Mother’s Day, in the U.S., is this Sunday the 13th.
If you, like me, have an estranged, abusive or dysfunctional relationship with your mother, stepmother or whoever stood in as your mother, and you have all sorts of feelings that get stirred up around this Hallmark holiday, I want you to know I hear you, and I’m right there with you.
I’ve come a long way with this holiday. When I was younger, after I moved away from the abusive hell I lived in with my mother and stepfather, Mother’s Day was hard. I didn’t know anyone else my age who had the same struggles I did, and I believed I was the only girl in the entire world whose mother was an alcoholic.
As a teenager, I felt a lot of guilt around Mother’s Day because by that time I celebrated with my stepmom before the emotional, verbal abuse and manipulation she dished out became too painful to ignore.
Now, given that I’ve been estranged from both my mother and stepmother for many years, I believe I’ve come to terms with Mother’s Day. I understand that while I don’t have relationships with my mother’s, there are people that do. And just as they have permission to celebrate and express gratitude for all their mothers have done, I also have permission not to celebrate. There’s nothing that I have to do, say, feel or celebrate about my mothers just because Hallmark or tradition says I should.
So what does this mean for you?
I guess what I’m trying to say is that if you can relate to what I’m sharing here – I want you to know that you’re not alone. I want you to know you have nothing to be ashamed of. I want you to know that it’s more than okay not to have a damned thing planned for Mother’s day even if the commercials on T.V. or the ads in your Facebook feed bully you into thinking or feeling you should. Because guess what? You don’t.
Now here’s the other side of this Mother’s Day debate I need to address.
Just as it’s okay not to have a mother to celebrate on Mother’s Day, it’s also equally okay to have one to celebrate. My goal here isn’t to say we should shut down the whole damn holiday – that’s not it at all. As much as I don’t celebrate, I realize there are plenty of people who do.
Who knows maybe you have or had a rough relationship with your mother, but now you have a family of your own and Mother’s Day has taken on a whole new meaning. Or maybe, you’ve been able to heal whatever’s broken between you and your mother, and now you look forward to celebrating. There’s no right wrong here. All possibilities exist.
I just wanted to let you know that if your relationship with your mother doesn’t look like everyone else’s, that’s okay.
If you have a problematic relationship with your mother, I’ve left some additional links below for your reading. Perhaps you’ll find something here that you can relate to or maybe if you’re feeling alone, or weird or like there’s something wrong with you because Mother’s Day isn’t your favorite holiday, you’ll realize in reality that you’re not.
So, if you’re celebrating this Mother’s Day, I hope you have a great one! And if you’re not, I hope you have a freaking fantastic Sunday anyway – whatever it is you decide to do or not do.
Until next Tuesday,
More To Explore:
The following posts reflect and share on dysfunctional mother and child relationships.