The Parental Split

It is funny how some days and events are engrained in the memory long after they occurred. Twenty five years ago my parents marriage was over, the day is as clear now as then, combined with being muted of words and feelings to be expressed left me alone and unable to express the world I now felt part of. I already knew things were not right with their marriage, and my father leaving for another woman did not surprise either as already knew he was having an affair with someone else but as an eleven year old I was not able to say as much as was what my instincts had said for months. My father was the parent I could trust, my mother was not, making the blade of pain that bit sharper that felt like it cut me up day after day as she sunk in her venom like a snake.

I hurt for days to months and years after the day itself as like so much in life it is the ripple or domino effects we feel from the actions of others. It is only as an adult can I put myself in the shoes of both parents; to think of and empathise with the emotions and feelings they were going through. What that day continues to teach me is how important communication is and the children should not be left in tearful mute because the adults do not talk on issues. My father managed to highlight again how poor a communicator he and my mother are by neither expressing what the “split” actually meant. Why could someone not say it meant it was over. My step mother could not understand as I tried to explain to her things I could not change or have done differently then when in contact after a decade of paternal estrangement.

I have learnt that we need to talk to each other and accept things in life, no matter how hard they seem today because these are the foundations of tomorrow. Thus dwelling on the past means we cannot enjoy what the present has and it soon will be but a memory too. I may not speak to my father again but that is my choice as this day was the domino for times he’s hurt and/or let me down when I have tried. My mother still will never move on from that day, many a time she still sees me as that eleven year old girl, not the woman of almost thirty seven. All our actions have consequences, so remember that and the ripples they touch (the good and the bad). Life is not disposable, nor is it recycled, so appreciate those that bring us joy and love, not bring us down with negativity and jealous hate.

© Fi S. J. Brown


A Mother’s Day letter

The chances of me having a child that is biologically my own are very slim for many reasons, however inspired by Maya Angelo I have written a letter to the daughter I have never had to mark Mother’s Day.

To my dearest daughter,
You are the most special person I have ever held in my arms and will ever hold in my heart. There is no course for being a mother, no book, website or babysitting can really prepare you. For the nine months you grew inside me, feeling you grow, I thought of what of me was growing with you. The day you were born, I thought I would drown you with all my tears touching your little fingers and toes. I was so scared I would mess it up on day one that by two you may have been taken from me as though it had been some mistake that now had to be corrected by the universe, as I did not believe I was allowed to create, hold and care for someone so special forever and ever. I considered observing and asking how friends for advice along the way, from breast feeding to what school you should go to. In the end I did what I always do, weigh up my options but ultimately go with what feels right, trusting my instincts.

Every day you grow, asking more questions than even I asked at your age but like me you know an answer leads to yet more questions, which need time to consider,  thinking about what you have learnt and what you would like to learn about next. You paint with your words, brushes, and music, never forget that creativity is your self expression and does not matter that it is not understood by the masses or bring you in money, as long as it brings you happiness. Equally, your love and affection to me and others is beautiful beyond equal, but remember if someone truly loves you back it is a priceless gift so do not abuse or throw it away as though it were a tired old toy. There are many that will hurt you and put you into boxes, so embrace your individuality as much as what brings you connections with others. Blood and genes we may share, but the best thing I can give you is the freedom to be you.

Today is mother’s day, for me every day is mother’s day as I get to call you my daughter and I will never tire of hearing you call my name or seeing your smile from eyes to lips. I know how blessed and fortunate I am to have you in my life, for as long as we journey together and you continue after I am unplugged from the life matrix.

All my love and best wishes always,
Mum xxx

The Childcare Paradox

Why is it that a woman who chooses to stay at home to bring up her child it is seen as a “waste of time” instead of having a job, where the child is left in the care of others? “You’re throwing away your potential” cry some, how is wanting the best for a child throwing anything away, surely we are by being there when our child needs us most, being a true mother and not just the woman who gave birth to them. A child’s relationship with each parent is different and unique to that child, surely the influences of both matter?

We praise our teachers as they do so much and are often overstretched by doing increasingly more than teach, which should be the role of parent but is blamed on bad parenting for them having to do so. It’s almost like we cannot win, whatever we choose. A parent of either gender can act as teacher, nurse, counsellor, disciplinarian, storyteller, chef, etc. on one day alone, but does not get the same recognition or respect from others as chooses this as their vocation rather than a slave for money to others.

If we educate our children at home instead of mainstream schools there is also a stigma that some how they are failing to learn important life skills that being at school brings. Yet as life is all about learning new things and age is not a barrier to learning, why not use the world around us as a classroom rather than box in a child physically, mentally and emotionally. A child’s curiosity should be encouraged as much as their creativity, to develop who they are as individuals not what is interpreted they need to learn.

Is the family unit being destroyed like so many other things, another part of the ever crumbling cookie. We are told each generation is getting smarter, faster, better, when the reality is we’re getting stupider, slower, and sicker than our elders. The lack of respect some of the younger and older generation show each other is worrying too. Older people have the experience, knowledge and wisdom, the youth as want it all now and cannot wait for tomorrow, with the new adventures it will bring. 

© Fi S. J. Brown