Mother’s Day is the most commercial of all commercial holidays, and it triggers people in various ways. Mother’s Day is dope if you have a mom who is motherly, and who rallied for you in the ways that made you feel loved and validated. However, some of us do not have a positive nor healthy relationship with the woman who birthed us, the day is overwhelming and dreadful. I used to enjoy and look forward to Mother’s Day as a kid because I would put all my effort into making my mom a card, and writing her a cute poem. I became a teenager and our relationship became strained and tedious. We weren’t close, we were on opposing teams, she didn’t like me, I was scared of her, but I didn’t respect her because of how she treated me.
Mothers are people who are just trying to get through their lives. Some do their best, others do what they can, and others don’t give a shit. There’s a whole spectrum of all kinds of mothers. Yet, my reality is that my child doesn’t owe me anything. I chose to bring her into this world, it’s my duty to love her, nurture her, pour love and energy into her EVEN when I don’t want to, feel like it or can’t. I have to find a way to give her my energy, and the very best of me because she did not ask to be here. Without her, I wouldn’t even have a day to celebrate.
My first Mother’s Day as a mom was excruciating. I’d just separated from my daughter’s dad, I had a 5-month-old who was so cute but also really tough emotional work, and I cried every single day. I was in the deepest depression of my life, and I did nothing but think about all the reasons why I needed to die. I thought about who I would leave my daughter with, and I was thinking of ways to kill myself. I was sad. Everyone was asking me about Mother’s Day, but no one was asking about ME, the person, the human being.
If we aren’t going to be checking on the mental health of the people we are celebrating, then what good is Mother’s Day? Perhaps someone should have checked in on my mom. The way she was with me was unacceptable. The things she said and the way she treated me was not something I deserved. I suspect that she was probably really sad. She was probably dealing with her own heartbreak, loneliness, perhaps contemplating her own suicide, and suffered in silence. Maybe she had many dreams and hopes that I fucked up. Maybe I was a constant reminder of a sacrifice she didn’t want to make and she never let me forget it. Instead of celebrating the commercial aspect of Mother’s Day her people should have checked on her mental health. My dad should have been checking on her and helping her. She should have had more support. I feel that deeply.
I can enjoy motherhood because I have an exceptional group of women with whom I can share all of my parenting woes. We have all shared stories of trauma and drama, and no one is judging. My friends will not let me die, they will not let me suffer, and they will be there with me when I want to cry and vent. Our babies are loved and they are being raised in a village where we are not perfect, we are not ideal, but we are present, raw, unfiltered and committed to being great mothers. It’s hard being a woman, it’s harder being a mother and it’s even harder dealing with all of that if you’re alone. The world can be a nasty place, but I think we have to find our tribe and look for people whose souls vibe with yours. It is not enough for us to just say, “Happy Mother’s Day.” Check on my mental health, check on my heart, check on my emotions and make sure that I am okay.
Me, the woman, the human being and not JUST a mother.