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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Writing Prompt:
Not My Mother's Daughter

This post is based on the following writing prompt from Mama Kat’s Pretty Much World Famous Writers Workshop:

Writing Prompt: Not your mother's daughter...how do you parent differently than your mother did? Is it a good thing or a bad thing?

She was tired by the time I arrived. Exhausted. Resigned.

She was everything to me, but she was distracted most of the time. Distracted by her pain. There was never an I love you whispered in my ear. I was in the way.

I understand. Not happily married. Not able to pursue a career. Or should I say that this is the life she chose? A victim. A martyr.

She loved me, but she was unable to care. In the end, I was her caregiver. Too young, and unprepared to deal with the disease that would claim her. But I did the best I could. I did what I knew how to do. Not enough, perhaps.

I learned. I grew. Without her.

She is a part of me, an awareness. And I remember the love. I remember her brilliance for though there was always pain, some days she shone bright as the sun. I remember that she did the best she could.

I can do better. I can accept that I am in control of my failures and my successes. I am not a victim. My life is a life I have chosen. Perhaps the life I choose tomorrow will be different, but here I have arrived. Here I am.

I am a different mother than my mother was to me.

I am my son’s tour guide. It is my job to point out the paths and then to let him choose. It is my job to help him assume responsibility for that choice. I look for ways to help him express his individuality, to learn what it is that he enjoys, to make mistakes, to try again and to succeed.

I am sometimes distracted as she was, but mostly I am aware. Thanks to my memory of her. I don’t blame others for my trials. I accept them and so focus on solutions rather than self-pity. I can ask my son for help, remind him to tell me what he needs. We can learn to listen to each other.

Listen. There is so much to hear.

My son will always know that I love him unconditionally. I tell him so every day. He will never go a day without at least one hug and a kiss on the cheek, so long as he wants them.

I am not my mother, but my mother is in me. I am aware. I am better. I am very fortunate and I am grateful. I am who I am because it is who I choose to be. And I am who I am because of who she was.

Thanks mom. I love you.

Mama’s Losin’ It

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This was my first ever writing prompt exercise. Being the relentless gammar freak that I am, it was a challenge for me to write in this style, with some short, incomplete sentences, but I went with it. I followed my heart where it wanted to go, and this was the result.


  1. This is beautiful! Truly. I can really identify too.

    My favorite line: "I am my son't tour guide..." I feel like that all the time.

    I am adding it to my Home Page as one of my favorite pieces of the year.

  2. This is absolutely beautiful.

    You love and your heart show through these words.

  3. I wrote on this same prompt. My parents were also older parents, and I was the third child. They were tired, and I Didn't get to the the sports & other activities that my older brother & sister did. I work hard to be different in that respect, too.

  4. Thank-you so much, ladies, for your wonderful words of encouragement.

    Tonya - wow! Thank-you. I'm honoured! You already know how I enjoy your blog.

    Thanks Tracie. You know I've talked to my husband about my mom many times (he never had the chance to meet her), but he read this and said it was nice to see that I loved her. Of course, I did, but I suppose I never told her that either. It was nice to have this opportunity.

    Cyndy, thank-you. I read your post also, and we really do have a lot in common. So nice to discover your blog. I'm a new fan!

  5. What a great post, great first attempt. I love how you wrote, "I am not my mother, but my mother is in me."

    I didn't do a prompt this week, but if I did, I would have written the same one. Except I couldn't. I have a complicated relationship with her, and am not ready to put it down in print.

    Love yours.

  6. Thanks Alison. I understand completely. Time, age, being a mother myself - those things have given me some insight as I look back on my relationship with my mom. I first had to mourn the loss of her, and that took many years. It's really only recently that I have been able to see her for all that she was. While she wasn't there for me the way that I needed her to be, she did do a lot of good. This post doesn't speak enough about all of the wonderful ways that she made the world a better place - and I regret that some. That's for another post, I guess.

  7. I love this post! Beautifully written, and with wonderful points.

    "I am a different mother than my mother was to me." Great perspective, and great for your son for you to have learned these lessons, even if it was hard.

  8. Thanks Greta. I really did learn a lot from my mom and I'm truly grateful for her sacrifices.

  9. Hi Cookie, I'm new to your blog. This is lovely and obviously took a lot of courage and reflection to write. Well done!

  10. Thanks for following! I am following you also. Great blog - love the logo!