YESTERDAY WAS MOTHER'S DAY:
happy late day to anyone who didn’t see my meme on Facebook. This day is very near and dear to my heart. I used to look forward to the hideous Mother’s Day gifts that my girls would bring home from school. I proudly, until a couple years ago, would wear the pins each girl made me one year. They are still my jewelry box and I considered putting them on when I got ready for church yesterday. My girls are now out of school and out of the nest.
It is time I admit something to you all here. I like to think I am observant and take other people’s emotions into consideration, but I was unaware of how divisive Mother’s Day had become. And honestly, I’m still a bit confused about the whole thing, but this is not that blog post, so I will say only that if a woman has a nurturing bone in her body, whether she is a teacher, aunt, friend, co-worker, whatever they have been a “mother” to another human being. I was adopted so I know this. You don’t have to give birth to care for someone’s well being, so if you had someone in your life like that, please celebrate them.
WHEN THE CALL DOESN'T COME:
Now, back to my real reason for this post. For the mother who, against her best attempts is estranged, from or doesn’t hear from their children as they would like, this is for you. I am not speaking about those mothers who make the choice not to mother, or are abusive, or neglectful. These mothers baked for the bake sale, waited up nights worrying, and still worry today, or smiles when the phone rings.
We are all human and for a million different reasons children and parents sometimes drift apart. Sometimes it is the growing-up process and it will pass, other times it is a difference in opinion. Other times, there is no clear reason. But, as a mother they still sit by the phone, or make plans to make no plans so they might get a chance to see or speak with their children, and they end the day still waiting and hoping.
It hurts. As mothers, we will tell ourselves and everyone else that you knew your child was terribly busy, and it slipped their mind. You justify the lack of even a card with a: “Well, cards are expensive, and they probably didn’t have the money waste.” In the end it doesn’t hurt any less.
I SEE YOU:
I want you to understand, you did your job. You lost sleep, made sacrifices, and put them first and you deserve recognition. No parent is perfect, and as parents we do the best we can on any given day. (again, not talking about the abusive, or neglectful parents, there is a special place in hell for them). Most of us, though make our decisions on the fly, weighing the pros and cons, many of which we don’t have any idea of, because we can’t see into the future.
We fall into bed at night exhausted from the stress of trying to raise a decent human being in this world that seems to be working against us every step of the way.
The thing that slays me, is that when this sort of thing happens, most moms will say something along the lines of “I don’t want them to regret of not visiting when it is too late. I don’t want them to carry that blame.” Why? Because as mother’s who may have already lost someone important to us, we realize that there may not be next year, there may not be another a chance, and we know the pain, and we (because we are good parents) don’t want our children going through that.
I am hopeful that with most of these situations, once the growing has finished, they will see how important you are to them, and that no amount of annoyance can replace the impact you as their mother had and still has on their lives. And one day they will show up with the flowers and even better, a hug and a kiss, and the words that will make your mother’s heart melt.
Until then, coming from someone who understands your pain, know that you are loved and appreciated for being the mother that did her best every day, and loves her kids every day, even if they are being unlovable at the moment. I see you, and you see the next one, and so on. Keep loving them, but do not for one second start believing you are undeserving, or you were not a perfect mother, because you had rules, or didn’t let them go out that time… None of us are perfect parents, and when they themselves are faced with a child wanting what they want, and they have to say no, they may understand you better.
So, buy yourself some flowers from me. Have a drink, go get a mani/pedi. You deserve it. We deserve it. Do Not Ever Think You Don’t!