Mother's Day can bring a terrible burden of raw emotions that many women think are better kept tucked away under lock and key the rest of the year.
Many had wonderful mothers who are now gone and they find themselves missing them terribly.
Others may have estranged or difficult relationships with their mothers. They may have suffered silently for years through various kinds of abuse or neglect, so for them to celebrate or feel forced to celebrate someone who treated them cruelly, it is a heavy burden.
Some may just not like their mothers for whatever reason. Their mothers may be hovering, nosy and mean-spirited, friendless and lonely, clinging to their children for everything because they were unable to forge lives of their own, make and keep their own friends, manage their finances responsibly and have literally driven away everyone else except their child who feels some sense of obligation.
Then, there's all the bereaved mothers, desperately missing their child(ren) who are gone too soon, whether they had their children physically present for 4 hours, 4 months, 4 years or 4 decades, longing to be reunited with their child(ren). Our arms and houses are painfully empty, our hearts filled with an ache to be able to mother our child(ren) in the way so many other women take for granted. For us, scrolling through social media, seeing all the pictures of happy families celebrating love for mom is too much to bear. It amplifies grief for what we no longer have and can never again have.
Many women suffer in silence on the 2nd Sunday in May, feeling embarrassment or shame that their bodies have betrayed them, that they were unable to physically give birth to a child of their own, some have had to abandon the dream of motherhood, some become obsessive trying to bring forth life every month, seeking the newest fertility treatments and exhausting themselves and their savings. Some search endlessly for alternatives to fill the ache, considering adoption, rescuing animals or trying to be a wonderful stepmother or aunt.
Mother's Day brings a heavy burden for so many. I read once that the woman who first developed the holiday grew bitter and saddened over the holiday morphing into some bizarre, gross over-commercialization (not sure that's a word?).
For those who have the perfect relationships with mom and living children surrounding them, I'm happy for you. I'd just ask you consider sending some gentle thoughts of love, compassion and kindness for those of us not so blessed.