Is a great day for flower shops, hallmark cards, brunch and other stores filled with men and kids trying to find the perfect gift. As depicted on TV, social media, and other primary ads, it is a day to rejoice, love, and shower each other with gifts. Not for me. Mother's Day for me is much like Valentines Day when you are single.
I cannot remember an actual Mother's Day that looks anything like you see on commercials and TV. What I do remember is confusion and sadness. I remember as a kid figuring out how to balance the day between the mom I did not know or understand with the step-mom that I did not have a choice to be with. Standing in the card aisle, I would spend hours reading through the options, not agreeing with any of them and not knowing what to buy. How do you buy a card that pours out love, joy and gratitude when you feel none of that. Fast forward into my twenties when I have it somewhat figured out, and mom is dead so when you want to say those things, there is no one to buy a card for, so the day is a reminder to the grief and loss.
Now as a stepmom, I feel even more awkward. Does my stepson feel the way I did when I was forced to pick out a card? Have I failed him in the same way I judged my stepmom? It is another year of reflecting on what I do not have and what I have not successfully become. Recognition of failure as a daughter and stepmom, recognition that I choose not to become a mom myself.
It is an interesting day when the world around you appears to celebrate something you do not and better yet do not understand at all. A day in which joy is not where you are coming from. And yet, as I write this on Saturday night, Mother's Day is not yet here. I can choose to create my day tomorrow and I can choose to feel the same guilt, shame, and confusion as I have the past 25 years, or I can choose something else. I will celebrate the women in my life who have given me guidance, faith, trust and love. I will celebrate the mothers in my life who share the feelings of shame and guilt with me. I will celebrate the daughters in my life who have feelings of failure and judgment. We are all in this together, being imperfect together. Lets celebrate our imperfections, lets lean on each other when our feelings of judgment and sadness arise, lets be for each other when we feel like everything but celebration. Lets be real together and stop hiding.