Is this another fairy tale lie or do some people really get to experience mother's day as a joyful day? I am learning to believe that many do receive a day filled with kindness, knowing that they are special to their own children and appreciated by their own husband. I am also sure for many it is a welcome day to focus on their mother who means so much to them.
Does it matter?
Should I care? Should you care?
Over the years I have dreaded this holiday for so many reasons, unfortunately like most holidays the days never end up being good. I have such high hopes. I truly think things will be different. When things don't turn out good, I wonder if I am being punished for not sending my mother a holiday wish because she allowed me to be abused or chose to stand by the abuser (my father/her husband). Or maybe all the times I resented my own husband focusing the entire day on his mama with gifts, attention and celebration while overlooking that I was the mother of his children. And now about five years after her death and my children are older teens, I keep waiting to be "worthy of a mother's day" but maybe I expect too much. Maybe nothing can please me... nothing is enough.
The good thing is I am growing, and so is my family. I don't think the lack of a mother's day celebration for me today is because I am a bad mother; I know deep in my heart I am a good mother--that I love my children with all of my heart--that I live many times selflessly for them.(THIS is a huge step of healing!) I also have a better relationship with my children and I do believe in their heart that they love me. I also know my husband really does love me. So, I wonder why there is such a disconnect... why can't they attend a "how to celebrate mom day" class? Maybe someone needs to make a youtube video! Is it so hard to do? Is it unnatural to want to give mom a special day?
No one has to tell any of us that we don't live in perfect world. Perfection--the ideal--is a frequent stumbling block of many--to avoid making a mistake or not doing it right many just don't do anything.
But we see perfection in the Hallmark Cards that we read. We long to have our children sincerely say something to us like the sentiments that we read. The movies, the news stories, and the magazine articles too focus on mothers--they remind us why a mother is so appreciated and loved.
Still, for so many people holidays are a day of suffering; the reasons are many for mother's day:
- a mother is dead--the day reminds family of their loss,
- a young woman is barren--her longing to be like so many others celebrated is intense,
- a divorce has taken place--family is separated, pulled in many directions and jealousy/envy is felt,
- a child has died--whether in the womb or once living therefore sorry fills a mothers's heart,
- a mother was never known--adoption, foster care or some misfortune brings pain from not knowing,
- being raised/living in an abusive home--pretending and being forced to focus a day on an abuser,
- the phone never rings -- a mother is forgotten by children who are too busy or wayward,
- contact is impossible by prison, distance, work or other circumstances,
- a mother is ignored--everyone acts like it is just another day, mom is not shown appreciation.
How all of these painful scenarios must delight Satan! How he must relish knowing a day to focus on mothers can be perverted to crush bruised hearts! Could this be the enemy of our souls way to turn the knife and remind us that we are broken--that we live in a sinful world? And if it is, as a believer of Jesus, even if we find ourselves in one or more of the reasons above for not experiencing a joyous Mother's Day, how can we make this day be for God's glory and not for Satan's pleasure?
At about 2 O'Clock today, I was told happy Mother's Day by my husband, daughter and given a card bought by one of my sons. That was a major improvement from nothing... why did I hurt so much? why did I feel so abandoned? Why did my heart rip up inside like it was pressed through a grinder? I wanted to hide, I wanted to sleep, I wanted to get drunk, I wanted to hit myself, I wanted to find a distraction, I wanted the day to be gone, because:
I wanted to be the focus of my families attention. I wanted them to have planned something special to show how much they appreciate the little and big things I do all year long. I wanted a handwritten note, a small gift, time spent with me doing something fun. I wanted to hear that I was a good mother, that I was loved. I wanted to feel special and honored.
Is it selfish to want something like that for yourself? Is it wrong to have hope or desire? I really don't think so. I think in some ways it is healthy.
The depth of the source of the hurt will effect the recovery and the ability to fight through the landslide of emotional and physical pain. For me, I took a drive and cried and screamed at the top of my lungs to release the pain... the fight or flight chemicals racing through my blood. It didn't make me feel good; it just helped me not feel so aimlessly despondent. My affect was flat and my heart was somewhat numbed.
And I now hours later, I reflect, what can I do to turn the focus on God and to minister to forgotten, hurting, lonely, empty, suffering women? Maybe I can throw my own Mother's Day Party and invite my husband and children to attend!
Maybe we need a Mother's Day Club or a Holiday group? I don't know. I am just trying to seek a God glorifying solution.
But one thing for certain, another Mother's Day is ending. It is time to go to bed. It will be 364 days before I have to solve this day again.