The motherless mother

“I might not have learned the practicalities of motherhood from Wendy but there is something of her in me; I feel it, behind my ribs. I like to think of it as all the love she never got to give to me. A vacuum should be weightless but I stagger under the burden of it, and I won’t feel complete until I pass it on.”
Erin Kelly, ‘He said/she said

I read this paragraph in a book recently that really resonated with me. Becoming a mother when your own mother isn’t around is heartbreaking, it feels so wrong and so against the laws or nature. I’ve done a lot of things in my life without my mother – all credit to my wonderful father, I never felt like I was missing out on any love or support in any way – but becoming a mother without her there was tough.

Becoming a parent is undoubtedly a life changing experience, most of the factors of your life change and some are never the same again – in both good and bad ways! It makes you consider deeper where you came from and in turn the heritage of your child(ren).

There is the deep longing that they could and should have been here to see your proudest moment – becoming a parent to the most wonderful child. The continuation of you and them. And the thought that they never will is really too much to bare. I would personally say this can be a contributing factor to suffering pre or postnatal illness. It feels totally unnatural for you to out live your parent and for them to be missing for such a big life event.

So while it’s so very hard to become a parent yourself without one or both of your own parents around, I really love this notion of healing through becoming a parent. This “vacuum” of emptiness is something that will never really go away – deep, profound and devastating.

In complete contrast, becoming a mother has been a very healing experience. I too didn’t learn the practicalities of motherhood from my own mother, but I know some of her is in me, being passed down to Ethan. Finding the true me; completed by becoming his mother. I gave birth, fell completely apart, put myself back together again and came out the other side better than before with more empathy, understanding and love.

Mum, My Sarah, this one is for you….

Love Tess x

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