Happy Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is difficult for me. My mother and I _______________.

I want to fill in that blank with all sorts of fabulous designations. I want to say what other people say : My mother is my best friend. We have so much in common. We have a great time together. She is always there for me.

But I can’t.

Despite my best efforts my mother remains staunch and judgemental. There is a wall between us that is too high for me to climb over. She does not like, does not approve of my husband. She does not like my life choices. She couldn’t disapprove of me less if I was a serial killer or a porn star. She will not change her position. It has caused me an immeasurable amount of grief. It has caused me to think that maybe I am a bit of a shitty person. For surely if I was a nice person, a worthwhile person, she wouldn’t treat me this way…..

But the truth is people will do what they do and think what they think and oftentimes it is nothing at all to do with us.

I know a lot of people who find Mother’s Day hard to cope with. I know a lot of people for whom the day is filled with sadness. I just want to take all those people today and give them the biggest hug they have ever had and make them a cake. With plenty of icing and sprinkles on the top.

In the park yesterday evening I saw this sunset. The colours filled me with a sense of wonder. The water seemed to be full of light and stars. The boat bobbed gently, cradled by the lapping waves.

That sunset sustained me because I knew that today I would ring my mother and she would barely bring herself to talk to me and I would feel like I felt when I was a child believing I would never be good enough.

And I knew I would spend much of the day gloomy and downcast, unable to understand why any Mum would let something minor come between them and their child. And I knew I would think about it all day and still find the subject unfathomable.

That sunset was a gift to me because I did not remain as downcast as I thought. Right now my husband and son are making spring rolls with special sauce in the kitchen. Their presence and the sunset and boats on the twilit water make me sorry for a woman who shuts someone out for reasons she herself may no longer be aware of.

There is nothing I can do about, that but what I can do is make sure my relationship with my own child never experiences that kind of strain. Never ever. Oh, my darling, crazy, kind-hearted, hilarious boy – I cannot ever imagine putting a wall up between me and you.

The sunset stays in my head. A golden and amber spell. A warm rug thrown out from the heavens – for anyone to catch. And I know all will be well because I will always be me in spite of it all. My ability to see the sunsets will not diminish.

And as the day falls into silhouette I smile.

And give thanks.

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25 thoughts on “Happy Mother’s Day

  1. Happy Mother’s day to you Selma, if nothing else, you’ve learned how NOT to be with your own child. It’s sad and I don’t get why some mothers do this but I’ve seen it first hand with my motherinlaw who turfed my husband out of her life over his choice in me. The hurt never goes away, the wound never heals and the worst part is is that they are missing out and either don’t realise it or simply don’t care or are so wrapped up their own selfrighteousness that they can’t see past it.

    It’s their loss.

    And you’ve broken the cycle with your boy , that’s what’s important.

    Hope you had a great day and their spring rolls turned out yummy! xo

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  2. Hi Selma,
    Yes today is a sad day for me, as my Mum has passed on, but I am lucky enough to have some wonderful memories.
    A really nice picture, such wonderful colours.
    Happy Mothers Day to all the Mums out there.

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  3. My relationship with my mother was also bittersweet, and now that she is gone I find myself sometimes missing the relationship I wish we’d had instead of the passive one we did. Like you, I felt misunderstood and was most often in the range of her disapproval, no matter how hard I tried to bridge the gap. It wasn’t really the same for my sisters, so that made me all the more sure there was something wrong with me. Now I just understand that we were very different, she couldn’t relate to my world any more than I could truly relate to hers. I miss her , and I hope that now she sees and understands, and maybe even appreciates a little who I am. This is a hard day for many, and I love your idea for a party and fancy cake! Your Mom doesn’t realize how special and wonderful you are, but the rest of us do! And yes, it serves as a reminder to never, ever treat our children the same!!

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  4. Oh, Selma. You speak for me. Except that I hardly think of my mother on Mother’s Day. I think about my children and how differently I made sure to treat them than I was treated, how I never judged them and always made them feel they could talk to me about anything. And I look out of my front window at the amazingly tall pine tree that takes up half our front yard that I planted my first Mother’s Day, with my eight-month-old playing in the grass, in order to connect with the greatest mother of all, Mother Earth. I think you might be inspiring a blog post.

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  5. I know where you’re at, Selma. As my brother used to say … if she wasn’t our mother, I wouldn’t like her very much.

    Not bad, you understand, just thoughtless; favourite expression: ‘It’s not for the likes of us!’

    Fortunately, I had Auntie Margaret … my equivalent, I believe, of your Auntie Jo!

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  6. Selma, my heart breaks for you and the others who have mothers who just don’t understand what being a mother should be.

    My mother died when I was nine, so I could always believe I had the best mother in the world, and I did my best to emulate her. Mother’s Day was painful until I had my own kids. Now I get to enjoy it again.

    Happy Mother’s Day to you, Selma. I hope that one day, before it’s too late, your mother comes to her senses.

