Do Mothers Retire?

I enjoy life, I embrace every drop of the blood that courses through my person, not because I am special, but, becaue I am still here, I am a survivor. I've made it through so far, even though there are days that my sorrow over the loss of my child nearly kills me, and yet, I keep smiling, I keep going on.
I meditate with my soul wide open and eager, a blank canvas, an open unfilled vessel. I seek communion with my creator, I aim to be multi layered and thorough in my quest to live life to the fullest, to try to be blessed by the pleasures of life that remain . I offer energy and heart to the universe. Still, more and more, I am disappointed.
There comes a time when one is utterly lost. I suppose it happens to everyone. I imagine that this is perfectly normal. A period of life dawns where hunger and thirst for purpose and meaning overwhelm everything else, and life nips at your heels, moving you onward, even if you stall and stumble. I suppose one must redefine themselves periodically and I know this takes courage. Courage that I am not t sure I have, courage that I don't know that I can create.
A womans life is strange. You give and give, a man needs to love you, you need to love him, babies need to grow inside of you, then to suckle from you, your parents grow old, they need help, everyone needs something from you, there is no tme to live for yourself and this goes on for at least a couple of decades (if you have children) Then one day, like a play, a book, a movie, that is all over. It ends. The book says "the end" The auditorium empties, the lights go down, and you are left on stage, exhausted and limp from a wringing kind of love that lingers between heart beats, that hangs there on a molecular level, it's in your DNA to be a Mother now, but, your license has expired. Your breasts hang empty and light, your stomach shows scars, silver ribbons, cut into the fabric of your flesh, signs of the lives that once gestated there, their first apartment complex now vacated. If you hold on too hard, if you resist to let them go, you get chastized, you are "domineering or over bearing" If you turn loose, become independent, forget all of that and find a new life as a free agent, you also get chastized, they tried to call and couldn't reach you on this day at that time, where were you, they were worried! You live on their terms now, you give of yourself on their terms, no more, no less, because they have cell phones that they turn off if they don't want to be reached, but, your home phone is a monument to dependability and availability, the number has been the same for twenty years and you have answered for twenty years. You have to, what if there is an emergency and your wisdom is required, trust me, it does happen. I am lost, what to do? Do you give them what they want of you and find other ways to amuse yourself until you are called on for dog duty or house sitting or if you are blessed, infrequent and exceedingly impotent Grandmother duty? Not actually "free" but not actively tethered to my old duties either. I am~ these days, the dog that walks on the unheld leash, unaware that my master has evolved into another life? It's time to make another life, emotionally, if not physically, I can see that. I will start today, moving on, moving forward.
hillbillycrone hillbillycrone
56-60, F
56 Responses Jul 21, 2011

Thank you for your insight, I appreciate your reading this and your articulate comments. I agree with you. Smiling. <br />
Gratefully, S

Poignant, how beautifully expressed.<br />
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I wish for you strength, wisdom and courage to find yourself when the world has changed around you.<br />
<br />
Often what holds us captive are our own imagined limitations, and belief that things have to be "either-or" rather than "and" or "completely different than either of the two options presented.<br />
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Maybe this is the time to draw strength and inspiration from friends and others around you, or whom you admire - to become something new again, like the butterfly emerging. Demonstrate for your children and grandchildren what an independent but dependable parent looks like when the children go..... good fortune to you always.

I would love to sit and talk with you. What clean writing and uncluttered thinking. Thank you for the lovely response.

This is such a well written post, eloquent in form and ex<x>pression. I am mystifyed about the part where it says loss of a child however. I am unclear about me it was metaphorical, as in they have grown up and moved on. If it was factual I am truly sorry for that. The rest of it I can relate to, having had a child very young. She grew up and became an adult who does not really want to be around me, and has taught her two daughters to do the same. I did not get along with my own mother who she revered and so I unconsciously taught her that. The kids love me but are afraid of losing her love, so they hold back. I was her "emergency person" on call all the time until I told her a few years ago... at a party where she tried to use me as a foil and excuse to her friends to not go somewhere with them, making a remark she couldn't leave her kids with me as I would not "make them do their homework etc." She just didnt' want to go. One time when she did end up attending this once a month dinner outing they have, she called me on the way there and said she "wished she hadn't said she would go." I told her then, next time you have an emergency, don't call me. Of course everyone thought I was the ***** from wherever. I had had enough of it. After that I asked her why didn't she call her father when she had emergencies, ( we have been divorced since she was 3, he is on third wife) She said it "wasn't a Dad thing." I asked what is a Dad thing? She would never inconvenience him for any reason, or disrupt his schedule, or ask him to go out of his way. But I can be called at 3 am because she has a headache and thinks she's going to die. I have noticed since I have stopped being 911 I hear nothing from her at all. I figure the kids are teenagers, when they are on their own they can have whatever relationship with me they'd like to. But I AM retired from emergency duty! Good luck to you. knifeintheback.

