Mother’s Day is tomorrow. My calendar reminder just popped-up to be sure I wouldn’t forget. I have known that I wanted to write about this day, but I have struggled with this blog, and I have started and stopped for what feels like a zillion times. This seems like it should be an easy day to write about, since we all have a mother. But, what I want to say about Mother’s Day is a little different than the traditional message. I want to take a moment to talk about a side of mother’s day that often gets lost.

As with all holidays,` this one can either make you smile in excitement or groan in dread. Our relationships with our mothers, as well as mothering, are as different from person to person as personality and eye color. It is often conflicted within the same woman. For example, she may celebrate a relationship with her own mother, but long for an improvement in her relationship with her child. This day can be tough…and very complicated. I want to acknowledge and honor some of the many different ways you may be feeling today.

I have included some of the many scenarios you or someone you know may be experiencing on this day:

– Maybe you long to be a mother, but for some reason you have been unable to conceive. The incessant ticking of the biological clock can seem so loud, and the anxiety over what could possibly be wrong with you can be exhausting.

– Maybe your mother wasn’t kind or loving to you. Remembering past hurts and abuse on a day that is “supposed” to be happy can feel empty.

– Maybe you had an abortion and are remembering the child you will never hold.

– Maybe you have decided not to have children, but on this day, when others who have children are so celebrated, you wonder what you were thinking, or just want the day to be over so you can go back to normal.

– Maybe your relationship with your mother, or your children, is strained or non-existent, and while you would love to have it repaired you simply cannot see a way or how that could be possible.

– Maybe the miscarriages continued for you and now you are past the time of child bearing. You may feel “less than” other women who were able to give birth.

– Maybe your mother has died and you miss her. The grief can feel as real today as on the last day you saw her.

– Maybe you lost your child to physical illness or addiction.

– Maybe you adopted a child or gave your child up for adoption. The questioning over what is a “real” mother might appear to be an endless loop of agonizing thoughts.

– Maybe you are in transition with your child through a wedding, graduation or other life change.

– Maybe you are pregnant and excited, afraid, dreading, eager (so many possible emotions) for what is about to come.

– Maybe this is a joyful day for you as you celebrate being a mother to your children. Even in that there is often some guilt and fear that sounds something like this “please please please let them be ok. Let them make it in life. I hope I haven’t screwed them up.”

This list is by no means exhaustive of all that is going on in the hearts and minds of women and men on this day. Whatever you may be feeling and whatever your relationship to this day brings for you, please honor your experience. For those of you who are grieving, I grieve with you. For those of you who are celebrating, I celebrate with you. For those of you who feel inadequate, please let me encourage you that you are enough. For those of you who are afraid, I wish you peace. It’s ok not to feel like a saying on a greeting card today. Let the day get softer and easier as you acknowledge your feelings in a non-judgmental way about mothering.

Whatever is showing up for you on this day… let it be.

With love,

Rosemary

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