When Mother’s Day is Too Painful to Celebrate

Mother’s Day is one of the most special days of the year.

As a mother who has a very close relationship with both of my daughters (they are now 22 and 24), I know how important this day is because of the very nature of our deep bond. A bond that needs to be celebrated. Rejoiced. And yes, even announced. Sure, it deserves to be a national holiday!

Mother’s Day is meant to remind us all about the very nature of life, unconditional love, nurturing, support, strength, sacrifice.

And yet there are those of us who have mothers who are still very much alive, very much able to receive cards, flowers, and chocolates, and yet, we don’t celebrate this special day with them.

Purposefully.

My head shakes side to side.

Sadly.

And so, I write this message to the women who don’t celebrate Mother’s Day. Who feel particularly lonely on this day.

I write this message to me.

I have not seen my mother in nearly eleven years. She lives an hour away. I don’t think any of my siblings have visited with her either. She hasn’t seen any of her seven grandchildren. She came to my wedding on 08/08/08, although she never said one word to me. Not a hug. Not a card. She wore black.

Before that, we hadn’t seen each for two years.

And before ‘that’ argument, it was another few years.

My mother has missed out on my life. My daughters’ lives. She has missed out on us. Purposefully.

How does that happen?

How does a bond between mother and daughter become so broken that ‘my situation’ becomes a reality?

Here’s what I know as a daughter who has felt sad, angry, and even ashamed on Mother’s Day:

I am afraid to try. I’m afraid for more abuse. I’m afraid to be rejected. Hurt, again. The way I’ve been hurt, betrayed, neglected, manipulated, gossiped about, and abused since my teenage years.

Sure, I wonder what my mother is doing. How she is feeling. I hope she is okay. I also wonder why she won’t reach out to me, ever . . . Except to post the odd horrid thing about her children—usually me—on Facebook. And yes, my friends are all shocked at the hurtful things she still writes.

And the only answer I can come up with is she must be afraid, too. Afraid to be rejected. Maybe even ashamed. Filled with guilt. Stonewalling us must feel safer to her. The best defense is a good offense, or something like that.

Any other reason is too painful for me to accept.

It seems utterly impossible that the bond I have with my daughters could ever break. Ever. In fact, I wouldn’t let it happen.

As their mother, I love them too much. Even if my child had an addiction or a personality that sent me around the bend and back again, I would tell them something similar to this:

“There is nothing I won’t do to help you be happy, prosperous, and empowered, and there is nothing I will do to help you become unhappy, unsuccessful, or disempowered. I will always throw you a life raft. I will always love you. Always. I will never turn my back on you.”

Love is a trickledown effect. Mothers must love their children. Children then feel loved. Children grow up and become healthy adults who love their children. Their children feel loved. And so on . . . This is the law of nature.

This is why women are being called to heal the world. But to do that we must heal ourselves. We must heal our legacies. We must empower our relationships. We must forgive. We must love. We must trust. We must learn how to communicate appropriately. Effectively. Assertively. Lovingly.

If you are struggling with your relationship with your mother, I encourage you to consider how you are showing up. Are you extending the olive branch and trying to communicate with her in a loving yet assertive way? Are you setting healthy boundaries? Or are you being too demanding, difficult, or unreasonable? What is your part in it?

You might want to take my Emotional Age Quiz to better understand if your mom is in too much Daughter Energy or perhaps, you are in too much Mother Energy.

Thank God, I have my girls with me today. And if my mother should stumble across this article, I want her to know that I thank you, Mom, for giving me life. I will love you forever. I hope one day when we see each other in this lifetime or the next, we are able to hug, shake our heads at ourselves, maybe even laugh, cry, and simply say I love you.

Happy Mother’s Day