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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 57 Responses Jul 21, 2011

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Indeed! Thank You Rapolis

Think on this,when you work for a company you get holidays,but when you are retired you never get a day off from that.

I am now faced with caring for an aging Mother....it never ends, but, I am taking time for myself and asking for help from my siblings. Thank you so much.

Sorry, but Mothers are never allowed to "retire". There will always be those of your family: children and grand-children who will depend upon you. You can't escape this. However, IMO, now that you've accomplished, regarding raising your kids, it's YOUR turn to enjoy life. You are now supposed to be "free" and do that which you want to do. Pursue your goals, ambitions and dreams. It's your turn.<br />
Do it. And let your children, who are now adults, take care of themselves --- and respect your "new-fround" freedom". It's now YOUR life --- and live it as you choose. Your family can take care of themselves. Regards: JIM

Mother is a unparallal word....nothing can be compared with this.....i lost my mother few months back......though i am aged person....i feel what sacrifices she did for me.As a mother what u loss...its pain...sorrows.....emptiness.....in no way can be filled up.But the way u r feeling today as a mother...it proves u are a real great mother.....u gave them right path....u are proud of them....no mother ever retires.....though its so heavy to burden this loss.Just be normal...accept it....its part of life.u'll be in my prayer....I wish best of lucl...My regards to u<br />
mahfuz

Thank You for caring, I appreciate your comment very much.

So sorry for your loss: but in my experience, a "mother will always be one". That, unfortunately is the "fate" dealt to you. It is you who chose to be a mother. After all is said and done --- you will be remembered by your children and grand-children, as the "mother" / "grand-mother". IMO, there is nothing you can do to escape this. YOU chose this life --- you gave birth and accepted your responsibilites as a parent. I know this sounds "harsh" --- and it's not meant to be.<br />
Personally? I respect mothers and grand-mothers. It is they whom we depend upon for support; moral, religious, love, care --- and are often dependant upon. As an example, where on earth would I be had I not had the support, encouragement and love from my parents and grand-parents? It is that which you can expect from those whom you gave birth to --- and their children.<br />
It isn't always a happy equation ---- every person in our lives is different. Some of your children and grand-children look up to you for support, which you may not be able to provide. Don't worry about it. It happens to the best of us. To be quite frank: some of our children and grand-children are simply out to "look out for themselves" (of course, with YOUR help). Selfish? Possibly. However, in the end --- you've "done you're job" --- you provided and did the best that you can. Be proud of that. NOW ---- "it's YOUR turn". Live your life as you see fit. I wish you the best of luck.<br />
Regards, JIM

Jim, you are right, I did choose Motherhood, it was no accident, I loved it and I still do. I love Grandmotherhood too. It is my bliss. I have never put anything ahead of my children and I am so proud of all of them. There is pride in having done a good and honorable job. My children all turned out to be kind, lovng, hardworking, law abiding and courageous. I just cannot believe time flew by so quickly! (I said "I" too often here, they have a wonderful father that was entirely engaged) It was not all ME!
Our Grandson is wonderful and I enjoy him more than I can say. He is almost two. Thank You Jim, I so enjoyed reading your words and I thank you for caring.

I have lost a child atged 7 when he accidentally fell over a cliff in England. It took me ten years to get over the grief. I meditate every day and find it helps to balance the mind, overcome difficulties and conflicts, find solutions, builds self confidence to make decisions and be at one with the world.<br />
I have written a book of 70 pages ba<x>sed on my research and own experiences . It is called "Lifestyle Renewal and Healthy Living" and is available on my website www.lifestylerenewal.com <br />
I think you are a very brave woman and thank you for posting your blog and expressing your feelings so clearly<br />
best wishes for a future happy and content life from Gerard in Australia

Thank you so much Gerard for sharing your thoughts and your personal heartbreak. I will look for your book. Thanks again for caring and for commenting. I appreciate this very much.

