This article speaks to the duality that lives in my mind regarding Mother’s Day, and without a doubt reflects a reality many of us experience but has been made taboo to admit, let alone write about.
Many of us have experienced abusive or toxic mothers (or father’s), yet have other wonderful people in their lives to honor. Such is my reality.
Spoiler alert: if this isn’t your reality, you may feel very uncomfortable with the whole topic, see it very negatively, so this article probably isn’t for you!
If your reality is similar to mine, maybe my tips can help you handle this emotionally charged day in a healthier way!
How do we celebrate in a meaningful way, without completely avoiding the days?
As much as we may dislike how commercial these days have become, the option of avoiding them or ignoring them isn’t an option for many, since there’s the very real emotional aspect of feeling forgotten by one’s children and loved ones.
(Yes, I can well understand people who don’t have good relationships with their parents, and who choose not to celebrate people who are abusive.)
This article will touch on but isn’t going to go into the entire area of abusive relationships where children have sustained grave emotional traumas.
My own relationship with my mother is that of a truce, after having sustained many years of her physical then emotional abuse and cruelty. Yes, I do send her birthday and Christmas cards.
Celebrating Mother’s Day can either be a cheap commercial process or a deeply emotional family celebration! It’s our choice how we see it and how we celebrate it!
In my family we’ve done both. Now, we celebrate it as a way of honoring the people who have made sacrifices for their families. This means that that my daughter and I honor each other deeply and with much love. Unfortunately this doesn’t include my mother who abused me and tried to hurt my daughter.
One year ago marks 5 years remission for my 7 year old granddaughter. She passed her scans and tests with flying colors. A week before mother’s day, so we have much to be thankful for!
We don’t need a special day to honor each other for all we’ve done for our families, but it is lovely to have a day where we’re recognized and other people pause to remember mothers! We usually plan something special and get the kids involved to do artwork.
Last year I took the kids shopping and we searched for something that we could personalize with the kids hand prints. We found a shabby-chic entryway board and coat hook piece with painted calligraphy “Welcome to our home!” which had spaces in between the hooks for the three kids to place painted hands. We placed their both hands in a fashion that the empty space between showed a heart shape where I painted in pretty hearts.
The shopping trip was a lesson for the kids in shopping for gifts that are meaningful to the recipient and not just some knickknack grabbed off a store shelf because it has the expected message printed on it, “Mom…!”
I believe that we can use any commercial day and transform it into something meaningful if we choose to! It all goes to the efforts we choose!
My daughter had chosen a DNA test kit for me. Her father was adopted so she has many questions about her heritage. Her boyfriend gifted her with such a kit at Christmas, and while she had some questions answered it brought up more. By my doing the test, we got more answers. Unfortunately she can’t ask her father to take a test as he passed away from complications from his cancer right after the baby got her all clear after her second cancer, which had been a stage 4.
As you can see, we’ve all been through a lot as a family, so now we treasure opportunities to honor each other. We choose not to see the commercialism of such holidays but to focus on each other.
Life is fleeting and can be fragile; let’s honor those who have helped us through our difficult times!
Like myself, there are many who have been abused by their mothers and who don’t feel comfortable with being fake and making shallow praise to people to were hurtful. I get that. I usually send my mother a very simple card for any occasion. No hearts and flowers. I wish to acknowledge in a very simple way that she did bring me into the world and did raise me.
I save my appreciation for the people who have shown love and support, so that becomes a day of honoring people who have given deeply of themselves! My daughter is one of those people, so I honor her. She feels the same way about me, so she honors me.
If anyone has had a mother who has hurt them deeply, why not focus your attentions towards people who have loved deeply? In this way we can all find healing from the past and change what can be a painful reminder of trauma and turn it into something positive and nourishing for the spirit! While we can’t change the past, we don’t need to remain traumatized or rooted in it; we can create something new and healthy!
If you are that person, take time to honor yourself that day! Honor what you have done! Love yourself deeply and fervently! Make this a personal day! You don’t have to even tell people what you’re doing! Just do it and inhale deeply of the enjoyment!
Peace to all, Tamara
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“When I know better, I do better!” – Maya Angelou
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