The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

And for that, you are a goddess.

Sunday, January 27, 2008


Mistaken Diagnosis

My son seemed depressed, really depressed. He didn’t want to get up in the morning. His energy level was the lowest I had ever seen, even though he was always hungry and ready for something to eat. Time to have a “man to man,” “woman to man,” “mom to son,” -- heart to heart talk!

“Is there anything going on that I should know about, Nathaniel?”

“What do you mean, Mom. You know everything,” was his quick, glib reply.

“Oh, I was just wondering. You seem to have no energy, no real drive. You just want to stay in
bed and sleep. Can I do something to help?”

“Sure, Mom, you can do something. Stop worrying.” He sauntered out the door.

The days passed and still he showed little of his usual enthusiasm and zeal. Even lacross, at which he excelled, seemed to require inordinate encouragement.

One day he initiated the conversation stating that it bothered him that I expected so much energy and constant enthusiasm about everything from him.

“It doesn’t give me much self esteem knowing you consider me dull and slow, Mom” and then he added sarcastically, “just because you’re such a perpetual motion machine who loves to get up at day break.”

I thought about this for a day or so. Rather than talk about it, I sat down and wrote him a letter, a letter about self-esteem. Look at the words I told him. I cannot give you what you must take for yourself. You must feel that what you are achieving is sufficient, your best, or at least makes you proud of yourself and satisfied that you did your best.

This seemed to alleviate my concerns. No more was said. Time passed and he matured into a son to be proud of, one who has well deserved self-esteem and gives credit and thanks and notice others.

Years later, my son remarked to me. “Remember, Mom, how I hated to get up in the morning, how tired I always was, and how much this bothered you? Those were the two to three years I grew from 5’ 9’’ to 6’ 4”. My feet went to a size thirteen shoe. “

I realize now that he was right. You have the same number of years to reach 6’ 4” as you do to grow to 5’ 4” and growing and building additional bone and tissue takes a lot of extra sleep. It’s so logical to think about now, but at the time I was not aware. I was thinking of the psychological implications of need for extra sleep.

Hindsight does not always help much in mothering.

By Ruth Scott


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