BOLD NEW MOM – Episode 141
It’s not Mothers Day, but it is MONDAY MOTHERHOOD MATTERS. Even though we are far from Mother’s Day, mother “issues” hurt, all year long, right? Since my parent’s divorce, my relationship with my parents has really been a struggle. I would almost say that those relationships have “suffered”, but I think that a negative experience or a negative relationship does not always equal suffering. Rather I could look at it as an opportunity to take the relationship somewhere different. And different is very very appropriate. The thought that our relationship shouldn’t be any different than it was when I was a child or when I was a teenager, or even what it was when I was a young mom myself, does not serve me well. In fact, it’s not even really possible. But getting to that place where the relationship is appropriately and gloriously different – that takes not only effort, but it takes patience and discomfort and even pain … like trying to grow my biceps.
The biceps I’ve been working on are doing horribly, by the way. I have a tropical vacation coming up, and I was hoping to improve my arms. Ha ha. But I have, honestly, resisted the pain that is involved in improving that body part.
And maybe that’s the way it is with improving relationships. Maybe it takes pain – purposeful pain. And it likely takes an incredibly amount of patience. And do you know what else it takes? It takes loving yourself even before the change or the improvement is manifest. And we are going to be talking later this week about self-compassion. I think that that often gets overlooked. But greater and more lasting changes will happen – both with my arms and with my relationship with my parents – if I love myself there, not guilt myself there or shame myself there. Does that make sense?
Okay, let’s talk about Mother’s Day.
“There is zero upside to hating Mothers Day.”
Jody offers us some thoughts surrounding Mothers Day that could serve me better than the thoughts I am having right now about my mom and about my role as a mom.
THOUGHT NUMBER ONE.
“None of us had a perfect mother. None of us. In fact I would guess that most of us have a mother who has as many weaknesses and faults as she does strengths, because that is how every one of us is designed as a human being…
Your mother was never supposed to be perfect…”
Remember our discussion on Good and Bad? Yes! That’s her! That’s me!
“If you are seeing people, other humans, as one-dimensional, you are missing half of life. You are missing half of the experience of being alive and appreciating other human beings.
You’re labeling that person as good or bad. If you label them as good, you’re only going to see the good in them. If you’re labeling them as bad, you’re only going to see the bad in them. You’re not going to see the full dimension, the full experience of who they are.”https://livingandtravelingwithkids.com/2020/09/day-305-good-and-bad/
THOUGHT NUMBER TWO.
And this is really interesting – something I hadn’t put any thought into before. This is the thought: Our mothers spent maybe 18 years taking care of us and teaching us and raising us. But, really, for the majority or our and their lives, that relationship will not look the same. At some point, the tables are actually turned. Our mothers, after maybe our mid-twenties, need us as peers or even as the more capable one, the one to make decision and the one to take the wheel.
From counsel on house decor, to counsel on investments. That relationship is meant to be different than mother-child, and for the large majority of our lives, and even throughout eternity! Fascinating, right?
Can I love them in that way? Can I reconsider what relationship I have with them now, and why it isn’t serving us? The relationship needs to be different, because, that is reality.
THOUGHT NUMBER THREE.
“Have zero expectation. People ask me all the time: ‘What I should have no expectation? Really?’ And I say, ‘Ya. Unless you want to be disappointed!'”
THOUGHT NUMBER FOUR.
“Any time we make things about us, it is a really good way to suffer. In our minds we don’t ever measure up, and no one else can ever measure up either…
Mothers Day is about all the mother-figures in my life that I get to just love on…
Mothers Day isn’t about you, and that is the best news ever!”
And I have so many mother-figures that I can love on, on that day! I want to spend the rest of this post talking about these women in my life:
- My own mother. She was young when she married. She had my brother pretty quickly, and then me just a year later. I cannot imagine what overwhelm she must have felt! But she taught us the best she knew how, and she loved us the best she knew how. And now, years and years later, I have the security in my life that I do, because she offered that security to me in those formative years.
- My mother-in-law. I think that she is a wonderful woman. She knows who she is, and she knows what she wants, and her desires are so pure. Her favorite color is yellow, and she IS, in my eyes, yellow – happy, bright, looking for ways to shine in our lives.
- My sister-in-law Suzanne has not only been one of the closest friends of my life, but she is a mother-figure in my life. Her counsel to me on motherhood is invaluable. And her non-judgmental listening ear, through many difficult times, has been heaven-sent. I am a better mom and a better person for her influence on my life.
- My sister-in-law Amelia, while we were living in NYC, would fly out for a month each year. And, though she has no children of her own, she would literally mother my children during that time with us. And she would be a mothering influence on me, caring for me through pregnancies and post-partums.
- I have a couple of neighbors who have been mother-figures to me, by their examples, but also by the care they gave me, when maybe my family members were not able to offer me the care I needed.
- Sister Demordaunt, Lorinda Belnap, Christine Nielsen, Anne, Kaylee, Jen, Kim, Kathy, Sara, Joyce, Kristie.
- And what about the women I have never met, that have had a mother-influence on me, even if only in the small clips that I get to see of their lives: Brooke Castillo, Jody Moore, Brooke Snow, Marjorie Hinckley, and Julie Beck. I am so grateful for these women who know who they are, and know who’s they are, who dream big and fill their lives and create their life-experiences, intentionally.