Mother’s Day (a caregivers perspective)

First off, I hope all the moms who read this have an amazing day!

Happy Mother’s Day

I grew up in a single parent household, my sister and I had our mom and that’s it. To this day pretty much the only family we have is our mom and each other.

As a kid it was fun to make crafts at school and give the, to her. As we got older friends of hers would give us a little money and my sister and I would go get something we thought was neat. I remember one of those shopping events where we went to Eatons and I remember having NO clue what to get her. My sister picked out this very cute silver dog statue thing and I remember being so mad at myself so frustrated I ended up getting what was probably the worst gift I’ve ever purchased. I got her a big sponge in the shape of a watermelon slice, not a wedge slice but half a watermelon shaped slice. To this day we still have the dog statue somewhere but the sponge is LONG gone, sadly my feelings toward it, not so much.

As an adult I think I know why I was so frustrated even if I didn’t know then, I didn’t know my mom. Like really know her, didn’t know what her favourite colour was (actually still don’t), didn’t know what her fav food was (again not really sure now), wasn’t sure what she was in to or liked to do in her spare time. Observations helped as I got older, I learned what she didn’t like in terms of food, and clothing, learned that she really did love jewelry of any kind as long as it was pretty, she loved music and hockey.

My mom and I have an odd relationship, and I guess we always had. I don’t consider my mom my best friend, nor someone I could/would go to for advice, not someone I could/would share my deepest secrets or desires with. Please don’t misunderstand me, I LOVE my mom but her and I have never really been close. She tucked me in every night and kissed me on my forehead and those are the moments I cherish most.

When I was old enough to get a job it seemed our roles reversed. I didn’t feel like I could go to university or collage, she never encouraged us to do well in school, as long as we passed or just made an effort it seemed to be enough. She didn’t want us to leave her all alone. So I got a full time job and started paying some of the bills. She spent my money as she did hers, and I let her. But we never ever talked about our feelings. I equate talking with my mom to talking to a brick wall, get pretty much the same results, it ain’t easy.

As I made more money her demands for more and more expensive gifts (for all holidays, Mother’s Day included) were the norm. I couldn’t just get her a card and some flowers and feel as if she would truly appreciate the thought and the sediment. I could never write mushy notes on cards and watch her tear up with absolute joy and pride.

Now as my sister and I are her full time caregivers the lack of appreciation is something that is thread throughout our daily lives. In small comments and big outbursts my mom displays. It’s exhausting.

My mom had a rough go at life, she never had great examples of how to be a loving mom, or a truly caring mother. And I get that, I love my mom and I’m sad with how things turned out.

I see the posts from others praising their mom, hearing how their mom is their best friend and that they could go to them for anything and I get so jealous and angry. I never had that and I want it!

I think I’m writing this because I know I’m not alone. I know that Mother’s Day is hard for a ton of other people. Not because their mom has passed but because their mom is here but was never really there for them. I want to write this not to shame my mom, but to put my complex thoughts out there in the hopes it resonates with others. I know that my mom felt she did the best she could do and doubt she would not go back and redo it and I’m ok with that. I’m happy with the person I am because of her. I did learn a ton from her, May not be what she had intended to teach me but learn I did.

Mother’s Day like most things we celebrate isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s ok to be sad and ok to try and process your feeling for your mom without guilt and shame.

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