yes, we did lose a precious child, our 22 year old daughter, Emmy, to brain cancer in 2007. She was our baby girl. (We lost her right before her brother left for war duty) I have one daughter remaining that is a new Mom and she lost four babies, so this baby boy is soooooo special, I don't have him with me as much as I would hope. I want him more often than she needs me to take him.....We all have such high emotions when it comes to our children. They are the BIGGEST loves of our lives and everything with them is so intense. Feelings get hurt so easily. Bless you for sharing and I hope you get things going exactly as you want in your relationship with your daughter and grand daughters too in the times ahead. Our children are so close to our hearts, we have such strong feelings around them. Thank you so much for caring enough to comment and to share. Bless you and your daughters/grand daughters. Be thankful that you have them, do whatever it takes to repair anything that is broken, life is too short. Hugs.

How much sharper than a serpent's tooth is an ungrateful child... <br />
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I have a sense that if we want a relationship with our children and grand-children, we need to be available so that when they notice that they miss us, there is potential to re-establish the friendship. What is unhealthy is to be at their 'beck and call'. <br />
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By demonstrating that you're open to doing things with and for them, but that you have other responsibilities (some to yourself) and book time to do other things, you demonstrate balance and self respect. Letting them know that you need some notice so that you can make uninterrupted time shows that you value them, and don't want to be distracted by other things when they are around, but also that they are not entitled to ask you to 'bump' your arrangements at the last minute either.<br />
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If you are pro-active in keeping in contact and inviting them, letting them know you enjoy their visits or being invited to their places, again it shows them one way of maintaining a relationship.<br />
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On a practical note, do you have a Facebook or MySpace account? (maybe a silly question if you're on here :-) You may find it easier to be in kids' lives if you do. It also becomes another point of joint interest - get your grand-kids to show you how to set it up/customise it etc. even if you do know how. Go to a course about using the net products for both a social outing, new stimulation, new friends, and something to talk about with the children/grand kids. <br />
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Be welcoming ~ but like the host at an important gathering, not like the door-mat!

I am hillybillycrone, I think your comments were to knifeintheback. <br />
<br />
I see or talk to my children daily. I am a little over eager for 911 duty ;-) with my one grand baby! <br />
(but I am at home everyday and that makes me open for any duty I can get, but his Momma is also at home and I am happy that she is able to be with him) <br />
<br />
Thank you so much for commenting here and leaving your suggestions, which were wonderful and very appreciated. Blessings In Abundance to you, HBC

You're so cool. And I mean this in a good way.<br />
You've lost the best thing that ever happened to you, yet you keep moving forwards, almost KNOWING that you'll find your happiness and I admire you greatly for that.<br />
I've never lost anyone, so I can't imagine what it feels like. I'm lucky in that way.<br />
Keep moving forward you'll find your happiness.

Thank You, and may I say that I love your screen name! <br />
<br />
I appreciate your comments and I thank you for reading my post.

Hi there,<br />
I love the way you put your thoughts into words. I wish I could do that too. I lost my only brother recently. He committed suicide at 22. Two days back he would have turned 23. We are still coping with our loss. My pain is not even half close to what my mom and dad specially my mom is feeling everyday that goes by without him. The sudden death has changed so many lives. I used think these things just happen to other people and now it just happened to us. I wish my mom could talk to you and both of you could share your sorrows. Now that I am a mom too..I have a 18 month old son..everyword that you wrote makes even more sense. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. May God continue to provide the strength to you and to us. Best regards.

I was the same, I thought nothing bad could ever happen to our happy family. The sorrow your Mother is feeling is like nothing I can begin to describe, but, your own pain is important too. Our daughters death has caused deep pain and sorrow for her brother and sister, they lost their best friend. Be kind to yourself dear one and know that you are not alone. Thank you for reading and for commenting. Hugs and Tender Care, HBC

You are a fantastic person and mother. I wish I could have had a mother anything like you . I said good by to my so called mother 22 years before she died because she was never a mother for me in any way. I cant recall her ever touching me ever. Forget about holding me as a little boy when I needed her, ever. If it happened I cant recall. She never put her arms around me, never kissed me, never touched me ever. My father was even worse he use to beat me to the point I now have whats called PTSD as a result of the trauma caused by him for little or no reason, there didn't need to be much of a reason. My so called mother never did anything to stop him even though she could hear me screaming from the pain he inflicted on me. She acted like it never happened and she never looked to see if I was even still alive while on the floor wetting my pants uncontrollably. Yes she brought me into the world but that's all she ever did for me as a mother. My parents never said in any form that they even liked me forget about love me. Wehen I went away for 4 years to fight for my country they simply said good by. We never hugged, kissed or even shook hands, we simply said good by and I left. I would have had a much different life if I had a mother anywhere close to what you were as a mother. I KNOW ABOUT WHAT IT TAKES TO BE A MOTHER There has to be a special place in heaven for Mothers like you. All the best that life can offer to you and others like you.

