Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

The Mother-Daughter Bond November 8, 2010

Last week my mum went home to England after spending six weeks with us. It’s always a bittersweet departure. While she’s here, my life is disrupted, work doesn’t get done, my daily routine is all off, and I never seem to see much of my husband. By the time she leaves I’m ready to get my life back, but I’m never glad to see her go. I know it’s going to be at least six months before I see her again and I know that if she ever really needed me (or vice versa) we are 24 hours away from one another. I often worry that one day that will be too far. But I’ve chosen my life and she accepts it, and we both know that even though we only see one another twice a year, over the course of a year she actually spends more hours with me than with either of my brothers. Somehow the arrangement works out for us.

I live by the beach, (so naturally, I seldom actually go to the beach) and over the course of her visits we’ve developed a tradition of going to the beach on her last day here. It’s always a glorious day, even if the weather has been mediocre for the rest of her trip. We walk down to the beach, get an ice cream, put our feet in the ocean for a while, and then lay on the sand in the sun.

This time we dozed for a while and at one point I woke up and looked at my mum asleep beside me. I was overcome by just how much I loved her.  It’s such a deep, binding love, different to the way I love my husband, or my friends. She is my mother. I am a part of her and because of that we will always be inseparable. It was an almost primal feeling.

And then of course, the other feeling struck me. I realized that no one will ever feel that way about me, and likewise I will never know what it feels like to love my own child.

It was a fleeting thought, not one to linger and bring me down, but I daresay it’s a thought I will have again, probably the next time I say goodbye to my mum.


5 Responses to “The Mother-Daughter Bond”

  1. Kathryn Says:

    Well, this is hardly encouraging, but not all children feel that way about their mamas.

    I think part of the reason i so wanted to be a mama is that i did not have that kind of relationship with my mother. She was cold and aloof and critical, and i do not remember ever once seeking her for comfort. I wanted to create a family where the children were warm and loved.

    So, even tho neither of us will have that with a child, and i am sincerely, deeply sorry for both of us that way, i envy your relationship with your Mum. (Poor, poor me, i don’t have that either way. Whine, bitch.)

    I don’t think i’m saying this well, but you are blessed. More than three days with my mother (every two to three years) is agony for me. I always dreamed of having a mama like yours.

    • lmanterfield Says:

      Well, if you can’t whine and bitch here, where can you?

      I’m really sorry that you don’t have that relationship with your mom. I know that I am very lucky. Maybe I could rent my mum out. 🙂

      Hugs to you.

  2. Mali Says:

    These fleeting thoughts still bite though, even if they don’t linger. I have similar ones about my mother, as I help her out as she ages, and wonder who will do that for me.

  3. Lily Says:

    So glad you were able to have such a special time with your mum.

  4. Sonja Lewis Says:

    A fellow expat in reverse to your situation, how wonderful that your mom visits. My mother is not a traveller, so she hasn’t come to England but I see her twice/year when I come to US. We do have a good relationship but it must be special to have your mom enter your space.

    Anyhow, just to say I think such feelings will always creep in but it doesn’t mean that you are not fulfilled in other ways. Let them run their course, the feelings that is.


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