I used to hate Mother’s Day. Did you hear that? “Used” to! I would see all of the mother’s surrounded by their smiling and laughing children of all ages giving honor to their mom. These children would present signs, crafts, give gifts, and bestow beautiful words of love and respect onto their mother.
Me? Nada! I dreaded this once a year holiday. Why? Because there were crises left and right, ongoing drama, heartless thanks, and a plethora of other problems toppled on each other. Instead of feeling I just came out of a word entrenched spa enjoying the accolades of praise for being the best mom, I was instead left in tears, guilt, shame, hurt, and pain for being a mom to a teen with serious issues.
I envied other moms. I was jealous of how they spent time with their families enveloped by so much love it would burst like the Fourth of July fireworks. Unlike that moment, I stayed in bed with the covers over my head wishing I could start life over. Did I say I hated Mother’s Day?
After a while, I stopped looking and hoping for something special with my kids for Mother’s Day. Today, I can understand their plight as teens and the turmoil they were going through despite the fact that they hurt others around them. Rewinding the video of life, I was able to accept the fact that my children had their own issues to deal with and couldn’t think of anyone else outside of their box. I get that. But it did not stop the emotional turbulence we feel as a parent.
Maybe you are going through the same thing. In your previous Mother’s Day holidays, maybe you dealt with your child addicted to drugs, suicidal ideology, mental illness, multiple disorders, or risky and dangerous behavior. How in the world can you get through another holiday such as Mother’s Day when you are burdened down by these heavy and overwhelming problems?
For me, I stopped the expectations on my kids to be perfect or like other families. I found it quite freeing that I didn’t have to think about being disappointed again on another holiday. I accepted the fact that my children didn’t have a full understanding of how much their mother truly loved them. It was not until much later did they comprehended that meaning. I decided then to make Mother’s Day about me, not what my kids can do for me. After all, I felt like I had served in several wars with my kids and I needed a break.
To make Mother’s Day a more healthy and positive experience for me, I renamed it “Me” Day and started a new tradition. I went out and got my nails done. I would catch up with my old friends, read my favorite book, listen to uplifting music, and take in a movie I hadn’t seen yet. Don’t get me wrong, there were holidays I couldn’t get all of these things done. I had a child in crisis, remember? But I learned to breathe through those moments and pray to the Lord to give me the strength and guidance to get through them…one hour, one minute, and even one second at a time.
My kids made unbelievable and disappointing choices and decisions. This however, does not reflect on me as a bad mom. What I did learn is that this helped me on my new journey to let go of what I could not do and let God work in my place instead. Afterall, He’s a parent too.
Today, remind yourself that you are not alone on this Mother’s Day. There are others just like you. One day, your child will be thankful for all the times you have prayed for them, supported them, loved them, and cared about them, even through all of the crises you have endured. Both of you.
Continue to pray, celebrate “YOU” this Mother’s Day, and give the rest to God.
Happy Mother’s Day!