So Mother’s Day just wrapped up and for me it is a bittersweet day. I am so in love with my three-year-old son. His personality is developing quickly and it is a great privilege to witness a life growing and expanding. And having the opportunity to nurture that. So Yeay Mother’s Day. However, my relationship with my mom is not what it once was . I loved my Mom dearly growing up. I used to sneak into her bed for her snuggles and her skin was so soft. She always smelt like baby powder. She was kindness and grace. Every inch a beautiful lady. My dad was vocal about her being his better half and being so grateful to have won her heart. My Mother was warm and tender and we we spent a lot of time together.
As you may know my parents are Jehovah’s Witnesses and my relationship changed when I effectively chose not to be a JW, after struggling through my teenage and young adult years to find a place within that religion. In the Jehovah’s Witness culture when a congregation member leaves they are shunned. So my parents think that it’s up to me to repent and re-join the cult and that by shunning me they’re giving me some tough love. This is why I am effectively motherless.
It’s hard to see a parade of smiling mother-daughter pictures on Facebook and Instagram when you would give anything able to spend that time with your mother. I know I’m not the only one who faces this bereavement. Many women grieve the loss of their mother through cancer and death. The loss of their Mother through addiction. The loss of their mother through an abusive relationship.
When I was pregnant with my son I was not feeling well. Even though we had already been estranged for years something grew up within me…I just wanted my Mommy. I wish my Mom could have seen my birth my son naturally on my own bed. I wish she could have seen me care for my son, feed him with my body, comfort him with my soul. I wish she could have seen all the nurturing instincts that I learned from her.
Those missed opportunities build a fire within me. That fire burns and it tells me to be be bold, to show up as my truest self because that may be the way to miss less opportunities with my own son. With my own self.
So while I sat with my fire and grief on Mother’s Day I tried to focus on the fact that there is a mother inside all of us. Within all people, nature and animals there is an ever present mothering SHE force. She is a nurturer. she is a tender compassionate being. She’s a lover. She’s a life giver.
To honour the mother within me, not just the literal mother who raises her son but the Mother nurtures herself. The Mother who nurtures her own passions, desires or interests. When I make time to go to yoga I am mothering myself. When I make time to light some candles and incense I am nurturing myself. When I make time to prepare a healthy meal for myself I am nurturing my body.
How about my career? When I say no to opportunities that aren’t in line with my truest calling I am nurturing my future. When I make a budget and stick to it I am being a Mother to my future.
We can bring forth life. We can foster, nurture and care if we have a baby on this planet or if we have a lost a baby. Or if we will never have children. Or if our pets are our children. We are all mothers. So this past Mother’s Day, and all Mother’s Day’s in the future, I hope to honour the true Multilayered Mother that is within me.