In 2017 I experienced clarity of mind in the bare bones simplicity of the Moravian church in Christiansfeld on Jutland in Southern Denmark. I was there with Lis Young, my fierce feminist friend, who once warned me about the Maternal Bond that she said was an oppressive and unrealistic ideal of motherhood. She was a doctor who lived large and well, travelling, adventuring, and passionately caring for her daughters who she raised to be sensitive, strong and independent. She was free and so were they.
I was with Lis in Denmark not just to celebrate our friendship in her homeland but also to have a break from my daily dance with the maternal bond.
Godless, we stood in the light streaming through the resoundingly empty church in Christiansfeld and I felt restored. I returned home to dilemmas that may beset any of us who have family members needing care.
Do I care too much or too little? Am I overprotective? Why do I feel guilty when I take time for myself? Which is worse, neglect or coercive control? Step forwards, step back. Engage. Retreat. Contemplate.