Mother’s Day and All the Complicated Emotions With It
May 9, 2020
Complicated emotions abound this Mother’s Day. I am a mom, so this day is for me. The only problem is the realization that it has always been 25% about me and 75% about my mom on this day. I enjoy celebrating the love I have for my mom; celebrating our amazing relationship. So May 10th, 2020 is complicated as I manage 25% joy and 75% grief and loneliness. How does one manage such a ratio?
May 12th, 2020 marks six months since my mom left the earthly plane to return to her heavenly Father. My faith tells me that God is omnipresent, which means present at all times in all places at once. No need to wait in line, God is available to everyone all the time. As we return to God our spirit becomes one with His and we are also omnipresent. So mom is everywhere, all the time, present for all of us at once. No waiting for the schedules to align for our lunch date, just always present.
But I miss her physical presence, her voice, her laugh. It was our ritual to plan out our gardening conquests on Mother’s Day. Decide what needs to be bought now and what needs to wait for June. I cleaned my front garden beds out this week and started making plans. Attempting to practice stillness, I sat seeking mom’s presence. But my heart still longs for her words of advice and I would love to text her a picture of the progress and wait for her feedback. I have so many things to say.
Mom it seems unimaginable that it is six months since we last spoke. Who knew, I can do hard things. I can do impossible things. Momma we are all ok. Of course I know you already know that. You’re watching always. Smiling as we go about doing all the things you taught us to do. You taught us to take care of each other, to love fiercely, to laugh often, and to live fully. I love you Momma! Happy Mother’s Day!
The Other 25%
From my very earliest memories, I had an overwhelming desire to be a mom. Some people dream about backpacking through Europe, I wanted to get married and have babies. I love being a mom, including the good, the bad, and the ugly that goes along with it. Motherhood fills me up. It gives me joy. So I will celebrate with my partner in crime in this parenting gig. I will smile and laugh with my babies.
The day will look different; there will be no restaurant breakfast and packed church service. Because mom being gone is not the only “hard thing” we are working our way through. Instead there will be a husband and children making pancakes, bacon, and eggs, along with my perfect cup of coffee. I may lie around and read or listen to a book. Some sort of dinner will be delivered. It will be perfect just as it is.
I am a Great Mom
As I began sorting through my complicated emotions, a friend of mine reached out with support and said “You are a GREAT MOM”. Am I? Can I say that about myself? Do I ever? Truth be told, I am the type to focus on my faults over my triumphs. Lament the time I lost my patience and forget to acknowledge all the times I kept it together. Find ways to do things better, rather than seeing all the things I do good and perfect and full of love. So I made a decision, on this Mother’s Day I will repeat over and over “I am a Great Mom”. I will celebrate my own greatness if only for this single day.
We need to celebrate our success. Instead of beating ourselves up for our mistakes, why not take more moments to celebrate everything that we do well. One of my mother’s many talents was lifting me up in my own mothering. Pointing out the love my children have for me. She would joke, “You can’t be such a bad mom. All I hear all day is ‘When is mommy coming home?’ These kids love you so much. You are their perfect mom.” In honor of my momma, I will remember that I am a Great Mom.
I wonder how many other people are navigating complicated emotions this Mother’s Day. Emotions can be complicated for an infinite number of reasons. Give yourself permission to experience all the messy emotions. To be fully human, we need to embrace the good and the bad and the complicated. No one has a path of 24/7 sunshine and rainbows. Life is not neat, clean, and precise. My Mother’s Day will be full of love, joy, sadness, and loneliness; but it will be mine and that will make it perfect.