My mother will be 82 this summer and thankfully still lives independently and has a sound mind. As Mother’s Day approaches, I am reflecting on our relationship and how it came to be where it is today. Sadly, I am not one of those people blessed with a doting, supportive mother.
My mother and I view life very differently. The worst time was during my adolescence when I was ready to try my wings and she was strict about trying to keep me as her “little girl.”
I left home at 18 for college and never returned — taking her advice that as long as I lived under her roof, I would follow her rules. So, as soon as I could, I went out and got my own roof.
Our relationship improved then. We even became like close friends for most of my adult life because it seemed she finally accepted me as a person in my own right.
Now we’ve come full circle, only this time I am the mother and she is the hard-headed adolescent. I spend a lot of time putting out her fires and trying to advise her about better ways to handle her problems to avoid repeating them. But she is stuck in her ways and stubborn about changing.
I am not looking for sympathy or pity. I debated long and hard with myself about whether I wanted to share this publicly. But as I’ve searched around for answers, I have learned that not all mothers are good mothers, as well intentioned as they may be.
Many books have been written about difficult mother-daughter relationships and can offer great comfort to any suffering daughter who needs to know that you are not alone and should not feel it is your fault if your relationship with your mother is impaired. Google narcissistic mothers for more insight.
I’ve learned that many people have far worse relationships, or non-existent relationships with their mothers. Many, like me, wish things could be better. For those of us not basking in the love-light of bestfriend mothers, the annual observance of Mother’s Day is an emotional challenge.
Abiding by the Biblical commandment to honor thy mother and father, I try to be a dutiful daughter. There’s a lot more on my heart that I could unburden but I’d rather not cast too much of a shadow over the Mother’s Day celebration.
But I would like to say to appreciate what you have. If you are blessed with a great relationship with your mom, then make sure you let her know it every day — not just on Mother’s Day.
If your relationship is not so great, Mother’s Day is an invitation to reach out as much as you can, even if only to send a card or make a phone call. Come Sunday, I will be where I’ve always been on Mother’s Day – doing the best I can to put a good face on a frustrating situation. firstname.lastname@example.org