“At work, you think of the children you have left at home. At home, you think of the work you’ve left unfinished. Such a struggle is unleashed within yourself. Your heart is rent.” Golda Meir
Mother’s Day for many people is not necessarily about a pleasant brunch, flowers and mushy cards of love and gratitude, presented with qualms of shrouded unresolved issues and discomfort concerning your mother. How do you deal with this anticipated day of adoration and honor…if you really don’t like your mom?
By all that is true of human decorum, everyone is expected to love their mother. Just being a mother, however, does not mean you are unwaveringly esteemed by your children. Mothers who are highly respected earn admiration and love from their children by being a wholesome role model. They want the best for their kids and tend to put themselves last, not because they are martyrs, but because, out of love, they see others needs as priority.
Point blank, my friend (I’ll call her Mary) hates her mother. Harsh as it sounded to me the first time I heard her utter the words, I began to despise her mother, too, the more I learned about her. My thought on this centered around the fact that; if I loathed Mary’s mother whom I barely know, what must it have been like for Mary growing up with a mom who cared only about herself?
Mary dreads Mother’s Day every year. The sadly ironical twist to this…her scathing mother relishes this honorable day and expects Mary to lavish her with love and attention. Each May, Mary goes through the motions of taking her mother out to eat, giving her a thoughtful gift and fakes being a loving daughter. Inside, she feels more and more angry with her mother for her arrogance and her demand for respect, which Mary simply does not feel she deserves.
Mary grew up without an ounce of nurturing from the one person she needed the most attention from…her mother. The woman neglected her children in every way; she did not provide proper food, she constantly screamed at her kids and had no issue telling Mary and her siblings that life would be a lot easier for her without them.
Mary calls her mother “the madwoman.” I asked her one day why someone didn’t try to get her some help if she has mental health issues. Mary claims her mother is totally in control and knows exactly what she is doing and has always justified the treatment of her children. In Mary’s words, “…my mother truly believes she never hurt any of us and we should never expect an apology.” Mary says her mom is just a wretched human being.
Mary had absolutely no support from her mother as a young girl, a teen, or when she forged ahead to make a good life for herself by entering college. Mary’s transformation into a young woman with solid goals and a Masters Degree under her belt went unnoticed by her mother. Mary’s mother’s constant attempt to undermine Mary’s dreams simply left Mary feeling more disdain than ever about her mother’s inability to nurture her daughter.
My friend’s mother is so careless of the feelings of her children, she was jealous when Mary wanted to celebrate her own Mother’s Day after her first son was born fourteen years ago. I find it beyond comprehension that another woman would not respect and appreciate a daughter’s very first Mother’s Day. In my eyes, the mother is a very troubled person.
Mary had two more children over the years and still resigns herself to putting her own Mother’s Day on the back burner until her mother is pampered and made to feel special. Every year Mary searches out the perfect Mother’s Day card, which does not mention the word “love” anywhere inside or out. She says she does not want to be a hypocrite. For Mary, that Sunday in May is Mother’s Day misery…but she is powerless to make it any different.