I originally posted this for Mother's Day 2 years ago. I felt an overhwhelming need to share it again. Not sure if it is me who needs to re-read it or maybe someone else needs to know they're not alone..I debated whether or not to write this blog. How would it be received? Does it sound like a pity party? Are there maybe others out there with similar situations that this might help?
Simply put Mother's Day is two sided. It is a day when we celebrate the woman who was a mother to us and if you're blessed you are being celebrated by those you are a mother to. What side do you fall on? What side is more important?
The baby boomer generation, of which I am ever so slightly too young to be a part of, was the first generation to have an ideal of motherhood for all to see. Prior to everyone having a television in their homes our ideas of mothers beyond our personal experience were in literature and the bible. Both of those sources allowed us to form mental pictures which could lead to millions of different "mothers". With the introduction of television we now all had the same visions. In the 50's we had June Cleaver, Harriet Nelson and others not only looking perfect but extending that to every area of their family. The 60's we started to see Moms with career aspirations on TV falling in step with the equal rights movement the country was going through. During that time we even started to see families without a father figure. The 70's brought is a whole new onslaught of what motherhood looked like. We saw divorced moms(Ann Romano), remarried moms (Carol Brady) and moms working hard just to keep their families together (Shirley Partridge). The 80's were when we finally started to see strong successful moms(Claire Huxtable). Their careers were in the focus and the families rallied around.
There were no TV shows were the families were miserable. No one wants to watch a show were the Moms are abusive or negligent. What company wants to sponsor a show where the Mom is screaming at the kids every week? When we do see mothers portrayed like that in movies there always seems to be an aunt or teacher or simply a neighbor that comes in and rescues the children from that horrible situation. Guess what? That is the reality for many kids and they don't all have a rescuer.
I am one of those who fall into that category. However I have learned to survive. After many many times of hoping for a healthy relationship I realized things aren't going to change. I believe the saying is: Insanity is doing the same thing expecting different results. There comes a time as an adult when you have to say enough is enough. You have to be strong enough to say I can no longer continue this unhealthy relationship. I will not allow it to effect me or my children anymore. I remember the pain in my heart as I came to that realization, the day when I said enough is enough. Knowing I would have trouble with the conversation that needed to take place I wrote a letter. A very long letter. I had others read it to be sure not one word or even comma could be misconstrued. It took me over a month to write that letter. That was 11 years ago. Unfortunately that letter came with collateral damage as my Dad was still alive and she forbade him contact with me. Over 2 years later at my Dad's wake a neighbor pulled me aside and shared this~ Your father showed me the letter you sent to your Mother and he was never prouder of you. He so wanted to move near you had he had the nerve. I had an "Aunt" who was my Dad's childhood friend say almost the same thing. The release and blessing those two women bestowed on my was immense. The reality is we have had absolutely no contact whatsoever with my mother for over 8 years and I do not feel any sense of loss. I sincerely hope she is happy and healthy.
I've been a little ashamed these last few days. I'm watching everyone change their FB profile pic to their moms. I wonder if they're thinking why haven't I done that~ as if anyone really gives a hoot but you know we all have those moments.
I am living on the other side of Motherhood. I chose to give up a career and stay home for my kids. It hasn't always been easy or very pretty for that matter. I knew I had to be better than what was modeled for me. I hope and pray my girls are better Moms than I am. I am a very firm believer that Children Learn What They Live. My orthodontist had that poster in his office ~amazing I can remember that but not what I had or even did I have lunch yesterday.
Am I a perfect Mom.... OMG NO!
But guess what.... they don't exist!!