Sunday, May 14, 2006

Mother's Day

For all the mothers out there—Happy Mother’s Day! I know the work and love and sacrifices that go into being a mother.

This post today is for all those who find this a difficult day. Maybe you’ve lost your mother recently. Maybe you are a mother and you’ve lost a child or your children are far away. Maybe you wish you were a mother and aren’t. Maybe you find yourself second guessing things you did as a mother or things your mother did for/to you—or both. Maybe the people you most hoped would value what you do as a mother don't.

There are lots of reasons this can be a difficult day for many people. And if it is for you, as I find it is today for me, then maybe it will help a little to know you’re not alone.

Motherhood is tough. Children are 24/7 and there is no perfect set of rules on how to raise them. Nor is there any guarantee on how they will turn out, no matter how hard you try to love them. Some mothers succeed spectacularly and some fail spectacularly and each leaves a lasting legacy in the souls of their children—though not always the legacy they hoped to leave.

Growing up is about coming to terms with your parents and learning who you are distinct from them. It’s about learning to fly though sometimes you have to escape the nest and sometimes you get shoved out a little too soon. If you’re lucky, you get just the right amount of time in the nest and then all the love and encouragement you need to fly. If you’re a mother, the challenge is in knowing just when to let go.

If this is a happy, wonderful Mother’s Day for you I’m glad. That’s how it should be. Enjoy the day and time with your mother or being honored for being a mother.

If this isn’t a happy Mother’s Day for you, be gentle with yourself and know that you’re not the only one who may find it hard to celebrate Mother’s Day today.