Yesterday was Mother's Day. Earlier in the week, I had read a blog post by a friend of mine. You can read it too at the MessyMiddle.com. It is the one titled An Open Letter to Pastors (Thoughts on Mother's Day from a non-mom). My lovely friend, Amy, whom I have known most of my life, gives a beautiful account of what Mother's Day feels like for those who are not fortunate enough to be mother's themselves. I had thought about sharing it with my pastor, but hesitated as I don't want to be a balcony seat pastor. However, during church yesterday, he began the sermon on the same note as the blog. I was emailing him about it during the sermon and then he said he was going to share it with the congregation. He had spoken about how God kept leading him in this direction all week and I thought I had better speak up myself since I had dwelled on it all week as well. So here goes...
I had wanted to comment on my friend's blog because I, too, have mixed emotions about Mother's Day, and I am a mother. I love to celebrate the day for my own beautiful mother, without whom I would be completely lost in this world. I am happy to do things for her, eat with her, get her a gift, or just spend the day with her, but when it comes to feeling like I should be celebrated on this particular day, well, I just don't think so.
|Yes, that's me and my lovely mother!|
First of all my own kids aren't even grown yet. How do I know how they are going to turn out? What if I totally mess this all up?
Second, right now I am mired in a legal battle with my ex-husband eight years after he left us and seven years after the divorce (the things I cannot really talk about at the moment) and I know he thinks that I am not a good mother. I also feel like his family feels the same way. I know it isn't true, but the constant judgement has me second guessing myself constantly.
Third, I really never feel comfortable celebrating me. I don't love celebrating my birthday and I don't love celebrating myself as a mother. I think most days I do the best I can, but really I just feel exhausted all the time. I wonder if my children really even appreciate me a lot of the time. I know they love me, but will they one day look at me like I look at my own mother and think of how fantastic she is and was? Are my expectations of them too high or not high enough? Do I take enough time to just be with them rather than always being busy? I feel that I have more questions than answers so how can I be confident in saying, "Yes, please celebrate the mother that I am today!?!"
Finally, I always sort of chuckle inside when I think about Mother's Day as a day off to just sit back and put my feet up. Really?? That seems like a greeting card commercial or something that a man would think is what I would be doing. As a single mother, Mother's Day is still a day of work. Case in point, yesterday, I finished cleaning the inside of my house and then worked the rest of the day on the backyard: blowing off the dirt and leaves, trimming the edges, mowing the lawn, hosing down the patio items and kids' toys, putting it all back together and hanging the outside curtains. I still have planting to do and bills to pay. When I was married, I was only a mother for three of those years. My now ex-sister-in-law said to me one of those years, why are you still working on things today? I just looked at her dumbfounded (she was not married nor a mother then) and shrugged. She obviously didn't know that even married, I still did all the work. Her brother never worked to make a day special or so that I could have time off. I watched my mother do the same. Even when she was married, she was a single mother and did all the work of running the house, taking care of us girls, taking care of her husband, and working a full time job. I work four part time jobs for pay and am a full time single mother. I work, end of story. Mother's Day or not there are still bills to pay, lunches to pack, kids to help, a house to clean, laundry to wash and put away, pets to tend, a yard to mow, toiling away without end, Amen.
Maybe someday, when the kids are grown and I can look back and see that they did appreciate me and think I did a good job (I hope!), I will feel better about celebrating a day for myself as a mom. Until then I will continue to think of it as a day to appreciate and tell my own mother that she really is the best mom in the world!
|Not only is she the best mother, but now she is the best grandmother!|