Why do mothers stare?

Have you ever thought of your mother as a person?

As not just the cocoon of warmth, the food provider, the problem solver, the shadow around your life which sustains you?

Have you ever seen your mother?

Not as the person she is now – but as what she would have been.

Mine, for example, had me when she was 23. I cannot imagine my life if I had a child to look after at that age. How is that our mothers had to grow up so much earlier than we did?

Ever gone out with your mother? To places she is not comfortable in, meeting new people? See her trying to cope with a world which moved on and left her behind?

I know a lot of us might have mothers who moved with the time and enjoy doing new things and live their lives. Such as they are. But have you ever thought what their lives would have been – if they could have lived them at 20 or 18 or 16 like we did, instead of having this mad dash at catching up at 40?

Try and see her in an unguarded moment in these sojourns, where she is ‘living her life’ and watch her stare off into space. Staring at the life she might have had, had she not been a mother. Stare at the things she gave up, the dreams and hopes and ambitions she might have had – the enormous burden of sacrifice she carries.

No wonder being a mother is the worst job in the world. It comes with so much regret.

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