Mother’s Day is approaching. It is time to take a few minutes to reflect on and appreciate just how important a mother is to a child, how important your mother is or was to you. We learn how to love by being loved. Note the feelings that arise when you see a mother gently attending a small child. That is a picture of love.
As much as I’d like to write a flowery story of how wonderful a mother’s love is, being a mother is fraught with many difficulties. The age old, “the child isn’t born with an instruction book,” is so true. And as we age, some people realize how young their mother was when they were born. How does a seventeen, eighteen, nineteen, year old know how to mother? More often than not, they are still trying to fill their own needs. Until they have the opportunity to live independently and get a real grasp of what it is like to be responsible, their maturity is lacking.
A baby is so cute, but as they grow, they become a lot of work. Often a child gets less than what they need to feel secure in the world. In my practice I hear story after story of difficult relationships with parents. Let’s face it: if we are honest, there are almost always issues between a child and a parent.
How could it be otherwise? You have spent an abundance of time with your mother and it is humanly impossible for a mother to be 100% attentive to each and every need the child has. It is the human condition. There are no perfect parents and as children we need good enough parents. Good enough parents to help us develop and become happy, well adjusted and responsible adults.
No matter how wonderful the parents, there are issues. They may be small issues. And others may have been abused or neglected or mistreated and they have large issues. And there are those whose mother’s were absent for whatever reason, and they will have another set of issues.
So my question is, as a child, where are you in the quagmire? Do you have unresolved issues with your parents whether they are dead or alive? And if you are a parent, are you aware of the issues you have or your children have with you?
It is wonderful to spend mother’s day celebrating the person, but what about giving yourself one hour on mother’s day to reflect on your feelings about your mother and, if appropriate, as a mother in relationship with your child. How better can we spend our time than understanding our life and the issues we have with our mother.
This isn’t about confronting your mother. This is personal work: work that you do with and for yourself. Sometimes people say, what difference does it make because my mom is dead. Are the issues dead? You are not doing it for your mother. The work is to be done for you. A great way to start this is to simply take an hour on Mother’s Day to journal your thoughts and feelings of your mother and perhaps your children. Feel free to mention the love as well as the difficulties. I hope there are many good memories. However, I know they aren’t all good. Life usually gives us fodder to work with and much of it comes from the mother/child relationship.
Some people ask, “why do that? I already know how I feel about my mother.” Yes, you do. And you might find that in the quietness of the moment, you will discover more. More thoughts, more feelings and more love. Most people keep themselves very busy these days and I often wonder if it is so they don’t really have to deal with their lives. They keep going because if they stopped, their issues just might come right to the surface.
As for a gift this Mother’s Day, consider a gift of health? Maybe you could give her a gift certificate for a massage or a basket of scented soaps and toiletries.
Feel free to leave a comment below about what this article brought up for you. There aren’t many larger emotional landmines, outside of trauma, than the relationship between mother and child. Happy Mother’s Day to all the great mother’s that I know in my family, circle of friends, and patients!! To all good mothers, I give a salute!
Please note that I will be teaching a muscle testing class in June. Call the office if you are interested in taking the class.