With Mother’s Day right around the corner, there are a great many of us thinking about our mothers. Whether we are young or old, the relationship between mother and child is one that can either make or break the life a person. Sure, not all moms are perfect; in fact, there are few that are. Still, even through every mistake they make – they teach us something about life and they help us to grow stronger, more resilient, and more independent along the way. Sometimes these lessons are delivered through kindness and hugs and other times they are delivered through tough love that can make us recoil. Regardless, there comes a point in your life when you have to say thanks Mom – for all of it.
A world without mothers would be like a life without sunshine. No matter how hard it rains, no matter how much snow falls, no matter how cold temperatures are – there is always the hope and excitement over seeing the sun again- knowing it will warm us up, dry up our tears and melt away the icy and often destructive bergs that can make life for us stop. And much like mother’s love – the sun can be seen from a distance, felt inside windows and enjoyed anywhere in the world no matter where we are, what we are doing, how old we become or what struggle it is we are going through.
For so many people, especially women – the mom relationship is pivotal. If your mother has shown you les than perfect love throughout your life or has left you with a relationship that isn’t exactly what you dreamed, you can spend years trying to understand it. If we feel our mother’s do not love us in the right way, then most people feel simply unlovable. A decade or so will pass trying to fill the void that is left by not having a relationship with mom. This can be the hardest decade of any person’s life. The good news is that near the end of this tumultuous period we realize that even though our mother may not have been a shining example of maternal joy; she still taught us something great! Moms are humans too. Many in the midst of their own struggles in life forget that the children around them can’t understand or even worse, think they are hiding their sorrow better than they are. Forgiving them, releasing you own expectations and realizing that through their own personal war and defeats they have taught you how to be a winner is a positive way to come through the situation. If you do this, not only will you be a better person, but you will also be a better parent.
The upside of maternal love is that they forgive us so easily.
Millions of moms have been the victim of sideward glances, painful arguments with their children and hurtful words that can tear the heart right out of a woman. Yet, even before you said the words or engaged in the behavior – you were forgiven. In fact, mothers forgive for us for everything we do, will do and might do on the day we are born, with the realization that there is no one thing that can stand between mother and child. They might be hurt, angry, frustrated, disappointed or at wits end – but it is all because they love their children more than they love themselves and would trade their own heartbeat to see you live if the possibility every arose. Thanks mom!
The role of motherhood is so transitional that moms can get whiplash if they blink for just a second. One day, mom is rocking a baby filling them with lullabies and dreams. Shortly thereafter, they are holding hands and teaching us how to cross the street. They are showing us how to do the most basic thing from eating, to helping us mend from a fight with a schoolyard friend. They walk us to school that first day barely able to let go of the fingers intertwined in their hand. As they watch their child take the first step toward the real world, they are suffering from shredded anxieties and worry. For the next several years life moves at a fast pace. Between homework, friends, practices and recitals there is little time to get much done. Some days the best conversations are held in the car and other days the children want nothing to do with mom. But mom is there waiting in the wings just in case. Then one morning, they wake up and it is as if their life past before their eyes and you have become a grown up. Imagine going to sleep one night to one world and waking up one day later to a new home and country. This uncharted territory of not being needed is terrifying and brings new things. This is what it feels like to be a mom.
Then, the whiplash continues as you embark on a life of your own. When they look at you, they are still seeing that brown-eyed boy or girl wearing floaties who was too afraid to jump off the diving board. They sat in the water below until their hands and fingers were pruned waiting to catch you. You cried, laughed, screamed, fought, changed your mind, argued, fussed, threw a fit, and finally…jumped! And there she was waiting in water she could barely stand in, tired from treading to keep her own head above water holding you with all the strength you had just so you could keep your head up. Thanks mom.
The important thing today is to realize that your mom has always been there in some way or another. It may not have been the way you wanted her to be at times. She may have disappointed you. She may have loved you too much, clung too tight, or been overprotective. But she loved you in the only way that she knew how. Chances are if you counted your blessings, your teachers and your gifts – a great many of them would be owed to your mother. The time has come to say “thanks mom” for all of that. For keeping your head up when you couldn’t swim on above all, for helping you to find your own gills. Thanks mom.