I happened upon Swiss writer, photographer and travel Annemarie Schwarzenbach while researching lesbian writers who committed suicide in the 1940s–it’s a long story. Anyway, the point is that I found a translated quote by her about her relationship with her mother that, well, struck home:
“She brought me up as a boy and as a child prodigy…She deliberately kept me alone, to keep me with her […]. But I could never escape her, because I was always weaker than her, but, because I could argue my case, felt stronger and that I was right. And while I love her.” (Wikipedia–yes, I read it).
Now that Mother’s Day celebrations have concluded, I would urge all who consider themselves mothers or parents (etc.) to reflect on the impact you are having on your child/children. Children are not extensions of self, not objects for self-glorification, not old-age insurance, and not little adults. When you make the decision to have a child, it is not the fault of the child if your life does not work out the way you planned before/while you were pregnant.
A child can never be a failure nor a mistake, and ought never to be used as a tool to ensure relationships with others or with yourself. Being a mother is not a “Get of Jail Free” card that permits emotional, physical, spiritual, mental, or sexual abuse. Children are not meant to be pitted against each other for amusement or to ensure your role as being in complete emotional control (triangulation). Children are meant to share with each other, learn from each other, grow with each other. They are not experiments.
I write this for myself, loved ones, friends and anyone else who can relate.
Not all mothers (parents) are equal. That is a sad truth.