some thoughts as mother’s day approaches
some thoughts on mother’s day, as it approaches, and i see more and more postings on facebook about how much people love their moms.
first of all, i love my mother. she is my mother, after all. she brought me in to this world, and she raised me the best she could.
that being said, we have what i will call a difficult relationship to say the least. for the most part, since as far back as i can remember, i was the one in the relationship doing the mothering, and any unconditional acceptance came only from me. i won’t say love, because i know that my mother believes she loves me unconditionally, and she would tell you that was an absolute fact, but i know better.
i know that her love and acceptance come with conditions. she doesn’t really like me for who i am. she has the idea of the perfect daughter somewhere in her brain, and i don’t match that. and she makes no bones about letting me know that on a pretty regular basis. which is not to say that she is mean to me, or outright rejecting. it’s a pushmi-pullyu sort of situation. i love you, go away. you’re not enough, come back and snuggle with me. mixed messages since i was tiny.
i can only imagine what my infant brain must have thought, but i learned to cope, and i learned to compartmentalize, and i also learned very early on that i was not good enough, not enough, too much, overwhelming, difficult, bright, creative, overbearing, and too smart for my own good. messages i still play over and over in my head. i learned also that my body was a bad body, unless it was a thin body, and that food was the enemy, but that’s an entirely different blog posting.
suffice it to say, my relationship with my mom is fraught with complication. and i keep going back to the well, to try to get filled up, only to be reminded that the well ran dry a long time ago. which, i know, is my lesson to learn, and i’m not sure why it is such a difficult one.
all of this to say, on this upcoming mother’s day, that not everyone has a great mom. and reading the things about other people’s great mom doesn’t have to be so painful. it is what it is. right? i mean, even my mom didn’t have a great mom, which is not to say that the person who was her mother wasn’t a great person, cause she was. my mom too. she’s a great person, a wonderful friend, kind, caring, smart, all the things…. she’s just kind of crappy at being a mom. anyway, my mom didn’t have a great mom, but since my grandma died, my mother has rearranged all of her memories of her mother not being so great at being a mother, and now, she won’t hear a bad word against her. in her mind, now that she’s gone, she was a great mom. i wonder if that will happen to me too, once my mom is gone, i wonder if i will rearrange all the ideas in my head and just remember her as a great mom, and not feel so much loss and longing. i somehow doubt it. i don’t have the capacity for rewriting history that my mother does.
i know that there are others “out there” those of us who had to (and have to) mother ourselves. and to those of you, i say, you are not alone, and happy mother’s day.