Celebrating Mother’s Day differently

I am assuming that Mother’s day was created to make us celebrate the women who brought us in, and in most cases, up in this world. After many conversations with hundreds of women, I think it may be time to pull the shades up on this. No two Mother/child relationships are the same…not even in the cases of siblings being raised by the same mother in the same house at the same time. I know this to be true in my world for sure. My brother was only 11 years old when our mother was killed in a car accident…I was 17. 17, pregnant, and getting married in 48 hours. Ryan, my little brother, and I have 2 different Fathers. So after my mother passed away he lived with his Dad and I lived my new husband. Ryan spent every summer, weekend, and holiday with me from the day my Mother died until he was about 16 years old at which time he was able to move around independently. His Father was deeply immersed in his career in law enforcement…working his way up the ranks. This left me and my (ex)husband as the faux-parents to Ryan. This was a total recipe for disaster. I was 17 and had zero guidance. Even when our Mother was alive we didn’t have much guidance. She loved us and made damn sure we knew it every moment of every day but she didn’t teach us about the world…now I know it’s because she knew nothing about the world herself. My Father and I have an interesting history too. My Dad loved me in his way. He showed me his love by making me independent and pointing out the bad in the world…letting me know that I had a choice when I grew up. He lived and worked in an area full of gangs, drug addicts, drug dealers, and prostitutes. Where most parents would try to shield their children he pointed things out to me…drug deals, a man trying to solicit a prostitute, a homeless person. He actually kept a binder full of newspaper clippings depicting the crime within blocks of his home and place of business just in case he had to kill someone to protect himself and his family. He would have this tangible piece of evidence for justification. He had a police trained German Shepard (actually shipped from Germany…pure bloodline). He trained this dog to take very small morsels of food out of my toddler daughter’s mouth just in case Bob, the amazingly trained German Shepard, ever had to attack someone. He could bring the dog to court and show how gentle and well mannered this dog was by showing the dog working so gently with a child (BTW, I was not aware of this while it was happening…omg, I would’ve died). He was trying to teach me. Where my Mother had ZERO knowledge about the world…my Father had an endless amount of knowledge about the darkness of the world. My brother and I were raised by the exact same woman in the exact same home but we see her very differently. My brother sees my Mother as this woman who could do no wrong…a saint. A woman of strength, love, and beauty. I love my Mother DEEPLY but I also know now that she was a broken, insecure, unguided woman just doing the best that she could. My Mother’s intentions were so good but I know a lot of my brokenness stems from the misguided lessons from her. I do not blame her…my mother loved me and she wanted me to have a better life than she had but you only know what you know. All those daughters out there who resent their Mothers for the way they were raised…they did the best they could with what they had. All those Mother’s out there…you are doing the best you can with what you have. Let’s break the cycle. As Mother’s let’s show up in the world as the imperfect human beings that we are and celebrate the imperfections of the ones before us. Let’s show up as we are not as how we are “supposed” to be. So I am changing Mother’s Day. Rather than celebrating the women that brought us in and up in this world, I am forgiving them. I am giving every Mother in the world the best most coveted gift she could receive…forgiveness, grace, and a clean slate. We cannot change the past but we can change the present and move forward into a better future. We can be transparent, destroy the “supposed to” language, and begin anew. Today…as a Mother to a 25-year-old daughter and the Step-Mother to 5 children…I am gifting myself forgiveness and gifting my children authenticity. Happy- I know you are doing the very best that you can with what you have and I love you, not in spite of your imperfections, but because of them-Day

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