There is a terrific rant currently going viral around Australian social media networks celebrating all kinds of different mothers and encouraging us to stop judging others and ourselves. Em Rusciano reminds that we are all good mothers – even if our parenting styles look different. You can read the article here.
It made me think about the judgements we place on ourselves as bereaved mothers. In general, the child loss community is fantastically supportive and kind. It would be a very small minority that would judge the way another is grieving. However, I think we often judge our own grief and the way we mother our angels. I look at those that honour their angels through setting up projects, raising incredible amounts for their chosen charity or those that have set up their own charities and wonder if my way of mothering Xavier is adequate. Should I be doing more for my little boy? When my tears don’t flow as freely, and I am having several good days in a row, I wonder, “Should I not be hurting more for my precious baby?” Yet, I have had people mention to me that they look at the creative things I do for Xavier and they wonder if they are doing enough in that space for their angel. Others long to get to a gentler place in the grief.
Figuring out how to the best mother you can be is difficult. Figuring out how to be the best mother to a child no longer in your arms is even more so. We look at those around us for inspiration and sometimes come away feeling inadequate. We put enormous strain on our already strained selves to do beautiful and wondrous things for our children. When really, breathing each day, getting up, or deciding to just stay in bed is wondrous when you have lost a piece of your heart. So, taking inspiration from Em’s new rules for motherhood, I wrote a set that apply to the bereaved mother.
1. Do you raise money, create, write, dream or paint in your child’s memory? – Good Mother
2. Are your tears the greatest testament to your love? – Good Mother
3. Do you get up and face the day even with your broken heart? – Good Mother
4. Do you stay in bed and cry for your lost love? – Good Mother
5. Do you embrace the things you have learned in your grief and find peace? – Good Mother
6. Do you rage each day at the unfairness of a universe that stole your child? – Good Mother
7. Do you love, grieve and miss them each and every day, no matter when they last were in your arms and make no apologies for doing so? – Good Mother