When The Tables Start To Turn

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For years I have been so focused on mothering my own kids— reading, observing, conversing with peers, and essentially learning all that I can about all this monstrous job entails– that it never occurred to me that I could put those same skills to good use to help me better understand my own mother.

As a mother, I am constantly striving to improve my abilities to communicate with and relate to each one of my kids and the respective stages {crises} they are going through.

parenthood-mother-babyHaving survived so many intense experiences myself in so few years, {which will all be presented in my not-yet published memoir,} admittedly, I realize that I have become hardened to the sensitivities of others. In lieu of offering compassion, I try to motivate those closest to me much like a drill sergeant {thinks he is} inspiring his apprehensive wet-behind-the-ear recruits. I guess this style doesn’t work so well for most civilians or many of my loved ones.

These past few days have been spent with my brother’s family. They’ve been lodging next door at the neighbors, {my parents!} Standing outside of myself, I have been trying to understand our family dynamics from a fresh and mature optic. I made a discovery, and in one amazing blink of an eye, saw things in a whole new light—a true awakening. It doesn’t happen all too often, but when it does, I embark upon a crusade to encourage others to share in this grand epiphany.

I am trying not to be evasive and there is really no earth-shattering news that I am neglecting to report. Basically, it is just the realization that there comes a time in a woman’s life, when she must openly and honestly regard her own mother as simply another imperfect woman, vulnerable and insecure, toiling with those issues that mature women face. Our mothers may not be up all night consoling a frightened preschooler, or tending to a sick baby, but they battle their own demons–menopause, retirement issues, body image, sexuality, mortality, feelings of regret, loss—you name it.

Absorbed in my own world writing about my personal adventures with toddlers and parenthood, I often forget to look towards my own mother with empathy for her private turmoil while simultaneously, accepting what may lie ahead for me and my own daughters—decades down the road. The journey of life is full of surprises and each era ushers new joys and new struggles.

Like a pendulum ceaselessly swinging back and forth, one day we find ourselves relying upon our mother {or spouse or friend,} for emotional support and the very next day, they are the weary one in need of a shoulder to lean on. The key is to recognize when it is our turn to lead.

Being strong for another is a daunting proposition. Especially when it is a parent. But, our parents need us just as much as we need them.

We are only given in life what we can handle. And I do believe that we are more prepared to assume our shifting responsibilities than we are willing to accept or admit.

It is all just a cycle. Life is like that.

3 Comments
  1. Michael W Staib says

    Superbly written! I loved the magniloquent metaphor you evoked of our relationships oscillating like a swinging pendulum, shifting paradigmatically from needing to leading! Most importantly, thank you for your wisdom spoken in “honoring and obeying our parents,” using them as a paragon to model our parenting with children. Exodus 12:20; Luke 2:41-52; Ephesians 6:2; Colossians 3:20. – Michael

  2. Michael W Staib says

    Thank you again! Excellent work Mrs. Zeledon!

  3. Michael W Staib says

    You represent yourself as the consummate warrior mom—truly courageous, committed, and authoritative! All the highest of blessings always!

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