Mother’s Day is one of those holidays that is filled with a myriad of emotions. It is a universal holiday in that we all came from mothers, but, like most holidays, does not come with universal feelings.
I am eternally grateful for my mother. I know that everything she has ever done has been with my best interest in mind. She has been my teacher, my mentor, my guardian, my cheerleader, my guide. She gives me practical help as well as allows me to find my own way. She challenges me to grow emotionally and gives me a great example of the kind of mother I want to be. She cherishes me. She is one of my best friends.
I am a mother to 2 amazing children – my son and daughter are young adults now – and as I enter into a different season of mothering, I am even more thankful for the gift my own mother has given me. She has shown me how to build into my children, guiding them as well as letting them learn on their own. She has given me a picture of what mothering looks like when you have adult children and I am experiencing friendship with them. I cherish them and it is the beautiful culmination of a life devoted to their well-being.
For those who have strained relationships with their mothers or their children, Mother’s Day may bring up feelings of resentment, abandonment or betrayal. They may feel hurt and cheated by a person who was supposed to be there for them no matter what, but who was unable to fill that role in their lives. Or a mother may desire to make up for the things of the past only to encounter a large wall that must be surmounted in order to reach a wounded heart.
For those who want to be mothers, the feelings of loss and longing can be overwhelming. Every Mother’s Day is another reminder that she does not have the one thing she wants, the thing that everyone around her seems to have. Strangers may even wish a Happy Mother’s Day to someone in the childbearing years never knowing how those words cut into her heart.
The first definition listed for mother is “a female parent.” But this is just way too simple a definition. The need to be nurtured is at the core of our existence. I have a person in my life that holds the title of “mother” — she is my female parent. But I also know that if I look closely, there are many more mothers in my life. I have been fortunate to have aunts, family friends, teachers and even co-workers who have built into my life and helped me write my story. And this isn’t something I will ever outgrow. Not matter how old I get, there will always be times when I just “want my mommy.” Especially for those whose relationship with their female parent has be difficult, it’s important to seek out those who can nurture you.
This Mother’s Day may find you filled with gratitude and this may be an easy holiday for you. Or it may find you wrestling with all too familiar feelings of anger or sadness. It may find you needing to reach out to your children with an apology or reaching out to your mother with forgiveness. In whatever way you can, honor the one (or two) people in your life that hold that title of “mother.” But look for others that have nurtured you along your journey and don’t forget to thank them for having “mothered” you over the years.