I have also lost a child aged 7 when he accidentally fell over a cliff in England. It is heart rending and took me a good ten years to get over the grief. I practice Meditation and it certainly helps me resolve problems, conflicts, self doubt, awareness, mindlefullness etc<br />
You are a very brave woman and I thank you for expressing your feelings so clearly.I have written a book of 70 pages ba<x>sed on 20 years research and personal experience. It is called "Lifestyle Renewal and Healthy Living" available on my website www.lifestylerenewal.com <br />
thankyou once again for posting your blog. best wishes for a future happy life from Gerard

It is not called the Change for nothing. It is a time to go within and find who you really ARE. Like everything in life it takes courage, but you have needed courage before and it came to you. Never forget that. When you bring up your offspring you are needed, and the hardest lesson is that you need to let them fly. You feel redundant. The beauty of it is that you now have the time to find out who YOU REALLY ARE. Go within and realize all those things that you have wanted to do. Cut the cords of the apron strings. Its not only the kids that need to do it, us women do too. You have done the early work as a parent and you will be needed again, maybe just to pick up the pieces, who knows? But in the meantime it is about you and what you make of it. I know your loss, it feels like wandering through a barren desert, but look for the path for you. You have filled your time with everything for others and now it feels strange because their is only you, which is BRILLIANT because it shows that you have done a grand job in raising your kids, and they want to go and put things into practice for themselves. You have given them the nurturing and knowledge to do that. Job well done. So be easy on yourself and take solace that you have done a grand job. In the meantime do all the things that you really want to do and even face a few fears doing them. You will become a new leader for them, I promise and plus it will bring fun into your own life, which you certainly deserve. <br />
Take care and God Bless

Thank You so much for this wonderful comment. You are a wise woman, thank you for caring.

thank you for reading and appreciating it

Thank you, your comment touches my heart in it's profound truth.

No mother ever retires. Our positions alter, we shift and change with the circumstances, some days we have light duty, some days we are "on" all day long, some days we have freedom, some days we are still needed mightily. Your prose is poignant and lovely. Mothers are Mothers forever. Just the degree of "mothering" changes.

I think that ea Mother does not ever retire.......But if we are very lucky......We get promoted to .....being a Nana......Or Grandma.....or what ever else you will be called...<br />
And that is the best job of all......We get to get to give them lots of candy and cookies......Shake them all up.....and then say.....<br />
<br />
Here ya go Mom......heheheheeh

Yes! I do have little Jace and I am really "into" TREATING HIM AND shaking him up!
he's my DELIGHT!

Frist let me say that I am profoundly sorry for your loss. I feel an instant kinship, thank you so much. I am fascinated that you are now with a woman. I once fell in love with a beautiful woman, it was like another world....but, we had nohting else in common AT ALL, only that we enjoyed looking at each other (laughing) it was a precious experience even though it only lasted a very few months. It was what I refer to as my "rosy pink" period, all flowers and lace and sensual pleasures between the two of us, but, in the end....that was WAY too much feminine drama and hysteria for me. My husband is much more suitable for me, but, he is as nurturing as a "breast" which helps greatly! I am so happy that you have found your heaven! <br />
Bless you and your heavenly new life.

Wow. Your story is almost mine, except I am 10 years older. I started my life over at age 55. Widowed at 54, in a relationship with a woman at 57. This was the beginning of heaven and hell tugging at my emotions daily. I'm so sorry for your loss. I haven't lost an adult child, however my 23 year old (favorite) grandson died suddenly and I have walked with my son and daughter-in-law in their grief as well as my own. Something one never gets "over", I believe. <br />
. I will write my story and post it soon. You have inspired me. Thank you!<br />
<br />
Angelsjam

You sound very much like myself. Thank You for reading and for caring.

Wow an amazing insight into how us mums feel, i lost a child so i do understand the emothion. I also have two children who have left home and one off to University next month. This will be the first time EVER i have been on my own, just me and my husband. I will be having my grandaughter once a week from October and babysit when needed, i enjoy this. I make time for me now but still crave that feeling of someone depending on me. I don't know if i will ever feel different but i don't mind, i love my family and want to be there for them xxxxx

I love how you visualize for me "the empty nest." God bless you and give you peace in your loss. I am sure this has made it more difficult. I like the comment someone made about how you'll always be a mother, but you won't always parent. Our job is to help them learn to make good choices...not all will, but we do our best. Once they are adults, they are responsible for their own choices, and though we will always worry, we need lives of our own too. I decided to go to college. I have a 25 year old, a 21 year old, and a 2 year old. I am not waiting 'til my toddler is grown up....(I'll be geriatric by then!). It's time to do something for myself, as I still mother and parent, and love all of my children. I pray you find your peace, and enjoy redefining yourself!

Thank You so much, I am spending a lot ot time exercising and thinking.....I appreciate your kindness.

