Mixed-Feelings Mothers’ Day

Like grandson, like nana

Last Mothers’ Day was my first as a mother and to be honest it was a bit of a blur. We were still in that immensely difficult newborn phase, stressed about feeding and growing and sleeping. I had all these doubts in my heart about whether I was a good mother and I wished that my mother was around to reassure me. I was still taking each day at a time, not thinking much about the future.

This year, I look back at 2014 me and I wish I could give her a cuddle. I wish I could tell her how awesome her little man will become at giving cuddles. Part of me is SO looking forward to a Mothers’ Day in which I can snuggle with my boy and play his favorite games. I don’t feel like a bad mum, even when my son is protesting that I am one. Instead of feeling like I’m drowning, I feel like I’m living the life I imagined when CJ was the cliched “twinkle in my eye”.

I’m not going to deny though, that this time of year DRIVES ME MAD. TV ads declaring that they have just the thing for my mother, radio voiceovers asking me whether I’ve shopped for her yet. Even three years later it feels like a slap in the face that my mum isn’t around. Social media giveaways  – share a pic of you and your mother, give us a reason why your mother is the best – seem to have picked up this year and even my carefully cultivated accounts no longer feel safe. Part of me will be so glad when Sunday is over and my Instagram feed goes back to cute babies and delicious food.

I know I can’t expect everybody to think about it, but it can be very hard to be a motherless mother – whether you never knew her, whether you lost her recently or long ago, whether she’s passed beyond this world or simply disconnected from you in this one. It’s hard to have a holiday that will remind you in perpetuity of something that you’ve lost, especially at a point in your life where you’d value her presence more than ever.

On Sunday, I will enjoy my place as mother of my small family. We’ll visit my mother-in-law and show that we value her work in creating the fantastic man we have as husband and dad in our lives. We’ll be thinking of my mother and hoping that she is looking down at us and enjoying the family we are today but we’ll also be thinking of those other mums out there for whom Mothers’ Day brings mixed feelings too.

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3 thoughts on “Mixed-Feelings Mothers’ Day

  1. I really feel for you. I can’t say I understand as I am so very lucky to have my mum still in this world. But I mourn the mother in law I never got to meet, the nana that sweet m never got to cuddle and more than anything the woman who taught my darling husband how to be a loving man and parent. All those ads make me sick with empathy for him and his siblings. Of what in another reality ‘should have been’. But I truly believe you are not ‘motherless’. You are a fantastic mama and she taught you so well (even if her time was unfairly brief). I like to imagine she’s with you always. Just like m’s ‘heaven nana’. Kia kaha my friend.

  2. Mother’s Day is one of those really tough holidays for many people. I still have my mum, but this year I struggle to face it because I would have been 20 weeks pregnant this week. It seems harder that it’s a bit of a milestone week… that I’m not finding out the gender of the baby I no longer carry. Every ad is a reminder of what I don’t have. I feel bad not not wanting to face Mother’s Day this year, but there’s a bit of a balance to find between my needs and my mums wants. I hope this Mother’s Day is a special one for you and your little guy, even with that ache in your heart.

    • That is so rough Kirstin! I’m so sorry for your loss. With several friends with fertility issues I’m also acutely aware that Mothers’ Day hurts for those who wish they held a baby in their arms this year.

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