With Easter behind us, Mothers’ Day can’t be far away.
Some mothers just plain and simple should never have been mothers. This is not about them.
This is about the less-than-perfect mothers who looked forward to having children and truly love their sons and daughters – but didn’t have a clue how to go about the whole parenting thing. And usually with good reason. Maybe their own mothers were in that first category – they should never have been mothers. Maybe their mothers were absent in their formative years – having died early or abandoned the family, or had mental health/substance use issues that made them “absent” even when they were present. Or maybe their mothers, like themselves, had a flawed role model because their own mothers and grandmothers weren’t so great.
Very few mothers set out intending to be lousy parents. But if they never learned the skill by watching their own caregivers’ example, or they experienced inconsistent or poorly nurturing mothering, all the parenting books in the world aren’t, by themselves, going to overcome the damage of experience going back multiple generations. One can believe that mothering is instinctual, but it is not. A mother’s love may be, perhaps. A mother can love her children on a very deep level, but can’t overcome generations of that love never bubbling to the surface and being demonstrated unconditionally when she is not even aware that her own mother-daughter interactions lay the foundation for her own behavior. She may not have had the opportunity to learn the full scope of mothering.
More mothers than not fall into this category – intending to be good parents, aspiring to be, but falling short of their own expectations, and not having a clue how to do it better – or why they’re not doing it “right” in the first place.
We really are shaped by our experiences in life, and no experience is more influential than the parent-child one, particularly mothers and daughters.
That is what In Her Mother’s Shoes is about. Meredith is emotionally distanced from her own children but doesn’t understand why. She loves them more than life itself, yet she has not a clue how to show it, let alone say it. As she sorts through her mother, Katherine’s, house before selling, she finds clues to Katherine’s shadowy past. Meredith begins to understand why her mother related so poorly to her children and is shaken by parallels in her relationships with her own children. But understanding is the first step in healing.
So often mothers and daughters struggle with their relationships. Consider giving the moms in your life the gift of In Her Mother’s Shoes, a story of difficult relationships and the journey to understanding and healing.
Both In Her Mother’s Shoes and Autumn Colors can be purchased as paperback or ebook at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, through the Apple Store, or can be ordered through your local bookstore. Signed copies are available through my website, www.dawnlajeunesse.com. If you have read either or both and liked them, a review on any of the book sites would be appreciated!