Honoring Mothers: A Painful "Holiday"

Mother's Day:  the perfect Hallmark holiday.  Time for cards, homemade gifts, and breakfast in bed.  It's all so picture perfect.  Except for those for whom it's not.

As a mom to an almost perfect child, I look forward to the holiday.  More than anything, I want the homemade card or the gift that says best mom in the world.  They are treasures to me.  But when I wasn't a mom, that Sunday in May was painful.  It was a day I was perpetually reminded that I WASN'T a mom.  As much as I loved (and love) my mom and my mother in law, I HATED the day.  For me it was a day of misery.

Now this may not be the same for every woman.  There are plenty of them out there who aren't mothers and don't want to be.  I think that's great.  Motherhood should be a choice and for those who have chosen NOT to be moms, you have my true admiration.  Every woman should have the choice to be who she wants to be.  Not every woman should be a mother. The decision to be one or not needs to be one's conscious choice.  And whatever that choice may be, it should be lauded for it's thoughtfulness.

There are also women out there who are not technically mothers but are nurturing and "mothering."  The aunts, the cousins, the friends...who don't get the recognition that they deserve for the most part.  (Yes, there are some "like a mother" cards out there, but how many get bought and delivered?  How many "like a mothers" get recognized on Mother's Day or any other day for that matter?)  On this day, I hope we all remember them and let them know how much they are loved and appreciated.  

However, returning to the topic at hand, there are plenty of women out there who find this day incredibly painful.  It is a reminder that they are NOT mothers or that they are no longer mothers to living children.  (A pain I can't and won't imagine bearing.)  I was one of those women.  And my husband reminds me that when I was, Mother's Day was incredibly painful for me.  

This post is for you.  This post is for your pain.  This is to validate your hurt.  This is to warrant your anger.  This is to justify your frustration.  Your feelings are yours and they are important.  They are real.  If this day brings you pain, then let that pain be true.  Don't hide it, unless you want to hide.  (And I think that's a perfectly valid response to the day.  Why not spend the day hiding in bed?  What is wrong with that?  Sometimes you NEED to hide away from the rest of the world.  If you feel the need to do that than so be it.  DO IT!) If you want to rant and rave do it.  Do what YOU want.  If Mother's Day sucks for you, then do whatever it takes to make it less of a horrid day.  If that means avoiding the rest of the world, then so be it.  If it means bitching to your best friend, then go for it.  If it means crying...then cry.  Mother's Day may feel like a slap in the face to you; and how you react to that is up to you and you don't need to justify that to anybody.

For the rest of us, let's try to be compassionate this Mother's Day and realize that for more than we may realize it's not a holiday of flowers, cards and gifts.  It is a day of painful reminder.  And for those, the best gift we can give is that of an ear to listen and/or a shoulder to cry on. 

What better way could there be to honor our mothers than to be the compassionate and caring person she would have us be?


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