Mother's Day is a day where we honor our mothers for drying tears, holding us tight, loving us, laughing with us, playing with us, and raising us to be the women we are. These women get plenty of kudos. But, this article is for a different kind of woman, a strong woman who is beautiful inside and out who has made the decision (conscious or not) to go against the reproductive grain. Or, even if she does have children, she doesn't have a mother she feels lived up to the title. Dear woman, this article is for you.
Whatever the reason, when Mother's Day comes around, you feel that hole open up. You start shoulding all over yourself. You close your ears to the Happy Mother's Day wishes that are thrown your way because you are "old enough" to have a child. You feel "apart from" rather than "part of" this whole sisterhood they call motherhood.
This feeling compounds for those of us who are motherless daughters, or feel like it. Some of us just weren't raised with the mom who gives out hugs and kisses without strings attached. Some of our mothers were absent mentally, physically, emotionally, or all three.
For women without children and motherless daughters, Mother's Day can be a reminder of what they didn't have. Jealousy rises. Resentment rises. We wish Mother's Day weekend would end so the florists, jewelry makers, and greeting card companies would just shut up.
So what can we do?
- Realize there's no "right" way to live life. Your choices are your choices. If you are a motherless daughter, that wasn't your choice. But it is your choice how you live from here on. Shoulding all over ourselves is a sure way to keep us trapped in the "there's something wrong with me" mentality. I assure you. There is nothing wrong or right about the way you are living if you are happy with it.
- Understand that you are enough. Here's a little logic. There are billions of people in the world. There are millions of people in your state. There's only one of you. You are unique. You are one of a kind. That alone makes you special and enough. Wholeness isn't about what you have or don't have. It's about who you are. And you are you. You are whole. You are enough.
- Stop putting time frames on your life. Part of "shoulding all over yourself" is having the urge to set arbitrary timelines for your life. Goal setting is fine. Hitting yourself over the head with a goal post is not. Understanding that everything happens in its own time is a key to finding serenity within yourself.
- Live in the present moment. Motherless daughters play the "what if" game a lot. What if my mom was a different person? What if I did something wrong? There are no "what ifs" in the present moment. There is the here and now, that's it.
- Own your decisions. Your decision is your decision. Your life is your life. Your path is your path. No one can walk in your shoes but you. If you have made a decision, own it. There's no changing it. Time machines have not been invented. Move forward with confidence, whatever your decision was. It was one you needed to make at the time.
Ultimately, on Mother's Day, we need to be good mothers to ourselves.
Telling ourselves that there is no "right" way to do this thing called life, understanding we are enough, eliminating the time frames, encouraging ourselves to live in the present moment, and owning our own decisions is the essense of good parenting.
So, Happy Mother's Day to you, beautiful mother of yourself. Go take your inner child out for some ice cream to celebrate. She'll appreciate it.