Sometimes it comes in the form of flowers, a precious hand-made card, or a spa certificate; the gifts we associate with Mother’s Day are usually sweet reminders of the loving bond between mother and child.
Like many holidays, however, it also comes with a level of expectation—and for some moms this means facing uncomfortable thoughts, feelings and even certain realities. Mother’s Day during your mid-life years can prove to be a time of intense introspection as children tend to be growing older and are less dependent—perhaps you’re even starting to feel those first pangs of self-doubt when it comes to life’s purpose? And if you still have younger children at home “tweening,” you may also be experiencing the “sandwich” years, multitasking to care for kids and your older parents. Issues with our own moms during this time can further complicate the situation. This is also the day when women reflect on the relationships they have—or perhaps do not have with their offspring. Is this a situation you can identify with but find hard to share with other moms? Do you anticipate that no one else feels like you and that you’re the only one experiencing an a-typical Mother’s Day? For mothers who have strained relationships with a son or daughter, who have children in poor health, or mothers who have experienced life’s greatest pain of losing a child, this day can be excruciating. Not to mention, this year’s health crisis may be stirring up new issues or exacerbating old ones just as mothers are being tasked with being even more extraordinary—having to juggle working from home, home schooling and managing home life simultaneously. Recognizing and owning, rather than swallowing or deferring our motherhood issues, is essential. Garnering support from other mothers who have been there is key. And while we may not be able to accept physical hugs right now, we can take heart from a community of like-minded women—mothers, aunts, sisters, daughters and friends who share this sacred space with us in our forum.