Thoughts on Mother’s Day…

mother's dayHere it comes, the holiday that puts us all under pressure to do right – Mother’s Day. Even those who don’t really like their mothers end up doing something kind to mark the occasion. I have always felt that Hallmark should create a special line of cards for people whose mothers have been particularly difficult and careless. They could go something like this:
To My Mother on Mother’s Day -Your cooking was never glorious, your moods are notorious. But, as long as you’re on your medication things are great! Keep up the good work Mom, and Happy Mother’s Day!
Or:
To My Mother on Mother’s Day. Your passive/aggressive behaviors were text-book perfect. Good to know I learned from the best!
Or:
Happy Mother’s Day! To a mother who never gave up trying to hold her liquor.
Or:
Happy Mother’s Day! Thanks for the roaring holidays – you really know how to spike the punch – and land one too!
Perhaps those of us who have chosen to be mothers should use this holiday for a bit of contemplation while enjoying the flats of Pansies and boxes of candy we receive. As our sons and daughters age, we will invariably watch them doing things we consider seriously flawed or destined for failure. But maybe before we speak our minds we should pause and reflect on how we felt when our own mothers bossed us around as we were finding our way through life. I have a colleague who gets along well with her mother and I think I know why: Lydia told me that since having her children, her own mother, who is genuinely helpful and very involved in her life, has agreed with everything Lydia has decided to do with her kids. Now, just three years later, her mother remains universally agreeable even though Lydia herself reports having changed her mind on just about everything. I think Lydia’s mother is on to something big and sensible that we could all learn from.
This Mother’s Day, I am going to make a point of giving serious thought to Lydias’ mother’s approach. After all, I think I have been a good enough mother over the years so really, why doubt my daughter’s abilities? Perhaps we all should just sit back, be more agreeable, and listen closely for cues about what they need and want from us – and more importantly, what they don’t.

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