Reclaiming Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day 1995 will forever be engrained in my memory. I can’t tell you specific dates or times, but I can tell you the events that were happening in the week surrounding Mother’s Day. My mom died Friday, May 12, and Mother’s Day was that Sunday. The next week, my dad took me to school to pick up the Mother’s Day book I had made with my class, but it would never be seen by my mom. I will never forget picking up that book. I will never forget that my dad was very sick at the time and threw up in a garbage can at the school. I will never forget that our great uncle took us to the Mall of America the day my mom died.  I will never forget looking out the window in the guest room in our house and crying only once because my dad told me “she is in a better place now”…some things are as vivid in my memory as if it was yesterday.

Since that Mother’s Day, I have not necessarily enjoyed the holiday. Since having kids, I have been able to celebrate it, but still feel the sting of the loss of my mom. I’m pretty sure I spent half of last Mother’s Day in my room crying because my mom wasn’t there. I miss her and I can truly say that time does not heal all wounds. As I’ve grown older I almost feel like I mourn the loss of her more because of all of the big life events she has missed like my wedding and the birth of my children. I love to hear stories about her or have family members tell me how much I’m like her, but that still doesn’t replace the huge hole that I feel by her absence.

As if I didn’t already have problems loving Mother’s Day, just two weeks ago I sat in my therapist’s office crying because I was dreading that it was coming up. My Postpartum OCD had caused me to not even want to celebrate this year. In my mind, I hadn’t earned it yet. Until the boys are grown up and I have “successfully completed” my job, I didn’t deserve to be celebrated. In my mind I thought “what if something happens to them and I can’t protect them?” or “what if I hurt them?” The idea of celebrating my accomplishment of motherhood before the job was complete made me feel like I shouldn’t be celebrated.

Today I feel differently. Today I am able to see my hard work and recognize that I deserve to be celebrated for my accomplishments. I have, quite literally, spent the past year obsessing about every aspect of my children’s lives. I’m so uptight about their safety that sometimes I want to tell myself to take a shot in the middle of the day and relax a little (kidding). So this year I will be different. This year I want to recognize my mom’s memory without being consumed with sadness. I want to celebrate myself without judgment. Most of all, I want to enjoy the children that God has blessed me with instead of over-analyzing every move they make. I’m reclaiming my Mother’s Day because I’ve EARNED it and I hope that anyone else who doesn’t always look forward to that day will do the same for themselves! We deserve it!

Thanks for reading!


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