Mother’s Day Burnout

I know a lot of you are going to read that title and be offended. Or that some of you will read it and wonder what it could mean.  But, then there’s also a big chunk of women who will understand exactly what I mean by that title.

Don’t get me wrong, I love being a mother.  Those 2 little angels that came into my life when I was just a young woman taught me to get my priorities in order and what the meaning of unconditional love is.

But when they grew up and moved out I lost a piece of myself.  After many years of spending time together with my children on Mother’s Day it just suddenly crashed to a halt.  They grew up, moved away and weren’t always able to be with me on Mother’s Day because of work and/or family responsibilities of their own. I always knew that day would come but when it did I didn’t realize just how hard it was going to be on me. It re-opened wounds of bad memories of Mother’s Day as I knew it growing up.   As a child raised in a doomsday cult I wasn’t allowed to participate in or celebrate Mothers Day.  Can you imagine how foolish it was to be taught that it was wrong to take one day and honour your mother for all of the hard work and sacrifices she made willingly; all year long?  Even as a young child I didn’t agree with this but was powerless to do anything about it.  It was forbidden in the community I was raised in.  We were taught that it was a “worldly” or “pagan” form of worship.  Even then I thought it was bullshit I didn’t dare express that opinion or thought for fear of the consequences. When I was little,

So, you can only imagine how ecstatic I was when my mother left that cult and eventually we started to celebrate all of the holidays and those special moments most people just take for granted. I couldn’t make up for lost time fast enough.  I desperately wanted to please my mother and gain her approval.  I wanted to know and believe that she loved me the same way I saw other mothers love their children. I wanted her to love me unconditionally, except that I didn’t even know what that word meant at that time.  All I knew was that no matter how hard I tried to please her, I somehow always fell short of the mark.

When I had children of my own I learned a lot of new lessons.  I learned that Mothers’s Day isn’t supposed to be a competition to see which child gave the best gift; therefore gaining favour and becoming the chosen one that mommy loved the best.  I learned that it’s not about the expensive gifts or a contest to see who mommy’s favourite child was that day.  It wasn’t a day for me to prove my worth and desperately hope to be part of her inner circle.

When I had my children I looked at Mother’s Day through brand new eyes.  I learned the priceless value of a painted handprint at the top of a poem created just for me by my 5 year old daughter, which is still proudly displayed on my fridge for anyone to see.  It’s a reminder that the most precious gift our children can give us is their innocent offerings of love and pride.  It’s also a reminder that time moves swiftly and there’s no guarantees.  The most important gift a mother can give their children is unconditional love.  Nothing helps someone from getting through life’s challenges more than knowing your value and worth from the time you are born and through all the changes and challenges presented to each one of us.   The most valuable gift you can give your children is your time and patience.

Being a mother has been the toughest but most rewarding career I’ve ever had.  I wouldn’t change being a mother for anything in this world.  But, I also have to be honest and admit that after taking care of kids since I was 10 years old, I am exhausted.  I’m burned out.  Sometimes I just feel like I have nothing left to give.  And the strangest part of this whole motherhood thing is that my children will never know or understand where I’m coming from because I make a conscious to be the best mother I could be whose children would never have to question or second-guess what they mean to me.  Not that it’s their burden to carry, because it’s not.  It’s just that Mother’s Day doesn’t have the same meaning to me as it does to them.  For me, it’s a double-edged sword.  In spite of the many fabulous Mother’s Day celebrations I’ve been lucky to share with my children; it’s also tainted by a toxic negativity that is as real as the love I feel for them.

My mother isn’t speaking to me again.

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