a pedestal and telling myself that she was the strongest single mom ever, the strongest woman during every miscarriage and still birth, the strongest paralyzed 19 year old, the strongest convert and missionary in the Church… I don’t want to know of the days where she wanted to send us away because she just couldn’t handle the insolance anymore, or the days where she almost walked out of Church without any intention of returning, or of the days where she was so beat down both emotionally and physically that she just didn’t know what would keep her going, much less alive.

    I don’t know that this has anything to do with what you are saying, but it’s something I’ve been thinking about lately, anyway.

  4. GoofyJ says:

    I enjoy knowing that my mother was human and had the same feelings of desperation and elation that I had. I like knowing how much she struggled – and that while there were times when it was SOOOO hard she kept going and never gave up on us or being a mom. Just like every mom she had her set of monster goliaths that she had to battle and she has overcome many and is working on still overcoming more. Even though she had many hard week moments I still see her as the strongest woman ever because she kept going even in the toughest times ever – and that is the greatest love I know.

    I love it when she calls me now for advice, which she does sometimes – and as Karen says, sometimes is seems the rolls are almost reversed as I council my mom somtetimes on areas where she is unsure – but inevitably there are those moments when she will always and forever be my mother – telling me to take care of myself too. 🙂

    As Sariah said, I don’t know what exactly is going on there, and my comment might have nothing to do with what you are thinking and feeling – but your post and the following comments inspired my thoughts.

    Thank you.

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