“There are three musts that hold us back: I must do well. You must treat me well. And the world must be easy.”~ Albert Ellis
It’s Mother’s Day in Australia today. It’s a day when so many families will get together with their Mothers, give heartfelt gifts of appreciation, share meals and practice love and gratitude. Love and gratitude is a beautiful thing. Togetherness and belonging is the foundation of so much that is good in our society.
No doubt there will be a flood of feel-good sentiment in our media, and on facebook and twitter. But this Mother’s Day I want to acknowledge a different reality.
Today’s also a hard day for many people. I want my post to stand for you. I want you to have a space to put your feelings. I want you to know that you are heard.
This is a post for all of the children, some long grown, whose Mothers failed to love them, protect them and nurture them. Not everyone had a happy shiny family. Not everyone has the love and support of a wise and kind Mother, as a child or as an adult.
This is a post for all of the women who gave up their children, who lost them to accident or illness, who had them torn away by war or foul play or relationship breakdown. Today, some Mothers will know great pain, as their mothering goes wasted, as their arms stay empty of a child to hug.
This is a post for the women whose wombs could never bear fruit. The women who know the pain of infertility, of miscarriage and of stillbirth. The women, whom through circumstance, have not become Mothers. Or who are unacknowledged in their identify as a Mother because there is no surviving child for others to see. The women who wonder, each Mother’s Day, how their life might have been different…
This is a post for the children who have lost their Mothers early, or who have never known them, and for those abandoned or deserted by their Mothers.
This is a post for all of you who loved your Mothers and Grandmothers, and who won’t have them at your table this year. Perhaps they are ill, or passed on. Perhaps distance separates you, or misunderstanding. Perhaps they are living in the shady halls of memory where they no longer recognise you, or the love you have for them, or they for you.
This is a post for the blended families, for the difficulties of mothering children who are not your own, and who may not accept you. This is for those of you whose Father chose someone other than your Mother, and where you still feel the pain of the loss of that sense of family and of all you had held dear. This is a post for the children who became second best or didn’t rate at all, once the family structure shifted.
This is for the Mothers whose children will be in your ex-partner’s home, and with that side of the family today, while you sit at home alone. Perhaps for you a phone call. But no hugs. No day of sharing. Not this year.
This is for the Mothers who are not accepted, loved or acknowledged by their Mother-In-Laws. For the families who know friction and tension, but who still make an effort to keep up relationships and appearances.
This is for all of the Grandmothers who don’t see their grandchildren because of relationship breakdowns or sheer distance and the life choices of their own children.
This post acknowledges all of the women so busy working, or looking after the children of other people, that they never had the time or the privilege to be the Mother they would have liked to have been for their own children.
This is for all the Mothers who made mistakes that they regret, who made bad choices, or who wish now that they had done things differently.
This is for the single Mothers, who long for support and company and someone to share the load, but who are doing the best they can.
This is for the Mothers who do not like their children, and the children who do not like their Mothers.
Life can be a strange, hard and sometimes cruel journey. Mothering and the love of a Mother is not a given and it is certainly not a right.
But we all need love, and at times we all need to be Mothered. This Mother’s Day, you can start by being kind to yourself. By recognising that we receive Mothering energy from many, and give it ourselves, although it may not be to our own children. By letting it be okay that today might be bittersweet, or downright difficult. Life is not a Disney Movie.
This Mother’s Day it’s okay to feel pain, to cry and to wish things could be different.
This Mother’s Day, above all else, I want you to know that I see you, I honour you, and I am sending you love. I’m thinking of you today. Bless ♥ xoxo
38 thoughts on “Thoughts on Mother’s Day”
I am going to leave an equally beautiful, but different comment to the shared sentiments of all those before this. I overheard my grown son talking to his sister on Skype on Mothers Day, and I am so proud and very blessed to have been chosen by these two souls, to Mother them this life. My daughter said to her brother ” so…..did you buy Mum some flowers for her special day?”….his answer was “why do we have to have a Mothers Day to show how special she is? I do that everyday.” To truly appreciate that comment would take a lifetime of writing about our tiny family (3 of us) history. It was a very tough life from the time they were born. They are now 33 and 35.
