When Mother’s Day is hard, it can be a day of conflicting emotions.
The week leading up to it and the day can fill us with so many mixed emotions. Maybe because we all carry different scars and experiences and life is complicated.
We can feel like a failure. Think others view us as a failure.
We may be bustling around planning menus and buying gifts and cards.
We may be reminded of emotions and memories about our childhood we would rather forget.
The day can remind us that we are in this parenting thing all alone. That we have no one to take the children shopping for gifts or to make us breakfast in bed.
We may think of our mother and be awash in gratitude and love.
We may feel that our compensation on that day is not in proportion to the job we do or the time we invest. We may even by jealous of friends whose families do a better job than ours at honoring us.
The day may seem to laugh at us and painfully remind us once again of miscarriages and infertility that is keeping us from being a mother.
We may feel excitement because this is one of our favorite days of the year. Past memories flood our brain and bring a smile to our lips.
We may go card shopping and think all the cards are just to positive, cheerful, and kind for our mother whose words and actions left multiple scars on our heart.
Our mother may be gone and we now feel adrift, especially around Mother’s Day. Who do we call now? We feel the loss, and it aches worse on Mother’s Day.
Some have lost children and Mother’s Day brings that pain forward and center front.
We may be extra excited because this is our very first Mother’s Day with a wee one and our journey of long anticipation is beginning.
We may be reminded of our own mothering failures. The prodigal child we are estranged from. The years we wish we could relive. Maybe the silence from our grown children is deafening and it sends us spiraling downward.
The day may remind us that we are the luckiest person on earth with beautiful children who love us and adore us. It may remind us that we hold an important job and it is the best job we have ever had.
You are not the only one feeling this way.
I don’t know where you are in your life or which emotions, or combination of emotions, are assaulting you this Mother’s Day, but you are not alone. There are other sisters out there in the same boat. Feeling the same thing. Thinking they are all alone and no one understands them. But others do. And they would sympathize with you too if you share your feeling with them.
If you are a typical woman, your emotions and feelings may change from day to day. Year to year. Or decade to decade.
I want you to remember, and tattoo in your mind, that your worth is not dependent in anyway on what happens or doesn’t happen on Mother’s Day. Whether you are remembered or not, the number of gifts or surprises; a big card or no card is no indication of your worth and value. Your value does not come from being a mother or not being able to be a mother. Your value comes from whose you are.
Pay attention to your emotions and feelings. They are trying to tell you something. Maybe we need to mourn and grieve what we did not get from our mothers, or are still not receiving. Maybe we need to change our attitude. Let go of some bitterness. Mourn some pain. Forgive our self. Live in the present and not the past. Reach out to our mother or child. Talk and share with a trusted friend.
Life is not about perfection, it’s about trying, growing, changing, and improving. We can only change our self and no one else. And we can only change the future, not the past. Give yourself and mother a big dose of grace and compassion.
Celebrate with awareness. Kindness and compassion.
I used to be oblivious to all these things. The undercurrents of Mother’s Day. The day used to be so uncomplicated. But now I know and see others struggling with this day. And I feel for them. Sympathize with them.
I don’t want to rain on anyone’s joy this year, but I also don’t want to be insensitive. So while I will be celebrating and enjoying this day, I also want to be mindful that there are a wide range of emotions concerning this day. I also want to be a listening ear and open heart of hugs for those who need it.
For those of you struggling on this day, I have compassion and sympathy. But please don’t look at those of us looking happy and celebrating and think we are insensitive to your pain. Because as women, most of us have tender hearts and would love to hear your story and share your pain and walk with you in your struggles.
And for those celebrating Mother’s Day with loud gusto and colorful balloons, go ahead and celebrate without guilt.
All I am asking for, is a little kindness and compassion shared between the sisters that day. Which is something we women, with our nurturing instincts, are pretty good at.
Spread grace this weekend to yourself and others, and remember we are all traversing life together