There are countless sweet messages about how perfect and wonderful mothers are, and while I don't disagree, there is so much more to the story, and I want to acknowledge that here. With Mother's Day around the corner, you may find yourself missing a mother who has passed or lives at a distance. Your relationship with your mother is less than loving at times. Perhaps you had longed to become a mother and it wasn't in the cards for you. Or you became a mother only to find that the rosy photos hid quite a bit of pain and struggle as you deal with special needs or face your own challenges. Maybe you have a fantastic relationship with your adult children or maybe you and your child are estranged. The stronger and more intimate the relationship, the more capacity for powerful love and joy, sadness and hurt. Whether being a mother or having a mother, the full range of emotions are felt with wild intensity at times. Wherever you find yourself today, I wanted you to know that you are not alone.
When I was a young mom, I fell into the same trap that Valentine's Day had brought up for me. Somehow there was this sense of expectation--that I should be treated differently or revered or honored in a specific way because I'm a mother and that Sunday in May was when it should happen. Well, I have to say, in life when I have specific expectations of others, I find that very much sets us up for disappointment. Each year my hubby would try, and more often than not, fail to live up to my expectation (I have a BIG imagination!).
It dawned on me that I was in complete control of my Mother's Day experience and didn't have to rely on someone doing something for me to have a great one. I share this in case it might help you! Instead of waiting around to be celebrated, I turn it around and reflect for myself on the blessings of being a mom. I think about how I want to celebrate that, and make it happen. This year, we're heading to the beach! I LOVE watching my children play in the sand and splash in the waves. They are SO happy there--and that brings me great joy. Other things I love are to light a candle, find a new favorite song, or take a few minutes to write in a journal and reflect on the privilege and blessing it is for me to be a mom. Perspective, and where we focus our attention, changes everything.