Mama! Good ole’ mamma. She’s everybody’s favorite. She takes care of us, pampers us, spoils us, and understands us. Mama is selfless. Never does she place her needs above ours. Her schedule yields to our wishes and desires. In essence, there’s nothing Mama won’t do for the ones she loves.
Mama! What would we do without good ole’ Mama?
Mama is the like the sticker that wears a smile. She’s always making sure everyone else is happy. When it comes time to go on a family vacation, Mama declares that she’s fine with camping if that’s what the husband and kids want to do. Even though camping isn’t really her thing, she loves seeing how much her man and kids enjoy it. When they’re happy, she’s happy.
Mama keeps us all together. She’s the glue. Family time is Mama’s specialty. She creates events, schedules activities, arranges meals, and makes plans, all for the sake of ensuring that we spend time together. Nothing makes Mama’s heart sing more than surrounding herself with family. So, she plans family meals, gathers us a together for the big holidays, and goes out of her way to decorate and cook on special occasions, just for us.
Mama forms bonds between us. Whenever conflict begins to brew, it’s Mama who bridges the gaps, helps us see eye-to-eye, and brings us together so that our differences don’t divide us. Without taking sides, she validates each one of us and teaches us to tolerate one another. No matter the source of our friction, Mama smooths things out so that we can all live happily ever after.
Mama sticks her neck out on our behalves. She fights our battles. You’ll have to come through Mama to get to her cubs. She’ll lets no harm come to them. If anyone so much as utters a fowl word about one of her babies, she tears into them like a mama bear. She bears her teeth, shows her claws, and pounces on the offender.
From the time she marries her man to the time her babies are grown, Mama is the glue. In every way possible, she’s there for us.
And then one day, Mama suddenly comes unglued.
Her smile disappears. She’s not amenable to “going along with the plan.” No longer is she willing to go camping just because that’s what everyone else wants to do. Instead, she says, “Camping? Why would I leave my perfectly comfortable home to go live like a homeless person? You can all go jump in a lake. There’s no way I’m going camping!”
Then comes holiday time. But instead of putting up all the decorations and planning the menu, Mama says, “I’m not doing all that cooking for you folks. You can go out to eat for all I care. I’m sick of being the cook, the maid, and the organizer. Let someone else do it!
And, when we start bickering about the fact that Mama’s come unglued, Mama does nothing to minimize the friction between us. She sits back and acts like she doesn’t even give a hoot if we shoot each other. She makes us wonder if she wouldn’t prefer that we shoot each other.
Even outsiders can’t make her come to our defense. When the neighbors put us down or start a feud, Mama just ignores them and tells us to fend for ourselves. Problem is, we don’t know how to fend for ourselves! Mama’s always done it for us.
Mama doesn’t even stay together with regard to the things in life that only involve her! She seems to reject Dad, too. It’s as if she’s become an island. She doesn’t need any of us anymore. She just wants to be left alone.
She’s even distanced herself from various friends. She says she’s “had enough!” She’s tired of putting up with their crap. She used to be so chummy with her girlfriends. But now, she prefers to spend time alone. Recently, she’s acquired a lot of “un-friends,” “ex-friends,” “foe-friends,” “faux friends,”, and “de-friends.”
So, what’s going on with Mama? Why has she come unglued? Why has she severed all the ties that bound her?
Is it just a mood she’s in? Will it pass? Did someone do something to upset her? And how does the family “fix” her so that she’s good ole’ Mama again?
Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the fact is, Mama has come unglued for good. There’s no fixing her or making her “good ole’ Mama” again. Tethers are inherently binding, and most people eventually find bindings uncomfortable. It just took Mama abut 50 years to feel the bind.
The glue is gone! … along with all the other hormones that disappear at menopause.
Oxytocin. That was the glue. It made her fall in love with her man. It made her adore her children. It made her put them all before everything else and do anything to make them happy. In essence, oxytocin was the reason she was “good ole’ Mama.” And, without oxytocin, Mama will never be the same. She’s come completely unglued.
Loss of oxytocin makes Mama say, “I’m tired of being everyone else’s doormat. I’ve spent the last 20 -30 years putting myself last. And I’m not going to do it anymore. The glue is gone! From now on, it’s all about me! I don’t care about pleasing my man. Heck, I don’t care if I have a man, or ever have sex again. I don’t even care if I get divorced. I’ll welcome the freedom. And the kids, they’re on their own. Their problems are not my problem any more. I’m over it. And I don’t need so many friends. I already have too many.”
Unglued Mama is a menopausal Mama. And she’s normal.
Oh well, such is the stuff of menopause, and the ungluing of Mama. Whether you prefer the glued or the un-glued Mama, you’re stuck with the new, unglued version. The glue is gone, and so is good ole’ Mama.