Mother’s Day is hard for many people. Those who lost their moms, miss them tremendously. Others who had difficult relationships with their moms have mixed feelings on a day designed to honor her. If your mom is addicted, mentally ill or depressed, relationships may be strained. And if you are someone who is struggling with infertility, Mother’s Day is especially hard as it reminds you of what is not happening in your life.
Given all these factors, moms are still important and why a conflicted relationship brings such emotional angst. Moms matter as the emotional back bone of families. On a day designed for moms, we need to find ways to honor them. Most moms do their best. They aren’t perfect. And may even be troubled, but because of your mom, you exist.
As you think about your mom, remember the good things. Who held you when you scraped your knee? Was she there when you didn’t make the team and needed some encouragement? Did your mom defend you when others had it in for you? How about when mom just listened and helped you through a difficult time?
Moms sacrifice their time for us. They can support dreams while at the same time be practical and tell us to wear clean underwear! Moms remain a part of our life even when they are gone. Their influences, words and actions stay with us for a lifetime. Even now, I laugh when I find myself repeating things my mom said or feel sad seeing something that reminds me of her.
My mom taught me how to be a woman whether I was conscious of this or not. Through the years, I have made some changes from her original influences, but still have parts of her in me–her independence, strength, assertiveness and people skills.
So, this year, make Mother’s Day special. Take some time to reflect on the good things that happened between you and your mom. Sure, there may be room for improvement, but most people have some good qualities that can be highlighted this holiday. If you dig deep enough, you can find positive parts of your relationship.
Find a way to honor her. Perhaps with a card, flowers, a special meal or a handmade gift. If your relationship is conflictual, extend the olive branch for a day and make her feel special. This is not a day about what one deserves or a score card on how well she did. It’s a day to say thank you and appreciate the difficulty of the job.
I like the Jewish proverb that says, “A mother understands what a child does not say.” It’s so true. My mom knew when something wasn’t right. She could tell when I was struggling or down. That incredible bond of living 18 or so years together made her attuned to me. She knows me and can challenge me when I need it.
For those of you with good to great moms, your expressions of thanks will be well received. Even with positive relationships, we all like to hear how our hard work paid off–at least once a year. My daughter writes me a card every year with special thoughts. I cherish those cards and have kept every one of them through the years. Because hey, moms have self-doubt, wonder if they did enough or said the right things. And we don’t get much credit for the job. So, whatever you can do to encourage her, do it.
This year on Mother’s Day, we can hug, gather, kiss and be together. Hopefully, this will make it special again. Still, your challenge is to find ways to honor your mom and let her know she is special. To help with this task, we asked several people to give messages to their moms. Listen to the show and what people said. Be encouraged.
Messages to Mom