How grace giving to speak to those who have experienced the dark side of Hallmark……..
Thank you for this post, I am a proud mother of 4 children I love dearly with all their issues, my mother is in Australia but doesn’t recognise me or accept me as I am today I am lucky to be in Israel which doesn’t celebrate mothers whom disgard their children , yet I honour the memory of both my grandmothers and those around the world. May the lessons we learn from our mothers make us better parents to our children for a better future.
What a precious important and heart-filled post Nicole. Reading it I swayed from sadness to pain to love and hope. Mothering – whether you get to do it or not – is all of those feelings and more. Thank you for acknowledging the invisible things of mother’s day and speaking the unspoken for many mothers and children of mothers. I think it was an important thing to speak out.
Dear beautiful Nicole, what a thoughtful caring post. I was blessed with a beautiful mother, a caring supportive mother-in-law, and a loving daughter who I shared a special time with yesterday, but my heart went to all those who would personally relate to the different scenarios you mentioned, and made me realise all the more my own situation and feel deep gratitude.
A beautiful post, thank you.
There were a few definitions that reflect my life.
My mother turned me away because I refused to marry at the age of fourteen, I survived on my own until I married in my thirties.
I cried the day I found out was pregnant, I feared a child feeling the way I had. Of course my child never felt that way, because I loved her and who she was. I nurtured her and supported her dreams. Today, we share a bond that can’t be broken, she is successful in her life and I am proud to be her mother!
I was hated by my mother in law, her son could not accept happiness into his life, no matter what I did. When we divorced, my daughter said to me, ” mom, at least I know you tried ”
His mother put everything she owned into his home, where she lives in the in-law suite and never sees him, so for her I pray, I know her sorrow.
I think you just about included every type of mum going including me, my darling. It just makes you stop and think …thanks Nicole I’m so glad I found you and your lovely followers.
Enjoy your Mother’s Day .
Love Cherry in England XXX
THANK YOU XXX
I love this post and all of the comments. I think of you on Mothers Day NC and how many times you have been down there in the mud with me, helping me out, loving me and willing me well; just like Mothers do. I am not the only one, I know there are many that you have loved unconditionally, stood through dark times with and never given up on. So happy Mothers Day beautiful and thank you for mothering so many of us xoxoxo
Love love love. That is all ♥♥♥ You’re amazing, Lees xoxo
Ditto to your sentiments Leesa and thank you for passing them on. I too thank Nicole for her nuturing, and I am so grateful to my friend for sharing this blog with me. Love to all the gorgeous followers of Nicole. Peace and light.
What a beautiful post, I had a lump in my throat reading it.
Thank you so much for acknowledging so beautifully the reality of this day for so many women. For years, this was the hardest day in the year for me.
Reblogged this on poetry, photos and musings oh my! and commented:
This is too good to miss!
Nicole, I cannot begin to thank you adequately! Some of us fit into several of these categories. Yes, you have reduced me to tears but they are healing ones. Thanks Carly for giving me the link!
“Les larmes sont les petals du coeur” – Paul Eluard
“Tears are petals of the heart”
There you are, Lea! I was just revisiting this post and here you are, you big piece of sunshine! xoxo
Nic, you of all people know that I have a truly amazing Mum and that I’m grateful for her every single day of my life. She really is an earth angel. For me, I often associate Mothers Day with guilt due to everything Mum had to sacrifice for me and my dis-ease, but now I know that it was both a choice to be the Mum she has been, and also that it wasn’t.
She cared for me because she wanted to and because she had to. I know there were umpteen times when she would have wanted to pull the brake and stop. I often wonder what her life would have been life had I not been born with a terminal illness (ah, now I’m crying!), but I as you say, I believe that we choose our parents. I’m just blessed enough to have chosen the ones I did.
