Mother’s Day has a whole other side to it. It has always been different for me, a holiday that has always been pushed aside and not given much thought to. It of course has changed now that I am a mom, but it still brings some unhappy thoughts as it approaches.
I used to always avoid social media on this day. Seeing people post all the great times with their moms, referring to them as their best friends, all while out on a patio for a great family lunch. My sisters and I never really had that bond with our mom. I do not want to say she wasn’t ever really there for us, she was around, but I can’t really say she was present.
My mom had a plethora of issues growing up. She had anxiety issues, depression, eating disorders, and a drinking problem. Imagine mixing all that together into one person — does not mix well. Most memories I have of my mom are her sitting on the couch with a beer in her hand, watching tv and gossiping. I am actually pausing as I type this trying to think of better times and it’s hard for me to find any. The bad just seem to outweigh the good.
My parents divorced when I was 5 or 6 years old. It was a messy divorce because my mom chose to be with a dangerous guy, one who abused her, messed with her addictions and insecurities. She lost any and all custody rights to my sister and I. She was able to have supervised visits and that was it. I remember one of them, the guy told my mom to take me on a walk with her as he waited around the corner in the car. By the grace of God my grandma had a bad feeling and came running out to grab me. I can only imagine where that day could have ended if it were not for my Grandma. Finally, the abuse got to be too much and my mom finally had him thrown in jail long enough that she was able to get it together and back on her feet. She really did try hard and did get some parental rights back with me and my sister.
Years went by and the alcoholism got worse and worse. Her health deteriorated due to the eating disorder and depression and as that all went south so did our relationship. Another guy with a powerful influence came into her life and eventually the heavy partying took her life. My mom passed away from alcoholism. She was on and off life support for an entire summer. During that time, we somewhat got to repair our relationship, at least enough for us to comfortably be able to say our goodbyes.
Mother’s Day is hard for me, in part because she mother is no longer around to celebrate with. My mother never was really around growing up to celebrate. I never got to put that picture up of her and I saying she is my best friend. She did not get to attend my wedding and watch me get ready. My mom was not there for the birth of my kids and she will never meet them. There are always two sides to the most celebrated and happy times through out the year. Some people have a downside to those times.
So from one mom to another, stay away from the other side of Mother’s Day, for your children’s sake. Remember to always be present in your children’s lives, tell them you love them, show affection! Sometimes the smallest things, good or bad can live on in your children’s heart forever.