Surviving and Thriving on Mother’s Day

A year ago was the first Mother’s Day I had that I was aware of what I wasn’t.  I remember thinking that I would probably cry when they had all the mother’s stand up for recognition at the end of mass.  I did cry, but I cried throughout the rest of the mass too for other reasons.  Earlier that morning, shortly after midnight, we got the word that my grandma passed away.  Tears ran down my cheeks as I was acutely aware of who we were missing in our lives and more importantly, how my mom was feeling on that being her first mother’s day without her mother, let alone the terrible irony she’d live with during subsequent Mother’s Days.  My thoughts weren’t consumed with myself and while it was at the cost of grief for our family, I took that as a small blessing to remember – Mother’s Day is not a narcissistic day to celebrate ourselves (that would be your birthday!), but a day about celebrating our mothers and all that they sacrificed to give us life.

I think that’s where women everywhere could do a better job at making it less about ourselves and more about celebrating our mothers.  Because whether or not each person is ever a mother themselves doesn’t change the fact that every person ever born has, or had at one time, a mother.  And while sometimes I get the suspicion that on Mother’s Day moms just sit around and give each other high-fives and talk about how awesome they are and how they’re in the ‘cool club’, we would always do well to honor that woman who gave us life regardless of whoever we are.  I’m not sure if I’m being too idealistic, but it seems that if we all just celebrated the woman who sacrificed enough to give us life, rather than focus on ourselves and how many kids we have, how great of a mother we are, or how we’re suffering at the absence of that coveted title without children of our own, then maybe we’ll be able to take it a little less personally and not only survive but thrive on Mother’s Day.

Everyday I’m aware of the absence in my life and a day dedicated to my mom doesn’t really make me feel it any more or less than I already do.  But I could do with a little less Facebook status updates and memes about your children.  But then again, me and my Facebook beefs go way back.  Just as no one likes a Debbie Downer, no one likes a gloater either.  Just my melodramatic, sub-fertile, but only slightly bitter thoughts.

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5 thoughts on “Surviving and Thriving on Mother’s Day

  1. This is spot on. Personally, mother’s day is difficult for me because I don’t have the strongest relationship with my mother. HOwever, there must be some healing taking place because this year, I really seemed to focus more on the positive aspects of my relationship with my mother and less on my pouty-see-how-you-hurt-me aspects of my relationship with my mother.

    I always feel so awkward around women who complain how their mother’s day was more work for them than anyone else, yadayadayada. We are always headed out to hang out with my husband’s mom (she is semi-local unlike all the other mothers) on Mother’s day regardless of anything else we might do that day. Someday she won’t be around to hang out with…

  2. Thanks for sharing your perspective. I think Mother’s Day is a complex day for many women in many walks of life, even those who appear to “have it all” on the outside. This is a beautiful approach.

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