The biggest thing I learned from Vipassana, was that I needed to move from guilt to another place, and that place ended up being one of gratitude. So today, I am extra grateful for the Mum I get to love and laugh with every day ♥ Such an honour ♥
I cried reading this beautiful. Your honesty hurts because you give structure to how so many of us feel although the specifics may be a little different. Your words are truly a gift to all of us xoxo
Oh, honey ♥ It’s such a gift knowing so many amazing women who’ve come out the other side of adversity. We all have our hard times, but gosh Mothers just *astound* me. So much love, respect and admiration xoxo
Thank you for this wonderful post. Bless you, Susan
Other faces of the cube, dark, musty, painful and heart-wrenching. Poignantly beautiful.
A beautiful post, so fitting. Love & Light. -Dani
Thank you for sharing this post with. I am among the many who no longer celebrates Mother’s Day. To be honest Mother’s Day doesn’t mean anything to me anymore. I lost my mother in 2006.
Thank you for this deeply moving post Nicole. Love and blessings to you xxx
Thank you Nicole! Your post brought tears to my eyes. Beautiful and touching.
Thank you so much for this, Nicole. Your post made me cry. The hardest thing for me to do is to find a Mother’s Day card that isn’t mushy; that doesn’t say all the wonderful things I only wish I could say; that isn’t a thank you for always being there – because my mother wasn’t any of those. I’ll phone and say Happy Mother’s Day to my mom tomorrow, and take up 5 minutes of her time just to stay connected in some way, even though I know she isn’t interested. I forgave her long ago for not loving me, and for turning a blind eye to my suffering at the hands of both of her husbands … but the pain never really goes away completely. I sometimes still mourn the fact that I never had a mother’s love … and that I couldn’t have children myself because of what happened to me when I was young. Mother’s Day – and Father’s Day – are sad days for me, but thanks to years of counseling, at least I don’t hide away in my bed for the entire day anymore.
I send love and gentle hugs to all women who cannot or will not celebrate the day, for whatever reason. My heart aches for you, and I reach out my hand to honour you as well ~ Julie xoxox
Big hugs back to you Julie Catherine. Sounds like you are very strong. Maybe your Mum is not as strong as you and is unable to face her own guilt. Learn to love yourself as you sound very lovable. xxx
Jill, thank you so much for your kind and sensitive words; I appreciate them so much. I think my mother set a record time for getting off the phone this year – and it’s hard not to be hurt by that. I agree that she tends to shy away from reality, which she’s done for as long as I’ve known her … she’s my adopted mother. My birth mother was very abusive physically and emotionally and died when I was 21 …. I’ve been doing a lot of healing the past few years, and especially working on learning to love myself. Posts like this are so helpful in the healing process. Thank you. ~ Julie xoxox
An all encompassing beautiful Post, thank you Nicole. Blessings for improvement in your health. Love, Joan.
Thank you Nicole, I lost my Mum at 16 and so often wonder how my life would have been if I had a mother to share my journey. I also have no children, through choice, so Mother’s Day is usually a bit sad for me. However, I am and have been a really good Mum to many, many dogs and foster dogs and cats and horses and they love me and I love them. All is well 🙂
Reblogged this on findingmyworth and commented:
We do so often get caught up in the feel good moments that we over look those that are dealing with hurt or pain, or we simply just forget for a moment that its not all pig tails, giggles and bubbles! Love this post take a look and read for yourself.
hugs to you ms nc! have a delightful day yourself! sx
Wow, what a beautiful post, it brought tears to my eyes. The initial quote you used grabbed me because it’s exactly what I needed to hear right now. Thank you Nicole. Love and light to you, today and always.xo
So touching…’Mothering’ comes in many shapes, sizes & colours…with as many emotions. I honour you for bestowing this loving kindness to ALL women…big hugs to U…XO
p.s…I took flowers to my friend yesterday on behalf of her 2 doggies
yay for you, doggie’s are such important ‘furry mutt-kids’
Sending you love right back, Nicole xxoo