I’ve thought about this role in my life considerably, particularly as I became a mother myself for the second time around to my now 2 1/2 year-old daughter. I have not experienced actual “mothering” from a mother for the majority of my adult life. This prompted me to be more independent and find ways to mother myself, which I feel we all have to learn to do eventually.
I have not actually seen my mother since 1994. She has lived in India and will be making a trip to my home on the 17th for three weeks. We have been talking on the phone since my father’s passing in December of 2008 (while I was 7 months pregnant). I sent pictures and she sent presents for all of us. I look forward to connecting at some level and hope the visit goes well. I am glad that my children will get to meet her and my husband will get proof that I actually do have relatives!
At the same time, I am aware of barriers – one as a result of my family moving to the US in 1976. As the youngest of 4 and only 7 at the time, I identified with the American culture increasingly as part of my identity. I was encouraged to speak English and that had the eventual result of my not having enough practice speaking my native language. To this day, my mother speaks in my native language and I respond in English. I am aware of the limitations in this process. I question some of the vocabulary I want to use and in essence what I am able to communicate. This alone prevents a depth of closeness as I feel handicapped in being fully myself and conveying all that I am and my life.
I am grateful for being able to provide complete mothering to my children and plan to try the rest of my life. I want to make certain no barriers are erected and that I am able to evolve my mothering according to their needs at different ages, even if I have to hold myself back (perhaps a lot at times, as I’m experiencing with my teen occasionally).