Good Enough Mother

Photo Credit: stephcarter Flickr via Compfight cc

Advice to back off
Advice to do more

Be a good enough mother
Not too good
Don’t overdo it
Don’t make him dependent on you
He will never be able to care for himself
He’ll end up in codependent relationships

From other health care professionals
Make sure he eats three meals and three snacks a day

He doesn’t eat complete meals on his own
He just eats protein bars and popcorn
Honestly, though, when I was sixteen
My lunch was a Tiger’s Milk bar and Diet Coke

I am so sick of taking care of my son
My son who has had migraines and cyclic vomiting since he was a toddler
I can’t even imagine living with so much pain, so much vomiting
But, I’ve had it with being compassionate
My patience is wearing thin

So sick of it
Fed up

And, I just want to chill
To do nothing
I typed “nothering” rather than nothing
Nothering, not mothering, not nothing, but Nothering
That is what I need to do
Less mothering
More nothing

I feel fatigue at a deep level
At a cellular level
In my bones
In the marrow of my bones
I feel tears wanting to flow
Being held back by what
By a dam
By a façade of functionality

Kitt O'Malley

If you check out Kitt O'Malley on LinkedIn, you'll see that she has worked as a legal assistant, psychotherapist, and commercial real estate professional before reinventing herself as a mental health advocate. As a mental health advocate, wife and mother, she neglects housework as she blogs at about living with bipolar disorder, parenting an adolescent migraineur with social anxiety, and being caregiver of aging parents - one with alcohol-related dementia and the other with vascular dementia secondary to stroke. She's overwhelmed, to say the least.

7 thoughts on “Good Enough Mother

  1. Kathleen Bailey

    So hard to say out loud but so necessary. I was always wanting my son to hurry up and grow up. I loved him like crazy! But there it was – Unfortunately Mom’s refrain was always “if it weren’t for you kids…” and then there I was saying and thinking it all the time, when it was my turn. You”re not odd or bad.

  2. Mark Bradley

    Hey Kitt,

    It’s good to be Nothered now and then…as a child and an adult. Needing is relentless. We all need each other, but it’s important to stop needing to be needed.


  3. Dyane Harwood

    Incredibly powerful…

    “Nothering” – that word (and paragraph) resonates with me so deeply, although I face different challenges as a mother with bipolar disorder.

    This work truly represents the goal of Feminine Collective for one’s writing to be raw and unfiltered – thank you so much for writing this, and for sharing it, Kitt!

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