Friday, April 5, 2013

Day 10: What does it mean to be an Adult? – Mother (Part 2)

Continuing from Day 09: M-o-t-h-e-r

In my last blog I started looking at some of the associations/connections that I have created towards the word ‘Mother’ – and within doing so, actually also looking at/investigating my relationship with my own mother – as the primary baseline on which I constructed my definition of ‘what a mother is’ and what emotions/feelings are attached to it.

The association points which I discussed in my previous blog were:

- Ice queen
- Morality
- Fear – and where this fear is closely connected to what it means to ‘care’

Related to the image of my mom’s “caring” yet fearful face – is an image of my mom sitting on the couch at the end of the day. To this I connected the ‘burden of being a mother’. My mother worked a bit more than half-time. She would get everything ready for us in the morning, she would take the train to work, get back home in the evening and then start with cooking. Then she would have to do work for school (she was a teacher) and then late at night she could just plop down the couch and relax. She maintained the house all by herself in terms of cleaning. All we kids had to do was clean our room (which in my case rarely happened); sometimes put the dishes away and from time to time kick our dirty laundry down the stairs for our mom to pick up. So even though she worked “part-time” at school, including with everything she did in the house and family things – she was pretty much working all the time.

I would often tease her and harass her in the evenings, when my parents would put up a movie to watch that we didn’t want to see – and then they’d fall asleep after ten minutes being completely knocked out. In the evenings I would also ask her to do or check things for me and then she would say something like ‘Please, just let me SIT for 10 minutes!!!’ – where sometimes I thought if I would push more she would end up crying or something. So here, the whole ‘burden’ association came from: being a mother is hard, you have to bring in money, take care of the kids, take care of the husband, take care of the house and in the evening you can sit for a bit before you’re knocked out and that’s your “me-time”.

The next association is that of ‘mother’ being connected to ‘adult’.

I touched on this point in one of my other blogs in my Leila’s Journey to Life blog, in Day 173: My Moral Code & Politics and the blogs that followed from that. The Adult point consists of kind of a dogmatic belief that Adults ‘know it all’ and Adults ‘know best’. Like there is an unspoken agreement between all adults to act as if they know what they are doing, and deliberately act in a way so that anyone who’s not an adults (= kids) does NOT know everything and should thus ‘shut up, be quiet and listen/respect your elders’. That’s not how I looked at it back then though. When I was the kid, it was a naivety and also kind of a point of innocence, where you trust your parents to know what they’re doing. I strongly believed that whatever decisions my parents made, they had good reason to go for that decision. After all, they are ‘adults’ – they have been around longer than I have, they must be right.

And I mean, the first thing I was faced with when finding out that I was pregnant was “Shit I am not prepared for this”. There are so many things that I still have to figure out and so many things that I have questions about – how the hell am I now going to take care of someone else? I can’t handle that trust – I don’t know anything!!!

I remember when I found out that my parents weren’t omniscient – and it was a big deal, I really felt betrayed because they had purposely portrayed themselves this way to get us to be obedient and see them as authority figures – I felt manipulated! So one of the reactions I had to finding out that I was going to be a mother was ‘Am I now also have to join that gang, and ‘pretend’ that I know “everything” and “know what I am doing”. You could say I connected ‘Adult’ to ‘Mother’ and in turn connected ‘Deceiver/Pretender’ to ‘Adult’ lol.

Will continue with this association exercise in my next blog
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