Mother's Day is complicated to me. It is filled with all kinds of emotions. It's all I can't believe how lucky I am to be a mother to these four people and I feel like my heart is about to explode with love and gratitude. But it's also all I wish the world would stop reminding me that having a mother is amazing and wonderful and so special and they are full of wisdom and hugs and everyone should call their mother. And then it's all wait that's what I want my kids to think when they are grown ups and how do I become the mother I want to be to my kids who are getting older every damn day when I don't know what that looks like.
My mother isn't a good one. That is not abnormal, lots of people have shitty moms. But sometimes around the holidays or hard days and especially Mother's Day, I feel like I'm the only one that has a mother that isn't so great.
But I know that's not the case, I know it.
I know I'm not the only one trying to navigate being a good mother with a roadmap entitled "don't do what she did" as my guide. I know I'm not the only one that digs deep and searches for the good memories, the love that was once there and tries to not have false hope on those holidays, hard days and especially Mother's Day.
I know I'm not the only one that goes back and forth between rage and compassion, and relief and guilt. Rage because now that I have my own kids I see everything she missed out on or messed up. Compassion because I know it was mental illness and addiction that changed her and that breaks my heart. Relief because I set boundaries and I don't allow her in my house so I don't have to worry about her trail of pills she leaves behind or that she will say something cruel to my children that will burn in their mind and heart forever. Guilt because I should be a better daughter, I shouldn't take all the things she says personally, I should do more to help her, I should at least call her more.
I know I'm not the only one and knowing that sort of helps.
So, to all the people with shitty moms who are feeling all kinds of emotional around Mother's Day, I offer a fist bump of solidarity mixed with a high-five of we got this and a hug filled with compassion and love and we-survived-our moms-we can-do-anything vibes.
And while I'm sending out hugs, here's some to the people that feel all kinds of complicated because their mother passed away and it's hard to celebrate being a mother while you miss your mother.
And more hugs to all the people that wish they could be a mother and weren't able to be one.
And more hugs to all the people everywhere because ultimately Mother's Day is about taking care of each other and not being alone. At least that's the way I want to celebrate it and hug it out with the world.
Happy Mother's Day to all of you!