Happy Mother's Day ... Or Is It?

Mother's Day is not happy for everyone. Here are some tips and a new perspective on this day.

Holidays are loaded with emotions. Although they are supposed to be happy and joyous, for many they are riddled with sadness and stress. There is a "holiday" that Americans will be celebrating this Sunday, that in my humble opinion, for many is not one that is happy and joyous. Yes, Mother's Day is this Sunday and for at least a month we have been bombarded by retail to send our mothers gifts, take them to brunch, buy them jewelry, etc., all in an attempt to celebrate our mothers.  However, for many of us and for many reasons, Mother's Day is a day of melancholy and for some even sadness.

I have to admit that although I love my children, love being a mother, love being a wife, and love spending the day together, since I lost my own mother almost 10 years ago to cancer, Mother's Day makes me sad. It is a reminder that my mother is not here to celebrate with us and it makes me sad that my children don't know her personally. There are many motherless mothers in this world and unfortunately it is a part of life but like me there are millions out there for whom mother's day is not a happy one. The woman struggling with infertility, the mother who lost a child, the man who had a dysfunctional mother, the woman whose mother abandoned her as a baby, etc. There are many people for many reasons who don't find this to be the happiest of days.

Just as all holidays bring up emotional baggage, there is something about being a mother, wanting to be a mother, not having a mother, outliving your children, that is especially emotional and especially sad.

As this day approaches I urge people to have empathy and be aware that Mother's Day is not a happy day for all. For those of us who struggle with this day, it is okay to acknowledge these feelings and to honor yourself and where you are at in this journey of life. I know for myself, celebrating my children and husband who have made me a mother, is one way that I honor my own mom. For those who don't have a good relationship with their own moms there are a few things to remember; your mother has taught you something even if it's how you don't want to be in this world. For example, if you have/had a dysfunctional relationship with your mom, learning from her mistakes is a lesson you have taken from that relationship. For others, having female figures in their lives who have acted as a maternal figure, is a way to honor and celebrate mothers and vice versa for those who do not have children or wish to have children there are people in your life who you have acted maternal towards and that should be celebrated. You do not have to give birth to be a mother.

It is not easy and I unfortunately don't have all of the answers but it is in honoring the important woman in our lives and celebrating ourselves as woman that may be the best solution of all.

So, I am hoping you will honor yourself and honor the mothers in your life however you see fit and however is tolerable and comfortable for you this Mother's Day. I dedicate this blog in honor and memory of my own mother, Kathleen Camlibel, who I know would want me to celebrate life, celebrate and appreciate my family, and who I know is looking down upon us smiling.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

BobD1950 May 12, 2012 at 12:47 PM
This is my favorite : http://m.nypost.com/f/mobile/pagesix/cindy_adams/hug_your_mom_tight_for_me_tGg8fgnKC3qqLZ9OL2m62J
Patrick May 12, 2012 at 01:22 PM
Great post! *hugs*
Alicia R. Camlibel, Ph.D., LPC May 12, 2012 at 05:08 PM
Thank Bob and Patrick
emel onar May 13, 2012 at 06:19 PM
Emel Onar I just wanted to say that I've been feeling exactly the same as you. I can't agree more.I'm a mother of twins at the age of 17. My mother is alive too. I know I'm very lucky but I know that there are many people who are not that much lucky. This day just reminds them how unlucky they are. This day can boost consumption, but ıt isn't worth hurting people's hearts. I'm writing from Turkey. (It is near Greece, you may not have heard the name of our country. I've been following Basking Ridge Patch because we're coming there in August by exchanging houses with a family from New Jersey. I want to know about your town before coming there. By the way is your surname Turkish? It looks so. Your writing impressed me a lot.
Alicia R. Camlibel, Ph.D., LPC May 13, 2012 at 11:14 PM
Emel, Thank you for your kind words and comments. Yes I know where Turkey is and yes my maiden name is Turkish. Basking Ridge is a wonderful community to live, I wish you good luck with your move and a safe trip. I hope you will keep on reading my posts and commenting.
Anna Tivade May 14, 2012 at 03:59 AM
Alicia, wonderful post. Thank you. I know many women who are not being celebrated, nor are they celebrating today because their children are not in their lives. Parental Alienation caused their children to shut them out. These mothers are hurting very much not only today, but daily. Thank you again. Anna, Founder, Parental Alienation Support & Advocacy NJ, www.pasanj.org
Alicia R. Camlibel, Ph.D., LPC May 15, 2012 at 09:17 PM
thank you Anna...there are many, many reasons people have mixed emotions about mother's day and other holidays too....being sensitive and supportive is a big step to helping all feel comfortable
Josephine Collura May 17, 2012 at 11:40 PM
You are right mom would want you to be happy and celebrate with your family..Share the great memories you have of her with your children and yes, she is your Guardian Angel..Happy belated Mother's Day..xoxoxo
Josephine Collura May 17, 2012 at 11:44 PM
there is nothing worse than being shuned by your children..they are the love of your life and the hurt is indescrible..I feel awful for those mom's whose children just forget about them..shame on them!!
emel onar May 21, 2012 at 07:02 PM
Hi Alicia, thanks for your good wishes. I'll try to keep on reading your posts because if I find any person with whom I can share even a little thing, I like to keep communication. I'm an English teacher and I'm always busy with my job, children and other chores but İf I happen to read any other comment of yours you can be sure to get to my comment on it. Take care


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