Good question the answer is no they never retire<br />
Regards

Yes, we are "lifers" once we are Mommas.
Thank You for reading and for commenting.

My daughter is 9-month old now and I'm a fresh Mom. But I deeply realized that you can not experience a mother's emotion if you have no kid yourself. I can understand your feeling and feel sorry for you. Everything will be fine gradually.

You are richly blessed, thank you for commenting and for reading.

Thank you so much, I am interested in reading your books. I want to thank you for your comment.

visit kjforce.wordpress.com and view some of my real life stories..comments welcome..look forward to hearing from you...

I am retired from the medical field and had a life changing experience 4 years ago..so I write and published a book.."My life as a weed..." it speaks exactly of what you write, our decisions and choices in life and living with the consequences...my new book "Whatever..I'm Still Here" to be published Fall 2011. Loved your story..by the way many of us ( women) live outside the box of life as a way of surviving..AND NO REAL Mothers' NEVER RETIRE...weedbychoice..kjforce

What a beautiful way of putting it. Many mothers out there will relate. The loss of your child is terrible for you. I don't know if I would cope myself. My children have left, and returned, and left - and returned. It's not as easy as they thought and I look forward to the day where I know they are truly independant of me. After all, that's our job, isn't it? To raise our children and know they can look after themselves. But I am not an unpaid babbysitter, dog sitter or house sitter and never will be. I've done my time. I took it seriously and did it as best I knew how and now it's their turn. I am not ön call"for any of them. If they want to see me, then they should ring and make sure I'm available first, or be disappointed if I'm not there. They know this, and are happy to ring first. My door will always be open to my children and I will always help if it is genuinely needed, but it's my time now, and I'm busy creating a new life with new directions that I want to travel. I am on call to my aging father though, and this is fine too. I can fit it all in, and still smile and say Life is Good. Good Luck to you now. I know from your passage that you have the ability to think it all through and do what is best for you. Take care.

I really appreciate all of the wonderful rsponses, Motherhood is such a universal topic. Thank you for your comment, I appreciate your care and your time.

You will always be a mother but you will not always need to parent........ooxx thanks for sharing

you're a wise woman.

I think you are right. My empty nest came on brutally with the death of a newly adult child and our son going to an active duty warfront as a new infantry officer within six weeks of losing our daughter, otherwise, I think I would have transitioned beautifully. I consider myself lucky to still have my mind....but, I am doing well all things considered, and I have always been a very independent soul. <br />
Thanks for reading and for caring enough to respond.

I am so sorry you have suffered the loss of a child. I haven't gone through that so I wouldnt think to give advice and I am sure there is none sufficient. Life is full of ridiculous unexplainable loss that can only be journied through.<br />
<br />
As far as retiring from motherhood from children who have become adults; I am coming into that stage happily. I mothered long enough. I still have a couple years with my sixteen year olds but I can see the light and it is beautiful. I do't feel like I should be at my grown children's beck and call. If they are grown adults they don't need me holdn their hand. I always thought it was my responsibilty as a parent to work myself out of a job. <br />
<br />
As for the landline I have had for 23 years, I am about to have it turned off. They all have my cell phone. I am spreading my wings and happily going on. I am not planning to stay in an empy nest.

Strange, I raised my children never expecting thanks. Late in life I was cursed with an aldulterous husband who have given me a lot of grief; BUT my children gave me grandchildren. I was able and blessed to be able to take care of these little ones while their parents worked. Nothing, NOTHING except my children and grandchildren have given me real happiness. These little ones love me even tho I've gotten grey and old, more than I can say for my spouse.

Bitterness is a horrible thing. I don't know your precise situation and I'm sure I'll get grief for this but: did you try to find out why your husband cheated? Did you include him in your life or did you turn him away as soon as you had children? Husbands need to be more to their wives than just ***** donors, security guards and sources of financial security. The way you speak of your children and grandchildren providing you the only happiness you've had in your life leads me to believe that they were also the only recipients of your time and affection. A spouse, male or female, only cheats when there's something desperately lacking in the relationship. That's why they turn their attentions outward; in an attempt to find the happiness they're not getting at home from somewhere else.

That's beautiful, thank you.

I have read and I have practiced that allowing yourself to fully feel the emptyness and despair and be fully aware of the feeling (done in time limited sessions) invites the Truth to reveal itself to you. It is where you discover the continuity of life and where new beginings are revealed. Everything really does come from 'nothing'.

This is truly awesome!