Sunday, May 12, 2013

On Mother's Day

It is like a Memorial Day, but in reverse. Rather than look down, we look up.

Many are not happy with what they see, is the problem, making a celebratory day more of a day of reflection.  It's not so easy, showing gratitude to mom, sometimes.

Much of a therapist's ordinary week is about the mothers that are difficult to see, to understand. There are the ones who are selfish (narcissistic), who think every day is supposed to be Mother's Day, and that every day their children should be gazing back at them with love, appreciation, and attention.

We speak in therapy of those mothers who are confused, too, who feel too strongly, whose emotions spill over on us, far too often, for whom life is black and white, or mostly black, and their children are supposed to change that, at least understand them. Their children are to think of them, consider them, respond to them right, as if there is a right way, right for everyone. It is very hard to understand these moms and their needs when our own need for a mother that cares goes wanting.

And we speak in therapy about alcoholic and drug addicted moms, too, many of whom have left us in the care of others, often an older sibling or to foster care; moms who are passed out somewhere, not necessarily in their own beds.

And we speak of mothers who are far away, who we left to live their lives without us, without sons and daughters because these special mothers (and fathers) launched us properly. We took off, married, found work, or merely . . .left, because it seemed the right thing to do at the time.  Far away. Dinner with Mom by Skype on her birthday, on Mother's Day. Sure.

And then, there are those of us who have lost children. For moms with this issue, what can anyone say?

Such an easy, happy holiday, let me tell you, to discuss in the week before the dawn, in the weeks before the holiday that many people actually dread. And we're not even talking about the brunches, which for many are insufferable. What are the odds that a brunch or a dinner is sufferable? Fifty percent or less? Yes, probably, depends how much champagne is poured, and that could make it worse, not better!

Nothing left to do, so why not celebrate Mommy Bloggers?  Because these kids, women, grandmoms, are getting it together, have found an outlet, a way to find sales and coupons, and share. They love their children and often their parents to the degree that they tell their tales to all of us.

Some are bringing up children they adopted, or have taken on foster children. Some are single and broke, or single and working, but have figured it out, how to manage a family, yes, and do it without the help of a significant other.

Let's celebrate everyone, who is a mom or who is not, because honestly, not everyone has a mother, many have lost one, and not everyone is blessed with children. A short list of bloggers who talk about their lives as mothers or almost mothers isn't a bad place to start.

I did a little cruising, searched for happy blogs and here's what I found in my first hour or two. If you think your blog should be on the list, email me or comment and we'll link over. Granted, it isn't as if I read very far, or got to know these bloggers, but I would like to get to know them, like I would like to get to know all of you.

Here we go.

What about What Not to Say, on Then I Laughed. Terrific.
Okay, on adoption,  It’s expensive, adopting, many future parents solicit to defray their costs, but then, boy, can they write!
And about that long road to success, Mom At Last 

Life for mothers is a mixed bag, but when your spouse is arrested, when life changes forever, you have to write about that, too. Life Turned Upside Down

How about single moms? Mom Solo, for one. And Single Parent Adventure.

For a peak at women who think out of the house, yes, do it on the road, try Mommy Adventures.

First time mother? Well, First Time Mom and Dad, obviously.

Lots of babies at once. Quadruplets always thrill me.

Need more of a' tude? Or a banner with heels and those dopey balls kids love to fall into? Cloudy with a Chance of Wine.  Or better, writes about menopause

Then there are honest moms. Refreshing, since most of us lie every ten minutes, according to a Ted lecture I watched. Or some statistic close to that. 

And mom’s who have an occasional special kid, women who know how to love. Dysfunctional Dose

Crafts and recipes? The Photographer's Wife, Mommy Katie
Baby products? No end to these, but lets end it.  Or just products: These Four No More

Kvetchers, but not really: Just a Little Nutty
Taking care of number one, One Classy Motha. on body waxing.  

What we would expect, When Crazy Meets Exhaution
 One thing we have to respect about the entrepreneurial mommy bloggers who review, sell, direct the female blogger traffic-- they are the life of the blogosphere. For an incredible list of mommy bloggers, forget about mine, go to Bloggy Moms

There is such a thing as influential social media mommy-ing. They usually are giving away something.

There are the creative moms that make us feel totally incompetent, like Mom Candy.
And RealHousemoms.

Or those who inspire us to take out our cameras. Mom Photographer, for example.

And Mommy reviewers, who get to wear cool shoes in exchange for a few words on the blog, and post nice pics, like SunnyDayTodayMama.  And shameless product promos, who doesn't like a good ad, as in, I Gotta Try That.

We have to include Childless Mothers Connect, although I would disagree that all women have the heart to be a mother. Not every mom has it in her, is the sad truth. But the bloggers at this website have their hearts is in the right place, and we salute you.

And why not read The Mom's Day Eve, and grocery shopping:
For women who wanted children but never had them, age forces some level of acceptance upon them. Grief and regret transition to “it is what it is.” Seriously, it’s worrisome if you’re 64 and still crying at the sight of a very pregnant woman.
Yes, dear, but some do. The Happy Mother's Day marketing everywhere, begins in early April. It gets obnoxious even for those of us with children.

