May 8, 2014

The View From Here: On Mother's Day

Mother's Day is this weekend so I asked if someone would like to voice their perspective/opinion on this "Hallmark holiday".

Melissa of Home on Deranged stepped up. She is a writer, married mom of 2 little girls living in the DFW area of Texas. I love her clever blog title!

Mother’s Day – An Ode to Opportunity

The first Mother’s Day I was pregnant was also the first Mother’s Day without my mother. I remember my sister and I commiserating, “I wish all these people would shut the hell up.”

But the truth is, my heart ached for my mom. Longed to have her there to argue over something, boss me over something, tell me that if I could just do it this way instead….

The second Mother’s Day, I had a 4 month old. And post-partum depression. I never really allowed myself to mourn my mother’s death while I was pregnant; I was too fearful of what effect negative emotions would have on my unborn child.

So I remember standing in the shower one day, a few months after our oldest was born, just bawling. Not for any good reason. Just for all the reasons.

I don’t get offended as some do at all the “Hallmark holidays,” as I’ve heard them called. Valentine’s, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Grandparent’s Day, Glad You Got Out of the Slammer on Parole Day. I figure these are all nice things to celebrate, so what’s the harm in drawing attention to them once a year?

What does bother me is this notion that if you don’t somehow give your mother breakfast in bed, a luxurious bubble bath, a day at the spa, a free pass in the kitchen, some free time to nap or watch movies, another free pass for dinner, plus a gift of wine, roses, diamonds, or an ashtray made from Play-Doh, that you are somehow not worthy of your mother’s love.

It turns out, Moms come in all shapes, sizes, colors, ages and more. It also turns out that there are crappy moms, good moms, great moms, angelic moms, tattooed moms, biker moms, soccer moms, moms on parole, single moms, widowed moms, and crazy moms. And some of us are all of those things.

It seems to me that what we should be celebrating is not only love for moms, but the reality of moms, which is that life just plain sucks sometimes. Maybe our kids are in jail, and we have no way to go visit. Maybe our kids refuse to speak to us, and we have no idea why. Maybe our kids had a terrible disease/accident/addiction, and we had to bury them before we could even fathom what had happened.

Just so you don’t think I’m Pollyanna in yoga pants over here, I add this: for the moms who don’t come to Christmas with their kids and grandkids, who pass up opportunities to celebrate birthdays with their kids and grandkids because they are too busy waiting for the lawn man, and who haven’t asked for a family picture in a decade, I say this to you: don’t be surprised when your kids don’t send a Mother’s Day card. It’s not a holiday they recognize, either.

Now, it’s an old cliché, but it works: every day is Mother’s Day. Because even though my 3 year old is now potty trained, I still have to be her mom every day. Even though our 2 year old can now count to 10, there’s many more lessons to be taught.  My guess is that when they turn 18, the job isn’t done. When they turn 21, I won’t worry any less.

Sniff. All that stuff Melissa said about what mother's look like and who we are...and then the things we may face with our kids....sniff. Yup, got me choked up.

Moms are moms every day (and so are dads, of course), whether anyone recognizes it or not, so it is nice that there is a special day each year. It takes kids awhile to learn how to think of others more than they think of themselves, and say thank you, so I think Mother's Day actually provides a good teaching opportunity and reminder of that.

Learn more about Melissa at her:

**If you are interested in contributing YOUR View, please go HERE**

photo credit: rox sm via photopin cc

No comments:

Post a Comment