Stop Mothering Me   Leave a comment

I’ve noticed a trend in the last year. It’s not a trend I like.  It’s a trend I especially dislike when it’s directed at me.

Maybe it’s because I lost my mom that I’m more sensitive, or more it’s because most of these women know that I lost my mom and think, thus, I need mothering.  Whatever it is – I don’t like it.

Older women seem to think if their job to mother me, and by “mother” me, I don’t mean make me cookies and crochet me scarves – those things I like.  Nope, instead, they seem to think that the best way to love me is to give me advice.  I don’t like advice.

You see, my mom was really not one for advice.  I can only remember one time when she directly gave me advice, and that was in a letter, and it was clearly advice hard-wrung from her hand.  It was about being not only “innocent as doves,” but also “wise as serpents.”  She was concerned that I was being naive.  She was right.

But that’s it.  The only advice she ever gave me.

Somehow, though, these older women seem to think I need a lot of advice.  Maybe it’s because I’m open with my struggles; maybe it’s that they think that trying to show me a way through these struggles is what I’m asking for; maybe it’s because they don’t like to see me struggle and, thus, want to get me past the challenge as fast as possible.  I don’t know exactly why they do it.

But I wish they’d stop.

What I need are people who listen, people who tell me their stories and let me draw my own wisdom from their experiences, people who hold my hand and laugh with me and hand me a cookie.  I don’t need answers.  I need support.

So please, if you know a woman who is struggling, don’t advise her.  Don’t tell her how to “get over it” or get past it or get beyond it.  Instead, sit with her and listen.  Then, share. Be a friend.

That’s what my mother did, and she was the best.


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