I really dislike Mother’s Day, maybe even to the point of “hate.”
I know, I know, that’s really harsh. BUT I read facebook and instagram and everyone’s snapchattin about how great their moms are and how supportive, loving, etc. It makes me want to vomit in my mouth a little.
I am so grateful that there are good moms out there. I really am and if you were blessed with a great mom who has always met your needs and worked to put your needs above hers, then Congratulations! You won the lottery, in my eyes. And not that you shouldn’t celebrate your great fortune. But lets be real. You did nothing to get the mom that you got.
Those of us with less fortunate situations, we did nothing to get the family we got. But we still are forced online, and IRL to see those of you with great moms out celebrating.
I used to be a little bitter about the situation with my family, and I am getting better a little bit at a time. But I came up with some Ideas on how to make Mother’s Day easier for those of us who have lost our mom’s, never had a good mom to start with, had multiple moms and foster moms, and maybe these might work if you were adopted and have some grief about the loss of your biological mom.
Pre-Step 1-Avoid Facebook, Instagram, and other places where people are prone enmasse to display the great thing about their mom. If you must post on Facebook, etc. play nice. Don’t knock others because of your own lack of mom-ness.
Step 1-“I Needed/I Now Need”; Make a list of things that you needed from your mother as a child. This can include anything, I needed _____ safety, security, protection, warmth, love, acknowledgement, etc. Then make a separate list of what you need now. I now need you to ______.
Step 2-Imagine your mom as her best and highest self, the mom who can recognize the hurt she may have caused and then imagine her apologizing to you for what she wasn’t able to give you. Don’t allow your pretend mom to make excuses, but to fully apologize. Write or journal some of the things you imagine she might say.
I imagined my mom saying “I am so sorry that I couldn’t protect you.”
Step 3-Write a pretend letter in your journal to your mom thanking her for apologizing and acknowledging how hard it must have been for her to apologize. Also write in your letter that you forgive her, if you are able to.
Step 4-Acknowledge the strengths that you were provided, even with lack of momness. For example, I am an assertive woman because my mom left me to run the show. She showed me that I could make decisions and that I am strong. She showed me how to be independent and hardworking. She always kept a roof over our head and we were never homeless. I value my independence and had I not been “neglected”, I don’t know that I would be the fiesty woman I am today.
Step 5-Acknowledge, when you are able, that your mom had problems, but likely did the best she was capable of. This is a huge, huge thing to accept and acknowledge, but it is true for most situations. Even moms who are terribly abusive, have reasons why they were that way that was likely out of their control, mental illness, drug addiction, or their own childhood trauma and abuse. (Not that we are accepting the behavior, but accepting that it happened and why it happened-which had nothing to do with us).
Step 6-Show praise and gratitude for yourself and the woman that you are today. You have had your trials but you can celebrate yourself on Mother’s Day too!
Lastly, there have likely been other women in your life who have been supportive or loving to you. A teacher, a friend, a co-worker, or a stranger who showed you kindness. Allow yourself to see the blessings that other women have given to you and if appropriate, send them a card or a phone call to let them know how important they were in your life.
Always know that healing is possible. If there’s something you’ve done to help you heal from past hurts or helps you to cope on Mother’s Day, share it on our Facebook page or in the comments. I’d love to have more ideas on how to have a Happy Mother’s Day.