Posts Tagged ‘Mother's Day’

For the love of mothers on Mother’s Day

May 15, 2023

I swear I saw them cut the umbilical cord when my two boys were born. And yet, it often feels like that never happened.

I know I’m not alone in feeling this way. I’ve had this discussion many times with other moms as we feel big feelings when we lament our kids’ challenges, share their successes, and see them into adulthood. There’s never a shortage of topics when talking about the highs and the lows. Everyone has them, right? Some way more than others. That, after all, is part of our job of being a mom.

But I had no idea. I honestly thought that kids would grow up and we wouldn’t be needed as much. They’d grow up. We’d grow apart. The worries and anxieties would stop. Ha. Was I wrong. These days it seems many of our kids are still so attached. Some call or text throughout the day, every day. Others only reach out if they need something or if there’s a problem. We stay attached. The umbilical cord symbolically uncut.

Me and my mom.

I’m thinking about this today, which is Mother’s Day. Because both of my boys are out of town today, I’ve spent more time wishing other mothers Happy Mother’s Day. So many mothers. So many wishes! Words of affirmation. Acknowledgements of struggles. Beautiful pictures posted to social media. To those who get to spend the day with their kids, enjoy this time. To those whose kids aren’t around, I hope you are looking forward to the next time you’ll see each others.

Since we are the sandwich generation, some of my friends and relatives are lucky enough to still have their mothers around to send greetings to or to spend time with. I, sadly, lost my mother when I was only 29 years old. That was a long time ago and I was young (the age my oldest son is now). I was pissed. I know it wasn’t her fault that she got sick and died. But I was still pissed. Even though we had a fraught relationship once I hit my teen years, I just wasn’t ready for it. Once I had children of my own I really started to miss her. There was no one to go to for advice. There was no one to ooh and ahh over the cute babies. My father was great. But he wasn’t my mother. I’m still sad that she never got to enjoy the joy of grandchildren.

Luckily I am blessed to have two other mother figures in my life – my mother-in-law and my mother’s youngest sister. They are both excellent examples of what to do as a mother, and what not to do, which is okay. We all have to learn from each other and I have learned much from them and appreciate having them in my life. They’re not the same as my own mother, but are good surrogates.

I am also very privileged to have so many other mothers to turn to – my good friends who have spent many hours commiserating with me over raising children. I look to them for advice and sometimes even offer some myself. But most importantly, I’m happy to hear them out and so appreciate it when they do that for me as well.

I looked up the history of Mother’s Day, thinking that it was another Hallmark holiday. But it’s much richer than that. Celebrations of mothers and motherhood can be traced back to the ancient Greeks and Romans and spread throughout Europe. The American Mother’s Day was created by Anna Jarvis in 1908 and became an official U.S. holiday in 1914. Jarvis later denounced the holiday’s commercialization and spent the latter part of her life trying to remove it from the calendar. But it’s still there – cards, flowers, brunch and all. I think it’s great. We need to spend some time really appreciating all the mothers in the world – wishing each other a good day – and understanding that the umbilical cord was never cut.

My boys! Always up for an adventure!


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