Mother’s Day is not my day. I get fatigued at seeing all of the praise being showered upon all mothers as beings above all other beings.
Yes, there are obviously fabulous mothers among us, and as an American woman, I feel a strong sense of responsibility to advocate for mothers considering our lack of maternity leave or paid leave of any kind, lack of affordable childcare, workplace discrimination, and a trash mountain of other pressures faced by mothers on a daily basis.
That aside, it’s a fallacy that mothers know best, give the best advice, make the best decisions for their families, etc, etc….
Mothers are human beings with flaws. They make terrible decisions and give awful advice sometimes. That is probably the best case scenario and still makes for a great mom.
For me and my family, we had a mother who felt she was owed for the inconvenience and sacrifice of motherhood and would eventually tell us that. But before she said as many words, she stole identities, checkbooks, our sense of security, pieces of our childhoods along with pieces of our futures.
I haven’t spoken to my biological mother on over 10 years, and it’s a relationship I consider long past dead. I don’t have any desire to reconnect or have a conversation of any kind. Some people find that deplorable because, and I quote, “But she’s your mom.”
I tried. Believe me, I tried. The constant threat to being able to establish myself as a successful adult, the guilt trips, the bailouts – it all became too much.
After she paid me back one final time for yet another financial bailout I gave her as a broke college student, I was done. I moved, I changed my phone number. I even cut off contact with my siblings for years to prevent her from knowing where I was or how to reach me. I lost a lot of time and contact with people I care about. All because of a selfish, narcissistic woman.
As secure as I am in the choice that I made, it doesn’t make this day any easier to stomach. I know I’m not alone. I’ve heard far too many stories from people like me who did not grow up with mothers or fathers who nurtured them or set them up for success, whether financially or even emotionally.
The same goes for Father’s Day. There are great dads, but there are also bad ones or completely emotionally unavailable dads. I have a pretty good relationship with my dad as an adult, but there is A LOT of baggage there.
I just wish these days that we celebrate our parents could come with less, well, shit.
Whatever you’re feeling today, feel it. If you’re celebrating, that’s wonderful. But don’t feel guilty for not feeling all that celebratory. There are a lot of us out here.