Crazy thing, I couldn't find a homeless mom's blog. But there are blogs for victims of domestic violence, whose partners beat them or who are hurt and have no place to go. Joyful Heart Foundation is one.  Women Thrive is another.  Violence Unsilenced is another. Warning, this mom is really angry. It isn't a happy blog.

Hardly much of a list, considering that there are thousands of bloggers, but it is Sunday and this mother will still go to work, talk to other mothers who aren't terribly comfortable today.

So many kinds of moms, including older moms like mine who bemoan the losses of their lives, that they did so many things and just can't do a damn thing anymore. Still an inspiration. Every single day.

Happy Mother's Day Mom, and to all of you, no matter how this Hallmark holiday hits you.  It really will be over soon.



Ian Tomlinson said...

I always say to my clients that our parents did the best they could in the circumstances they were provided with. It's easy to blame our mothers or fathers for our ills but this is rarely constructive. I see forgiveness as part of the healing. Happy mothers day mum.

therapydoc said...

Thanks Ian!

Essie Bruell said...

I agree with Ian, but forgiving Mom and celebrating her are two separate things. I appreciate an approach for those of us who may not want to post a photo on f-book on that day.

Jessie said...

Thanks much for linking to me and acknowledging that Mother's Day may not always be bright and cheery for folks. I'm off to check out some of the other blogs you mentioned. Thanks again!

Jessie @

Anna said...

Facebook is hard on Mother's Day. Pictures of mothers and daughters (not sure I have any) and sweet poems and gratitude for great (or maybe even just good) moms.
I wonder if anyone notices my silence. I don't have anything BAD to say about my mother, but nothing GOOD, either.

Mound Builder said...

I'm a mom who hopefully did at least an adequate and not too destructive job of raising my children... and they've left me to go live their lives. This year, I spent Mother's Day with one of them, drove to her to do it, because she seemed to welcome the idea of a visit. I hope they've left because their lives called them to do so, rather than wanting to get away from me. They both still come home once or twice a year and seem to look forward to it.

More puzzling, to me, is the situation with one of my sister's children, a grown child who has cut off my sister. I've known them both over many years, obviously, and therefore think I did see, pretty accurately, what went on in their lives, was even living with them at one time. I don't really understand why sister's child has cut her off, for many years now. I maintain a loose relationship with sibling's child who has never been very clear or specific about what the issue is. I feel certain there were no severe forms of abuse--no beatings, no abandonment, no emotional abuse. I feel sad for my sister, and at a loss as to why the situation is as it is. I even know people where abuse of various sorts really did occur and where they have, for the sake of having some connection to their parent, worked to maintain some kind of connection in spite of the abuse. I read your post and think you've covered most of the reasons there may be distance. But thought of this one in my own family.

therapydoc said...

I'll be back on Sunday, respond to everyone. A holiday's approaching..,the Jewish kind.

Anna said...

Ah! Since you're gone, I'll add that my situation was not absence of body- lived with my parents until I left for college. I still see them once or twice a year.

therapydoc said...

Anna, Facebook is downright dangerous on Hallmark holidays in general. Thanks for reminding people. Knowing nothing at all here except that yours was disengaged, and that can be really lonely, it is a set up for a crummy holiday.

Mound Builder, it’s likely nobody has told you the whole story. And that’s for good reason, probably. Not to give you any advice, of course, but hypothetically in a case like this, I’d step up my relationships with both of them, since you may be the safest person around, and never bring up the cut-off at all, just hang out, shop, walk, whatever. Build more of a connection, and somehow imply that there’s practically nothing new under the sun, nothing that shocks you anymore, in a very general way.

Mound Builder said...

I appreciate your thoughts, therapydoc. I do try to stay in good contact with them both. With my sister it is easy and we have regular, frequent, contact. With her daughter, it's harder. She'll indicate she wants to see me and then she'll shy away from doing things with me. It's very hit or miss. Sometimes she'll come to my house and we'll have a great time. And then she'll be hard to contact for many months after. I'm glad she does have contact with me sometimes. She's a lovely person. So is my sister. I'll keep trying. You've helped affirm that this is really all I can do, just keep trying, and keep it light and fun.

Anonymous said...

I am late to the party as I so often seem to be but I had to mention one great blogger-Mom, the one who led me here, and that's Mary, the hippie momma at Bless Our Hearts. She is often a mother-figure to many of us who read her I think, even though she is not much older than me. She is like the mom I wished I had and the mom I wish I was.

And what about us kids who launched and moved away and returned in middle age to take care of far-from-perfect but aging and needful moms? At times it seems the most natural thing in the world and another phase of life, but at times it is so tough and I wonder why I made this choice and if it was the right thing to do.

I always appreciate your insights.

therapydoc said...

You are never late to the party, not here, Anon. Send love to Bless Our Hearts, and you probably know why you made that choice. Life is beautiful, right?

Chickie said...

Thank you for the mention. I am so glad that I made your list of "happy" blogs! :)