Motherhood and Helplessness


That look…

I recognized that look. The agonizing pain in his eyes. I’ve seen it before.

I first saw that look over 5 years ago.

When I told him he and I will be staying at his grandparents’ house and we are not going back to the apartment.

The same look he showed me three years ago during his kindergarten graduation day.

When he cried because he wanted mommy and daddy to come home together.

He had that look yesterday.

The disappointments…

The sadness…

How he tried to hide his tears but failed to do so.

How he buried his head in the pillow not wanting to show me.

Yet every inch of me feels his pain. Every cell in my body screams to protect him. To seal him from disappointment and heartache. My heart cracked wide open feeling so helpless.

But all I could do is just holding him close.

All I could do is telling him I love him and keep encouraging him to make contacts.

And he shuts down…not knowing how to express his feelings.

So I probe a little deeper.

Are you angry?

He only shook his head.

Are you sad?” I wanted him to be more comfortable in using his words to express how he feels.

Yes, I’m sad…

It’s been months, Mommy…” he whispered.

I know it has been a long time isn’t it?” Running my fingers through his thick hair, my heart is weeping for this sweet boy of mine. “Then message Daddy…you can ask him too.

He is busy…

Maybe he is busy but he can reply to your message when he can.

All of these were unfolding in front of Dan yesterday during our Sunday Skype, he got to witness how much pain my boy is carrying around from missing his father. Dan encouraged my son to contact his Dad too. We both thanked him for opening up…for sharing how he feels even when it is truly painful. Dan even told Alex that he is so loved by all of us, that he is sure his father misses him greatly too.

His father has moved out of the country earlier this year to Cambodia and I keep trying to bridge them to communicate. Sometimes it feels like I am stretching it too far…I don’t want him to feel like his father has forgotten him. I only wish they can have a great relationship together. I understand his father currently have a lot on his plate but to almost 9 years old, he just needs to connect with his Dad.

I wish I could fix things for my son, but I can’t…I can only give him the love and support he needs as he tries to understand the different dynamics in his life. By acknowledging his feelings, making him feels secure in letting us see how much he misses his father and reassuring him that he is loved by all of us. These are all the things that I could do albeit the things that are beyond my control…at least I can do that.

Has motherhood ever left you feeling helpless?

I’m linking up with my favorite Australian blogger MacKenzie from Reflections from Me.

Author: Maureen

Maureen is a Community Builder and Leader. Founder of founder of Single Moms Indonesia Writing, photography, traveling and all creative things are some of her favorite things to do. On a quest of finding joy in everyday life and living life to the fullest with kindness, compassion, grace and a bit of sass.

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  • I feel terrible for you and especially your son. It’s tough being a parent and not being able to make the hurt go away. I do hope his father will realize how important it is to communicate with his son and to let him know that he’s loved and cherished.

  • I am not a parent yet so I can only imagine what you’re going through and probably isnt even half of how you’re feeling but I think you’re doing a great job by loving him and caring for him and letting him know its ok to express his feelings

  • Motherhood is joyous and heart breaking and it never goes away. My children are in their 30’s and it is still hard knowing they are going through situations that can not be fixed by a mother’s hug. Hugs to you but your son has a great support system with a great mom and in the long run that will always make up for any pain he feels in life.

  • How tough. I can honestly say that I’ve felt this exact way many times. I wish I could just jump in and fix everything, but sadly it doesn’t work that way and it’s heartbreaking. Hugs to you both.

  • heartbreaking, gosh it can be so unfair what these little ones have to go through! Sucks, it just sucks. So sorry honey. Yes motherhood often leaves us feeling helpless. My 11 year old is mad at me, why did we have to move? Why did we have to say goodbye to our dog Stan? (because he bit your brother in the face), why do you have to work? You don’t have enough time for me! I feel helpless a lot, but I am doing my best and am loving her so much I could burst, we are mothers and we can’t fix things we wish we could. But we can love them. Take care of yourself and thank you for such an honest and touching post #mg

  • Father & his children. My husband also works away from us. The girls are never excited when their father calls. But when they meet each other, they can get along so closely and go everywhere together. I don’t know how to help them to express themselves when their father is away. I feel you.