Mother of All Days
It’s Mothers’ Day in Australia today, so I hope all the mums out there are getting some relaxation and being shown just how much they’re appreciated. If not, go kick some offspring butt and make them give you the respect you deserve!
Mothers’ Day is a bit of a tricky one for me. It carries a lot of emotion. I guess the primary reason is that despite wanting to, Mr Raw and I are unable to have children because of my autoimmune conditions. It’s something we’ve mostly come to terms with, and we’ve celebrated other joys in our life that may not have been possible if we had become parents. But seeing friends my age and younger, enjoying parenthood so much, can still sometimes cause some sadness and longing for ‘what could have been’. Mind you, we’re not alone. I have a few friends who have also been unable to have children. Some are still struggling through IVF, and others have accepted that it won’t happen but are yet to come to terms with the emotions and finality involved. There are many reasons among us, but Mothers’ Day is somewhat of a torment for us all. However, that being said, I love watching my friends who are parents, especially the mums. Seeing these women I’ve known from school, or who I’ve employed, or who have employed me, watching them grow and become strong, nurturing goddesses, giving more love than they ever thought possible to their beautiful children.
My own mother and I have had a strained relationship at times, so it hasn’t always been happy in that sense either. Actually, strained is an understatement. I have issues, she has issues, and together we have more issues. We spent several years estranged. But we have a good relationship again now, and I see her regularly. In fact, I lived with her last year, for the first time since I was 16. So today’s not negative in that sense this year, but it definitely has been in the past.
We also had a family tragedy last year when Mr Raw’s young cousin died from suicide. She chose to take her life on Mothers’ Day. To dramatically understate (because words just aren’t enough), her mother is devastated. Her life now revolves around grief and trying to raise awareness for suicide, depression, and post traumatic stress disorder, in her daughter’s name. This year’s Mothers’ Day is one of grieving for our family, and of course, it will always be so.
I’ve decided to also write about something else for Mothers’ Day, the effect a mother’s influence and bond has on her daughter’s health. After reading this article by Dr Christiane Northrup, I started pondering how my own mother influenced my (completely unfabulous) health. But let me start by stressing this is not about laying blame! I love this quote from the article:
Our bodies and those of our daughters were created by a seamless web of nature and nurture, of biology informed by consciousness that we can trace back to the beginning of time. Thus, every daughter contains her mother and all the women who came before her. The unrealized dreams of our maternal ancestors are part of our heritage. To become optimally healthy and happy, each of us must get clear about the ways in which our mother’s history both influenced and continues to inform our state of health, our beliefs, and how we live our lives. Every woman who heals herself helps heal all the women who came before her and all those who will come after her.
My mother has had some trauma in her life, and her own related and non-related health issues. Those are her stories to tell, not mine, so I won’t go into detail. However, it’s fair to say that her experiences and reactions have affected some of my own, and influenced my perceptions and choices at times. Her fears, strengths, choices, beliefs, sorrows, and joys, have all in some way or another influenced aspects of my life, and these directly and indirectly have influenced aspects of my health. A very specific example, and one that I don’t mind talking about, as it’s something that’s so prominent in my mind as I try to change my ways and heal, is my: Perfectionism. Self-inflicted stress. Rushing. Impatience. Workaholic-ness. Unrealistically high standards for my own achievements. Trying to do a million things at once. Refusing to stop when I need to. Considering my fatigue, illness, needs, as a weakness and refusing to give into them. Etc. Etc. Etc. My mum was the role model in these areas. She rushes around at a million miles an hour, constantly busy, undertaking several tasks at once, refusing to stop when her own health troubles her, judging herself by her achievements for the day. Setting unrealistic targets and meeting them repeatedly. She built her own house while working full-time and managing an agricultural business! She is an incredibly strong, capable, inspiring, motivational woman, and I am grateful I had her influence and grew up knowing that anything is possible and that I can be and do everything I want. I knew I was the decider of my destiny, and that I didn’t have to let anything stand in my way. She raised me to be a strong, independent, capable, thoughtful, and analytical woman, and so much of what I’ve achieved in my life is due to her early influence. But, those skills and attributes can be very hard to turn off when you need to, and for physical and mental health sometimes you DO need to. I have always had trouble with the switching off part. I’m trying to learn. My mum encourages me to learn to switch off. But, even though she’s better than she used to me, she also still struggles with it. A LOT. I think many women do. I’ve seen how it’s effected her health, and I’m painfully aware of how it’s effected my own. So, influenced by Dr Northrup’s article, I’m now seeing my healing mission as not just being about me, but also about my mum. Of being a role model for her. Of healing us.Unless otherwise credited, all images and words ©Raw Once More 2013 Feature image credit: Retro Mothers’ Day
Posted on May 12, 2013, in Family Friends Community Love, Living With Autoimmune Conditions, Relax! and tagged Anxiety, Autoimmunity & Chronic Illness, Balance, Family, Happiness, Health, Inspiration, perfectionism, Stress. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.