We may not all be mothers, but we all have one. They may or may not still be living. We might be able to recall some great moments with her, or some not so great moments. Either way, they bore us or perhaps adopted us, and they became our mother.
Everyone has a different version of a mom. Maybe she was the motherly type, maybe not. She may have loved the role as a mother, or she could have despised it. You could have been her favorite child or her least favorite child. But, we’ve all experienced the mother child relationship to some extent or another.
I never connected emotionally with Mom. I preferred my dad who spoke my love language; undivided attention. Maybe he had more time. Motherhood, after all, requires an immense amount of focused time and energy. As the old adage goes; “A man may work from dusk to dawn, but a woman’s work is never done.”
Though my youngest brother can attest to spending time alone with mom before he was old enough to go off to school like the rest of us, I don’t remember ever having that kind of undivided attention from her.
In my teens, I tried to mimic the relationships my older sisters had with Mom. They could sit and chat with her like a good friend. But when I took Mom out for coffee once, it was awkward. We had nothing to say to each other.
At eighteen, I left home and sometimes would reflect back on my childhood. Recalling a word or an attitude I’d displayed toward Mom, I’d have regrets. During one of my visits back home to see her, I’d asked forgiveness for the things I thought must have been painful for her. My words made her uncomfortable, and she could do nothing except to ignore them.
Yet even with our lack of emotional connectedness she did teach me a thing or two. She taught me how to drive and how to sort laundry. She also gave me advice, albeit a little quirky.
She was an avid reader of newsletters, magazines and newspapers and she liked clipping articles out of these publications. Using a black sharpie, she’d write our name at the top of a particular article she wanted us to read, and then put them where we’d see them.
One such article, Don’t Make Mountains Out of Molehills, appeared on my dresser one morning when I was a high school student. I don’t remember gaining any profound wisdom from the article. I just wondered why we couldn’t just have a face to face conversation.
By the time I’d married and had my own children, I’d given up analyzing my relationship or lack of relationship with my mother. I quit trying to make it something it never would be; close. I accepted it for what it was, civil, courteous, and diplomatic.
Why bother remembering your mother? As Mothers Day approaches, I’d like to hear from you about your mother. Was there a piece of advice she gave you that you followed? Did she have a quirky habit that may have irritated you as a child but now you find endearing? Did she teach you something practical that remains a skill for you today?
If you want to share an honoring memory of your mother, I will post some of them on my blog on Mothers Day. Send them to the my email address found on my contact page and include your name.