I used to think I had the right to be so uniquely moody around parent centered holidays. I was all, I’m the only one who has a strange relationship with her parents and no one understands why these holidays are so hard for me wah! I’d see people out with their family- getting along and being so happy- and just be so resentful and angry that that wasn’t my life. My entire newsfeed on every social media platform on these days is always all- look how perfect my fam is!- and I’d get teary eyed, jealous, and think, why can’t I have that! I’d cry a lot and listen to emo music and throw a pity party.
To some degree, I still feel/do these things. Mother’s Day is bittersweet for me. I am able to think about the good times that I miss/treasure and the sober version of my Mom that I love, appreciate, and respect the hell out of. But it’s colored with this grey mess of alcoholism, verbal abuse, and family dysfunction that overshadows the positive stuff. I’m reminded of the fact that I can’t have the relationship with my Mom that I want/need and dreamed of having. And that’s a bitter pill to swallow- it’s a tough reality I’m learning how to accept.
But I am able to recognize now that I’m not the only one who has a hard time with this day. Being a woman and all the expectations that are on us to be not just mothers in general- but amazing mothers- it’s a freaking lot. It’s enough to bring down any woman who is a mother, wants to be a mother, or even doesn’t want to be a mother at all. And then having a day to celebrate motherhood? Yeesh. Trust me, I get it, mothers should be worshiped- they do THE MOST. But the tie between womanhood and motherhood is fraught with potential disasters, complications, and heartbreaks.
So even though this day isn’t centered around a love filled brunch with my Mom like it is for a lot of people in my life, it’s still a good day to reflect on what motherhood truly is and means. It makes me think about my life, the good things I had/have in relation to the mother’s in my life, and what I want in my future. It’s not the brightest day for me, but it’s an important day of reflection. I’m able to accept my life for what it is and look just look forward.
As I get closer to the point where I myself may have children, I am able to grasp onto this hope that maybe someday, Mother’s Day will be a happier occasion and some of the pain from these past years will be erased. Maybe that’s some foolish hopefulness right there, but I can’t help but imagine a better future. I dream of myself drinking mimosas with my adult children, laughing and reminiscing about our lives together. That’s what I want. A functioning, healthy relationship with my children is one of the things I want most in life.
I’m not saying my life will be perfect and I’ll be this perfect mother- it won’t be and I won’t be. I have my own baggage and I’m sure I’ll mess my kids up in my own special way. But I’m determined to at the very least, give my kids a home where they always feel safe, loved, and supported.
One of my coping mechanisms for dealing with the pain that comes with Mother’s Day is dreaming of the future and what I want that to look like with children of my own. I know I can’t control the outcome of whatever is to happen in the years to come, but I can relish in knowing that things won’t always feel as they do now. I will be in the motherhood club somehow someday and have the opportunity to do things differently.