I love this quote! When your children grow up and take bold, and sometimes foolish steps we can only stand back and let them make mistakes. But occasionally a miracle follows and it turns out, not only all right, but fantastic!
Being confident in your mothering (ok guys your ‘parenting’) takes courage every day. When decisions are taken that any mother would know would spell disaster, or at the very least, hard times, it takes courage to let it happen and let the lessons be learned without maternal interference.
As I am aware of my own maternal struggles, I realise what my own mother must have gone through. When I was just pregnant with my elder son, my husband and I made the decision to leave the security of a well-to-do family in Dublin and come to Australia with only $50 in our joint pocket. What??! Are you mad, Maura?!
My poor mother sobbed when I left. It was dark, it was cold and I had to leave when it was pouring rain. I thought Mum was crying because I was leaving but I know now she was crying for that reason and the frustration of looking at my awful decision!
But miracles do happen. I was happy to be going to explore the other side of the world. I had already been to Africa and I felt confident coming to Australia, even though I barely made it off the boat when my son arrived! But Australia has been good to me. I love this sunburnt country, so much that I felt that I could kiss the ground when the ship docked. Alas, too fat with pregnancy so my husband was spared the embarrassment!
Once you have responsibility for another human you find all your other reference points fade away. Now the baby-child-teenager and then adult, remain your focus. That is until menopause when we were meant to take stock, let go and sort ourselves out first. At this time of life, it is not only a good thing for a woman, but a good thing for the entire family, for her to take better care of herself at last.
Grannies are so valuable! Those of us that are not grandmothers yet so envy the others whose feet are being tripped up by tiny little persons. The lessons we can offer are only possible if we have the wisdom to let the little ones develop confidence and courage to take steps backward as well as forward.
Sometimes it takes courage just to face another day. Lots of women live lives ‘of quiet desperation’. Giving another person a smile can make the difference in a person’s day. But you can sometimes baulk at a major change at this time of life, mainly because we realise how things can turn pear-shaped. But take a firm hold on your confidence and just do it!
It is better to make the decision yourself rather than have a decision forced on you by someone else. If you are a natural procrastinator, remember the man who never made a mistake, never made anything. I look at my unfinished projects and shiver with guilt that they are still there, looking at me. But what if I make the decision not to finish them? Does that make me feel better or worse?
Resolving problems comes easier to some personality types. But others delay decisions until they are forced by circumstances to go one way or another. That’s ‘management by crisis’! My ex-husband was so good in a crisis that he unconsciously let things go until there actually was a crisis and he could shine! Boring old preventive me was appalled!
It was a bold move to divorce and make a life for myself, but again miracles do happen. Now I have a good professional reputation and do interesting work, have two wondrous sons and friends galore. If only Mother could see me now…