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.