Sunday, 11 May 2014

'Breaking from Your Parents' book by Daniel Mackler and remembering mothers

It's Mothering Sunday today in the US and I'd noticed on Facebook the latest book by Daniel Mackler being promoted by a "friend": 'Breaking from Your Parents'.  

"'Breaking from Your Parents' explores such topics as confronting parents, dealing with siblings, becoming financially independent, doing self-therapy to strengthen ourselves, grieving our losses, dealing with the world’s judgments and negative pressures, healing our childhood traumas, making respectful friends and living a healthy lifestyle. The book is direct, straightforward and supportive—and takes the point of view that there can be great value for us all in our taking distance from our parents."  

My immediate reaction to this title wasn't positive, I've got to admit it, I felt resistance.  For family are everything to me, always have been since I was a bairn.  And being a mother has been the best thing ever in my life, next to my Christian faith.

I know that the reality for some, and maybe many, people is that they have no other option but to separate from family completely so as to heal and have quality of life.  I'm thinking of people who may have been scapegoated in a family, blamed for this and that, singled out for shame or for not being like everyone else in the "gang".  

I think it's good that Daniel has written this book as a help and support for people who have to break from their parents to have a life.  To stop the scapegoating or shaming so as to survive.  But at the same time I want to see more support for families to sort themselves out.  Not a blaming of mothers or fathers but for a healing process so that families can stay together and work things out, if possible.

On this day which remembers mothers I want to remember my mother, my father's mother and my mother-in-law, all women who did their best and who were role models for me as a mother.  It's hard these days to be a mother with all the pressures of life in a patriarchal society where the expectations on women are immense and at the same time the objectification of women is everywhere present and insidious.

I hope that for anyone who has to break with their parents to survive and thrive that there is also a way back in to having a better relationship with their mother and father.  For healing and forgiveness.  

I remember my mother's end of life and the precious months I spent with her before her passing, from lung cancer.  She had a good death and was at peace.  We had a church service after around the theme that she did the best she could.  We sang the hymn 'Great is They Faithfulness' and thanked God for my mother's life.

my granny and grandpa (father's parents), 1960's photo
me with my mum and dad, 1953
my mother-in-law circa 1976

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