I miss the days when mothering was simple. I felt important and wise and, to some degree, I was. My present day mothering of young adult children, who are living with life changing stresses, alternates between them clinging to me in that loving, nostalgic way and punches that knock me to my knees. As they stumble around and attempt to make their own separate lives, I stand at the ready to assist but all too frequently I am knocked to the ground and chastised for my failure to make everything work out exactly as they wish.
My offspring don't seem to realize that I am living with life changing stress, too. It feels as if they believe their father and I have finished with any living of our own. Our feelings, needs, hopes and dreams are inconsequential to any of theirs. I suppose their attitude comes from so many years of letting my children be the culmination of all I hoped for as a young girl. I wanted nothing more than to be a wife and mother; to have a family of my own with which to live. The problem is that having a family is not a feat to be accomplished; it is a way of living. Only lately it feels more like a boxing match where I spend most of my time unconscious on the mat.
But I am starting to learn how to box; to keep my head down and heart protected; to avoid the quick jabs ands punches that come my way. And when I get hit square and fall to the mat, I'm learning how to get back up again.