The word Mother is never neutral.

img-thingIt may evoke Joy.
Overwhelming Sorrow and Loss.
Dysfunction.  Absence.
Laughter.  Love. 

I was talking about Mother’s Day with Steve and Rebecca on KXL101 morning radio this week.  My own grief wells up – my girls are far away, we won’t be celebrating together. The memories are sweet of Mother’s Days past, sure, but they seem so distant. My own mother is nearing the end of her days – will this be our last Mother’s Day together?

I came across this blog post from 2013 that spoke so eloquently about this double-edged holiday (aren’t they all?!) They encourage all of us to share it, so please do – giving credit where credit is due.

Let’s be real. Mother’s Day can completely blow sometimes.

You want to be cheerful. You want to be with the program. But some years there are all these little points of pain that will not go away.

The baby you never had.

The one you gave up.

The kid you lost to something bigger than you.

The child that slipped away before you ever held her.

The one that was never born.

The one you worry you’re failing.

The one that failed you.

The mother who’s so close and yet so far.

The one you loved so much who couldn’t love you back.

The one you could never love because it hurt too much.

The one you lost too soon.

The one who is slipping away.

The one you can never please.

The one you wish you could live up to.

There are no cards to honor these children or these mothers. There are no holidays to contain all the parts of you that fall outside the lines of generally understood sorrow or celebration.

But there is this moment, this incredible moment, where you can feel it all. Where for once you can’t stuff it down or forget it. Where you have to be with it, because it is not going away.

And here, my friends, is where something important happens. This is where we connect, where we understand we are frail, where we are human. Where we see in new ways what life means. Where we are issued a compelling and persistent invitation to mother ourselves. To cut ourselves the breaks we didn’t get. To ask for the help we always needed. To let tears come and say, This is how it is. I’ll ask in this one tiny moment, for the courage I need to let everything just be.

No matter what your point of pain or challenge today, I want you to know that you are not the only one. Somewhere over a silly Mother’s Day breakfast, there is a woman faking a smile who feels just like you do. Somewhere in a very silent house with no one to call, there is a woman who is tending the ache of her loss, just like you. Somewhere standing in a shower there is a woman who is feeling it all and letting the tears come, just like you.

As you go about this day, know that over here, Ria and I have candles lit for all these unspoken things, and that we are holding the space and thinking of you. You — the faraway, soulful you — will be in our meditation and in our warmest thoughts. We are sending you light and love and the deep wish that you would know today of all days, nothing is wasted and we are together in ways we cannot always see but are just as true. That the night can never last. That even in our darkest moments, there will be someday, the surprise of a laugh, a comfort, a dawn.

With so much love, hope and light,


Author: Late Night Parents

We're the late show of parenting! These are the community posts for members of the Late Night Parenting team.

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