"Admiration" by RasMarley
Despite the difficulties I had with my mother I admired much about her. That I admired so much about a woman who could be abusive speaks to the craziness of our relationship and my own struggles.
Yet and still my mother was a hard worker. Whatever she set her mind to achieve, she remained committed until she had ascertained the goal. As for not gaining the goal, I cannot remember anything that she set out to do and she later admitted not having accomplished.
This is weird to think about, because there are things in my life that I set out to gain, but for whatever reason have not attained, forfeited them. Somewhere during the first five years of my marriage I entered a graduate program in social work. I went through the orientation and everything. I began the classes.
I remember being in a class where the professor discussed the work that goes into being a mother. He used as an example, his experience of looking to hire a person to care for his children. Both he and his wife were professors and worked outside the home. I remember among the many things he said, was.
"That some people have a way with children. That nurturing children almost seemed to come second nature to them. Spending enormous amounts of time with children did not produces stress, rather it energized these kinds of people."
He emphasized that when looking for a sitter or someone to come into your home to care for your children, you are looking for a secondary mother, or nurturer. And that what they will be doing, caring for your child, interacting with your child, is work of the highest order.
This is the same professor who said that the primary caretaker is the a child's first teacher, that this caretaker, be it the biological or adoptive mother, woman or man, nanny, sitter or daycare provider, was/is the child's first and primary interface with the world.
It is through this person, and interactions with this person, that the child in their care will come to not only see, but engage with the world. My mother, an elementary school teacher, lived five miles from her mother.
My mother returned to work a year after giving birth to me. A year living on my father's farm and working as a housewife and mother was enough for my mother. She needed financial and emotional freedom that working outside the home provided.
To accomplish this she asked her mother, my maternal grandmother, to care for me during the day. My mother was prepared to bring me to her mother's home and pay her mother for keeping me during the day.
My grandmother, who had raised six children and had worked as a stay-at-home wife and agreed to do this, but asked my mother if she would let me remain the night. In other words, my maternal grandmother told my mother to bring me to her home on Sundays and leave me until Friday.
And this is how she cared for me. I will always be indebted to my grandmother for asking this of my mother, but more importantly of my mother choosing to go back to work and agreeing to let me spend the week at my grandmother's home.
My mother's mother, my maternal grandmother, taught me everything I know about mother and being a wife and mother who works full-time in the home.
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