I thank you so much for your comments. I am deeply saddened by your story and I hope that you are geting really excellent treatment for your PSTD. Thank you for your service to our country, I honor your service. With much care, HBC

Hi HBC My life was like living in a cage with a hungry lion 24/7/365 for 17+ years until I legally could get out and the first day I could I did. I am now 78 and since that day I have been thinking about the purpose of the existence of mankind and our role as men and women. My view is that most men work 40 hours a week, for the most part, where as women work 12 to 16 hours a day 7 days per week. They work extra on holidays and vacation days and they do it long after the men are retired. The women make and have the babies as well as take care of them full time except when they are sleeping. They also have to take care of most of the support work for their husbands as well. Just have most men step in only for a short while when its necessary and they have a lot of trouble putting up with the requirement. This statement only covers the norm, the unusual requirements that's another story. Thank God for women!!!!!!!!!!!!

You are a precious man! Thank You. I hope your life was happier after you left home......your childhood was so sad and unfair.

Hi HBC Unfortunately children inherit the genes of their parents , that's the nasty side of being a child of abusive unloving parents. I survived only because as a very young boy I felt that it was so unjust a situation I was hatched in that I vowed to survive no matter what it took. The one thing I did learn very well though is what it took to be a loving woman and mother since I never had either growing up. I bypassed the child stage in order to survive my childhood.

1 More Response

My birth mother and father never saw me, and my adoptive mother and father disowned me after I was raped. So, I guess some mothers (parents) do retire. Some sooner than others. However, with my 31 year old son who lives 1500 miles away from me, there is no retirement for me. Even though I don't have his physical needs to provide for, he is always with me -- in my thoughts and prayers. I spend just as much emotional energy on him as when he was a child. That will never end. He knows I will be there for him until the day that I die!

Thank you for reading and commenting and, thank you for sharing your story.....Blessings to you...

Point made, if only life were that crisp! ;-) Thank You for participating.

I read your report. You seem to say that a Mother has many jobs to do. I will listen to you. I have no children so I do not have to do jobs to raise children. I will make plans to continue to have no children so that I can try to avoid the problems that you have raising your children. I think that a child can grow up to get a job as a garbadgeman and be a total failure. If the child is never born he cannot grow up to get a job as a garbadgeman and be a total failure.

When or if you ever have children, you will know that if being a garbageman makes your child happy and satisfied, and at will be happy for that child. Everyone is valuable and their life is sacred, what we "do" is such a small part of who we are! Don't be fooled by labels, many garbagemen are fascinating souls with much to offer the world. No one is better than the next, we are all precious.

The Forsaken<br />
<br />
Once in the winter<br />
Out on a lake<br />
In the heart of the north-land,<br />
Far from the Fort<br />
And far from the hunters,<br />
A Chippewa woman<br />
With her sick baby,<br />
Crouched in the last hours<br />
Of a great storm.<br />
Frozen and hungry,<br />
She fished through the ice<br />
With a line of the twisted<br />
Bark of the cedar,<br />
And a rabbit-bone hook<br />
Polished and barbed;<br />
Fished with the bare hook<br />
All through the wild day,<br />
Fished and caught nothing;<br />
While the young chieftain<br />
Tugged at her breasts,<br />
Or slept in the lacings<br />
Of the warm tikanagan.<br />
All the lake-surface<br />
Streamed with the hissing<br />
Of millions of iceflakes<br />
Hurled by the wind;<br />
Behind her the round<br />
Of a lonely island<br />
Roared like a fire<br />
With the voice of the storm<br />
In the deeps of the cedars.<br />
Valiant, unshaken,<br />
She took of her own flesh,<br />
Baited the fish-hook,<br />
Drew in a gray-trout,<br />
Drew in his fellows,<br />
Heaped them beside her,<br />
Dead in the snow.<br />
Valiant, unshaken,<br />
She faced the long distance,<br />
Wolf-haunted and lonely,<br />
Sure of her goal<br />
And the life of her dear one:<br />
Tramped for two days,<br />
On the third in the morning,<br />
Saw the strong bulk<br />
Of the Fort by the river,<br />
Saw the wood-smoke<br />
Hand soft in the spruces,<br />
Heard the keen yelp<br />
Of the ravenous huskies<br />
Fighting for whitefish:<br />
Then she had rest.<br />
<br />
II<br />
<br />
Years and years after,<br />
When she was old and withered,<br />
When her son was an old man<br />
And his children filled with vigour,<br />
They came in their northern tour on the verge of winter,<br />
To an island in a lonely lake.<br />
There one night they camped, and on the morrow<br />
Gathered their kettles and birch-bark<br />
Their rabbit-skin robes and their mink-traps,<br />
Launched their canoes and slunk away through the islands,<br />
Left her alone forever,<br />
Without a word of farewell,<br />
Because she was old and useless,<br />
Like a paddle broken and warped,<br />
Or a pole that was splintered.<br />
Then, without a sigh,<br />
Valiant, unshaken,<br />
She smoothed her dark locks under her kerchief,<br />
Composed her shawl in state,<br />
Then folded her hands ridged with sinews and corded with veins,<br />
Folded them across her breasts spent with the nourishment of children,<br />
Gazed at the sky past the tops of the cedars,<br />
Saw two spangled nights arise out of the twilight,<br />
Saw two days go by filled with the tranquil sunshine,<br />
Saw, without pain, or dread, or even a moment of longing:<br />
Then on the third great night there came thronging and thronging<br />
Millions of snowflakes out of a windless cloud;<br />
They covered her close with a beautiful crystal shroud,<br />
Covered her deep and silent.<br />
But in the frost of the dawn,<br />
Up from the life below,<br />
Rose a column of breath<br />
Through a tiny cleft in the snow,<br />
Fragile, delicately drawn,<br />
Wavering with its own weakness,<br />
In the wilderness a sign of the spirit,<br />
Persisting still in the sight of the sun<br />
Till day was done.<br />
Then all light was gathered up by the hand of God and hid in His breast,<br />
Then there was born a silence deeper than silence,<br />
Then she had rest.&nbsp;<br />
<br />
<br />
Duncan Campbell Scott&nbsp;<br />
<br />
<br />

