For a good many years because both hubby and I faced infertility I wasn’t sure I would ever get to celebrate this day myself. And during those years my relationship with my own mother was strained. I didn’t understand her, how she loved, and how to love her. My relationship with my mother in law was then, and still remain tumultuous. She tolerates me because I’m married to her son, but it’s obvious I will never been a good enough wife or mother – all of this under the guise that she pretends she WANTS to be a mother to me, wants us to be close. But her biting words, cold emotions and outright rudeness speak of different emotions.
Today I get to spend the day with her. I will smile despite the overwhelming anxiety I’m feeling at her visit, I will bite my tongue when she criticizes me, my housekeeping or doesn’t understand why I’m not “better yet”, or that “her son shouldn’t have to cook”. I will attempt dinner with the family instead of cocoa pebbles alone but that one isn’t a promise as Mother’s Day is my day too.
My mother is off camping. How she spends every Mother’s Day in her element with the man she loves cooking over and open fire, fishing and hiking. I hope she’s enjoying herself despite the rain. She deserves it. My mother and I mended our relationship about 3 years ago, I realized I had expectations of a mother that she was unable to give. I learned how she showed her love to me and in that I learned to love her. Since my breakdown she has texted me close to every day just to check in. She’s tried to help me come out of my depression and anxiety even though she doesn’t quite understand that she can’t fix it. Because that’s what moms do.
As for me, almost 14 years ago my own wish to be a mom was fulfilled and then almost 7 years later another blessing came along. And while I’m not the perfect mother, and lately I’ve felt I’ve shortchanged them because of my mental health- they are the best of me. They are both smart, gorgeous, mostly happy kids. And I am beyond blessed that they call me “mama”.
Today I reflect not only on my mother and mother in law but on my own motherhood journey- that almost didn’t happen and I am profoundly grateful that the Lord lent these children to me to raise, and I hope that I am doing it right.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms, grandmothers, stepmothers, birth mothers, adopted mothers, and to the women who are longing to be mothers. You have a tribe behind you, some of us are crazy and we are all different but we are all mothers first to our cores.