Mother’s Day is a bit of a mixed bag for me. It’s a lot of taming expectation, giving up control and trying to roll with whatever the day holds. It’s about genuine intention, grace and flexibility. I have 2/3 of those things.
I feel like major holidays are a great reason to avoid social media. I’m not much for peer pressure or social pressures, but the “Pages of Perfection” are a little hard to navigate.
(For my friends, no this does not mean I expect anyone to hide thing, this is just my narrative.)
I had a complicated relationship with my mom. Its great now, but growing up she had other responsibilities besides me. She and I have talked about how we all do the best we can with what we are working with…. and this is 100% true. Having said that, my reality is still that. Despite intentions and hopes and wishes, I was still a lonely kid with no one around most of the time. I had a reasonably big family, but no one was ever together.
Today marks a day of lots of pictures shared, lots of love shown, lots of nostalgia for childhood. Just not for me.
Now that I’m a mom in the magical wonderful world of Parenting a Teen and a Tween, it goes without saying this has been one of the most trying, emotional, and inconsistent parenting stages so far. I feel like I’m on a rollercoaster of having moments of all the right answers, rapidly followed with never having the right reaction or feelings or emotions for the moment. I’m also a stepmother and I have truthfully never been a good one. I never understood what it took until I was in it, and let me just say that the levels of complication in a mixed family are like shifting plates that often create tsunamis and earthquakes more than they create bliss and cohesiveness.
It’s never the intent. The intent was never for me to go in and be distant and unaffected. It’s a hard thing to be on the outside of such an important relationship. It’s not an easy thing to be present, but not integral. To watch and support without having a voice.
It is so easy to judge until you fully understand what is involved.
Right now I am trying desperately to guide my teenager through a world where his life will be important, supported, and safe. I’m trying to encourage independence while framing it in responsibility and accountability. I’m trying to nudge him into the world, while frantically hammering in the nuts and bolts of his foundation. It’s harrowing! I never got it until now. I don’t see how anyone could get it unless they are going through it.
And today as I’m scrolling my various feeds I see smiling faces and all of my own parental insecurities come barreling to the surface; I wish I had more tolerance for the chaos. I wish I had the serenity to withstand the gauntlet. I wish I was a better role model, I wish I had done a thousand things better. I wish I had more patience and hugs and a bigger heart.
But I am doing the best I can with what I’ve got. I wish it didn’t always feel like I have to try so hard. In my eyes, most women are better equipped to Mom more than I am. Added to that are always the ones who are now without. The friends and family I have who no longer have their babies to hold and worry over. The kids who don’t get to hug their moms today. It’s too many feelings for my brain to hold and I just want to fix it for them … but I can’t. All I can do is hope for them. Hope there were enough moments to buffer the pain and heal the cracks.
Mother’s Day is a rollercoaster for some of us. There’s good and hard in this day for lots of people. All we can do is the best we can with what we’ve got … and chocolate. There’s always chocolate.