This weekend, The Band, we're hosting a carnival of posts about Mother's Day. Before you run away gagging, hear me out: these are the kinds of Mother's Day posts I wish I'd read years ago. Knowing that I was not alone in my struggles was a pivotal point in my life. Today, we celebrate the tables forever missing one. Today we celebrate the mothers we've lost and the mothers we've found. We're celebrating the mothers we wish we'd had while acknowledging the mothers we did have.

This year, The Band, I'm proud to celebrate a carnival of Mother's Day posts from perspectives that aren't always storybook. Perspectives like mine. Perspectives like Jana's. Perspectives like yours.

Today, no matter where you are in your life, whether you're missing your own mom, happily celebrating with family, stuck at a table forever missing one, wishing desperately that you were a mother, or wishing desperately that you had a mother, know these two things: you are loved and we are none of us alone.

I know, I know. 

It sounds kinda harsh. But I hate it.

I do love honoring the mother-types in my life: my step-mom, my mother-in-law, my step-grandma, the two ladies who stepped in to teach me girlie things while my dad was trying to figure out how to raise a teenage girl, the lady who took me in when step-dad #847 (okay #4) threatened to kill me. I'm all about giving them love and honor and phone calls and cards on Mother's Day. 

But I still hate it.

I believe it began when mom disappeared for two years when I was in grade school and junior high.  Trying to call the last known phone number to wish her Happy Mother's Day only to find out it was disconnected kinda puts a bad taste in a kid's mouth. Eventually we found each other and I went to live with her. It was kind of okay. But when you realize your mom is trying to start fights between you and your volatile step-dad on purpose, it hurts the relationship. 

When I was 18, it was decided for health reasons that I shouldn't have kids; I had a hysterectomy when I was 21

Even after all these years, there's still the thought that Mother's Day is never going to be for me. That's a hard pill to swallow at any age, but at 21? Wow. I'm okay with not having kids, but it's really hard to sit in church on Mother's Day and hear all about the virtues of the mom. 

Nine years ago, Mom died. She managed to do it just a couple weeks before Mother's Day so I get the anniversary of her death combined with Mother's Day. 

Yay.

I am married; I have two step-kids and four grandkids. Believe me when I tell you, I get it - I'm a "step", not the real thing. My dad and step-mom, my brother, my in-laws - all of them wish me a "Happy Mother's Day".  That's about it. 

I try not to be ungrateful for what I do get. My daughter-in-law sent me a "Happy Mother's Day" text last year that had me over-the-moon excited. However, when Father's Day rolls around and the husband gets a card from the kids, a card from the grandkids, phone calls and whatever, it effing hurts

I haven't figured it out yet - what to do to get me through Mother's Day.  Most of the time I treat it like any Sunday except I'm almost guaranteed to miss church. 

I put a smile on my face when I call my step-mom because she is the best woman in the world; I want her to know her value as my mother - I know it's not all about me. I send my sisters-in-law texts because they do a fabulous job of raising my nieces and nephews. 

Then I try not to let it get to me on Father's Day when the well-wishes come pouring in. 

3 Comments