How helpful it would have been to me had my mother explained some of the unexpected phases in motherhood. She didn’t. At most, she would only always use this cryptic line on me: “Daughter, you are. Mother, you shall be.”
Hereafter, I had to find it all out, on my own, twice. And let me tell you, that some of the unexpected phases in motherhood have potential to do odd things to your motherly mind!
For instance, when I gave birth to my first child and the doctor [not my husband; he fainted!] cut the umbilical cord, I felt an unexpected sense of separation take place between my son and me. At that very moment, I understood the entire concept of “individuality.” My little infant went from being One with me and completely protected within me, to now finding himself handled by all sorts of strangers. The nurses, you know, for various reasons were passing him around, after I held him for a brief moment, post-birthing. He now though would become “product” in life, and “mother’s instinct” kicked into high gear then, and ever since then, too! He’s a grown man now, age 36, and I am accustomed to the separate lives that we live, but no amount of individualism has been able to alter the special bond between me and my child.
A new distraction had come along when my son was 14; I had my second child, my daughter, and the unexpected phases in motherhood were much different with her. The cutting of the umbilical cord didn’t carry the same element of surprise that I had experienced with my son; I had expected it since I already knew of it, and hardly felt the “separation of individuals” unfold. However… a new “element of surprise” kicked me when she had turned 18 and her doctor’s office wouldn’t allow me to make medical appointments for her, anymore. The receptionist told me, right out, “Your daughter is 18; she needs to schedule her own appointment. Have her call us.” And just like that, she cut me off!
No one understood what that notion did to me! That, much like the cutting of the umbilical cord, the sudden “stripping away” of my motherly rights had such an impact on me, the new role forced me to realize how abruptly my life had changed! At that point in time, I was made to recognize, again, the unexpected phases in motherhood and that now my daughter and I reflect two separate individuals, each one with her own course to follow from there onward.
She’s now 22 and expecting her own child; and I found myself as a piece to a puzzle: looking to see where do I fit now? There’s a feeling of being “left out,” of the life I once lived, as Mom. Although I shall soon be Nana. Of course, though, I see it as if my life is all my own now, to do with the freed time whatever pleases me, and that idea pleases me…!