Mother’s Day can be complicated

Mother’s day is possibly the most hyped of the Hallmark holidays.    It’s a day of love and admiration for those who have endlessly wiped butts, tears, and pride with baby wipes and sleeves.

But for some…it’s a conflicting holiday.  Not everyone has a mom.  Not everyone has a relationship with their mom.  During this time a year this hyped holiday can be a reminder of what is not in your life and the struggles you might have with it.

I’ve been somewhat open about my struggles with this relationship called “mom.”  Being a mom gives me the normalcy of getting cards, hugs and love from my kids.  I love being a mom to my children.  They have absolutely made me who I am today.  I feel them in my soul.

But I also have a mom.  That fact flips this day into a different set of present and complex feelings.

Growing up with a mentally ill mom has complicated this relationship that this day celebrates.  On one hand, I don’t harbor any angry feelings anymore.  Those have long passed but what is left feels….empty.  Lonely.  On the other hand, I can’t try to connect with something that just isn’t there.  I realize that sounds harsh but when a child has not been on the receiving end of care, concern or love for their whole life, they develop coping skills.  The coping skill I developed was a denial of emotions towards the situation coupled with a wall, in case I was tempted to try.

I’m not saying it’s healthy, but it is what I have done to survive this complex set of relationship emotions that will likely never be resolved.

At times I can feel guilty about this way of coping.  I understand this guilt but also forgive myself for it.  I can no longer hold onto the “what if’s” and “If I just’s…” situations that play out in my head.   They have been played out over and over with no resolution.

I know I’m not the only one in this situation so if you are too, be kind to yourself.  Mother’s day can be a wonderful day to celebrate for most, but not for all.  And that’s ok; we’re doing the best we can.

Mothers Day isnt' for Everyone (4)

12 thoughts on “Mother’s Day can be complicated

  1. Thank you for talking about your mom. My mother has just been diagnosed bipolar after years of not knowing what was wrong with her. Now that I’m an adult and a mother, I’m meeting other adults with similar experiences. I wish I’d known kids with mothers like mine when I was in school! It would have been such a comfort to hear someone else say, “Yeah I know exactly how you feel. My mom flipped out today too…”

  2. I have similar feelings. It’s a tough day for so many children of mentally ill or abusive Moms. Also tough for Moms who have estranged children.
    It’s best for me to focus on the fact that I survived childhood and learned who I didn’t want to become, that was a gift .

  3. I love you for so many reasons babe, and now I want to come over and hug you. All the hugs. And some GF pastries. Keep kicking ass at mom! <3

  4. Just… Yes. Even if it’s not a Hallmark holiday, here’s hoping your Sunday is full of the smiles of your own family, and that it pushes aside the empty. I have different circumstances, but understand the emptiness, and the wall.

  5. Beautifully said, Jen.

    And OMG I finally have a little time to read blogs.

    But back to you. I will give you an extra squeeze when I see you on Friday. Can’t wait, friend! xoxo

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