Oh, this is simply beautiful, thank you for sharing, you are a tender and thoughtful soul.

I was hoping you would enjoy it, after I read your beautifully written story this poem kept coming to mind. I also am a mother with children recently leaving the nest, and with all the conflicting emotions that come with it. When your children are small, you are their world to them, and as they grow and slowly move away from you, you know it's as it should be, but hurts none the less. You know in your heart they will always need your wisdom and your love.. And that they will always love you. But just like we did to our mothers and they to theirs, they get so busy with living their lifes, we get pushed to the back of their do to list..until we are needed again.

What a wonderful and beautiful story. Thank you for sharing that.

Your words are so true. And you're an amazing writer. I admire you... This story just reminded me why I want to become a mother, and why life is not always easy, but that that is also alright, it's possible to move on. I hope life brings you joy in the change.

Oh and thanks for ispiring me to keep writing

I want to thank you for your very kind comments. Yes!.... keep writing and know that I appreciate your encouraging words. Blessings, HBC

You're most welcome. Thanks, and bless you!

Your post speaks everything about motherhood. Regardless of race or nationality, mothers just can't help being mothers. I think I will never stop being amother to my two children. Sometimes overbearing, sometimes over protective of their handicaps.

Thank You for your kind comment here. Sorry to be so long getting back, I don't get notified as I should of comments on older posts. Bless you.

Thank you warmly for your kind comment.

I am where you are three of my children are gone and independent. One of my children came back with his wife. They are living here while they go to college. I am his father, but I don't parent him. He gets advice only when he asks for it. It IS your time now. Injoy your. You have the right.

Plzz comment on my storyy

I cannot get into your profile, you are underage.

(but I am at home everyday and that makes me open for any duty I can get, but his Momma is also at home and I am happy that she is able to be with him)<br />
<br />
Thank you so much for commenting here and leaving your suggestions, which were wonderful and very<br />

Thanks for dropping in and for commenting.

Thank you for this story, Crone. An inside look at the life of a mom gone through a hard life. Thank you, thank you.

Thank You for stopping in and reading my story. Bright Blessings~ read my mind and it is AMAZING that you know exactly how I am feeling ! lol............

Bless you msfancy!!

You speak from my heart! I'm on that threshold now. One kid left, one is already adult but stays for now. We mothers need to be a bit selfish, not to get lost. I admit that I have my cell phone always with me, just in case... lol

Hello Crone,
I've been moved by your story. I'm a young mother. My son is 18 months old, so as you can see, I'm only getting started. I do confess though that I want my freedom. A baby is tons of work, and ours was unexpected. Because we're so overwhelmed with this new parenting lifestyle, we have decided to only do it once. He'll be an only child and we are perfectly fine with it. As I read through your story though, I fast forwarded to a possible future. You said that after living serving the master one becomes programmed to live serving. I'm really afraid of that. Is my thinking selfish? idk. ..but one thing is for sure, I don't like that idea.
You should definitely move forward. Your children have grown up and it's their turn to be on their own. You're not their property and neither they are yours, not anymore at least. of course help when it's really needed. But please don't sit awaiting a call that may never come your way. Travel, experience, live life! it's too damn short if you ask me.