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  7. Big hugs Selma. Mother’s day can be very sad and it was my first without Mum, but my kids made my day with lots of home made cards and art and hugs and kisses. You have written a heartfelt and moving post – your son is very lucky to have you 🙂

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  8. Great post Selma. Heartfelt and honest. Could the source of your mother’s disapproval of your life choices be jealousy? Cheers, David

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  9. Mother’s Day is a tough one for a lot of people. For me, it’s a day that makes me miss my mom even more. I posted about her on my blog this year and it’s even hard to read the post over or look at her photo, the pain is still so real for me.

    I’m truly sorry that you and your mum don’t have a good relationship, you certainly aren’t alone with this but that doesn’t make it any easier, on days like this. You have a great relationship with your son though and are lucky to be a mum to such a lovely guy.

    Great photo too.

    http://www.takeahappybreak.com

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  10. Oh Selma, I’m so sorry. I often come to your blog hoping I’ll read a post where (amongst a list of other things I wish for you) you tell us that your mum has had a change of heart and…

    So, I keep hoping for you. Maybe one day will be the day. I know how hard it is to have a wall between myself and each of my parents. These days mine has a bit of a window. Things are simpler when there’s a great deal of distance involved.

    Love to you, honey. xxx

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  11. Well Mother’s Day is good for something. Maybe assessing where we’re all at in the grand marathon of motherliness is what we should all be doing on that day. Happy Mother’s Day Selma. May you see many, many more sunsets.

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  12. “what I can do is make sure my relationship with my own child never experiences that kind of strain. Never ever. Oh, my darling, crazy, kind-hearted, hilarious boy – I cannot ever imagine putting a wall up between me and you.”

    AMEN, Selma!

    And a very Happy Mother’s Day to you, my friend!

    xoxoxoox

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  13. i feel whats in the spaces between the words selma. your honesty is amazing,
    and where mother is so important to a child, even when grown, it is so difficult to come to terms with realizing ones own has been flawed, profoundly. but i think it is par for the course. because who ever is without flaw can cast the first stone so to speak. still here it is not stones you are casting but as if you blow the dandelion seed-feathers and they float away over the green into the blue

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  14. Hey Selma, the mother/daughter relationship is a very tricky one, indeed. I’ve struggled alot to come to terms with the fact that I would never have the kind of ease that my two sisters had with our mom, my dad told me once it was because we were so much alike … it could just as easily be that I’m the middle one! but I’m pretty sure it comes into play during your formative years as a girl & woman. All you can do is your very best and to keep love in your heart. You are already making the phone call and hoping for change, it could still happen. Love, peace and blessings to you.

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  15. Happy Mother’s Day to you! Had you been my mom I would have spoiled you rotten and hugged you until you couldn’t breathe! I was once told – we can’t choose our parents but we can choose who our friends are and I am glad that you are my friend! I basically don’t have a relationship with my mom so I totally understand where you are coing from! But I try, I don’t know why I bother because it doesn’t change anything.

    You are an amazing mom, just reading your posts about you and your son, you can see how amazing and fiercely protective you are of him.

    Huge hugs!

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  16. First of all, a cyberhug to you, Selma. Your mother has no idea all the beauty and goodness and laughter she is missing out on. It’s her loss, truly.

    My personal issue with Mother’s Day is trying to find a card that doesn’t make me cringe when I read it. When I try to find a greeting card to send my mom, all of them seem to say these things I don’t really feel. My relationship with my mom is about as good as it can be at this point in time. I give it a lot of effort, and so does she, but I also feel I have to hide a bunch of my life to fit into her parameters of what makes a good daughter.

    OK, I’m gonna stop rambling now, but let me just say that this post totally hit home for me.

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  17. CATHY – I cannot believe your mother-in-law did that because I think you would be an amazing addition to any family. It’s such a shame when this kind of thing happens and so unnecessary. And you are so right – they are the ones who miss out. The spring rolls WERE very tasty. My husband is great at making Asian-themed food!

    MAGS – I’m sorry to hear your Mum is no longer with you. Days like Mother’s Day can be hard when that is the case. I am very glad, however that you have all your wonderful memories.

    JOSIE – You are so wise. That is exactly how it is for me. My mum and I are very different people and I think that is where the conflict really arises from. I also mourn for the relationship we could have had. It is a great sadness in my life. You always put things in perspective for me. Thank you.

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  18. SQUIRREL – You are beautiful. I really mean that. I am smiling thinking about your tree. I also try my darnedest not to treat my son the way I was treated. So far it seems to be working. I keep my fingers crossed that I remain open-minded and let him be himself!

    TRAVELRAT – You are totally right. My Mum isn’t a bad person, she just doesn’t see things from other people’s perspective and that can cause a lot of problems. Your Auntie Margaret is definitely like my Aunt Jo. Every family should have one!

    PATTIKEN – I am so sorry to hear you lost your Mum at such a young age. That must have been extremely hard for you. I am really glad having children gave you back Mother’s Day. That is brilliant!

    GABRIELLE – I knew this was your first Mother’s Day without your beloved Mum and I felt bad for all my whinging. I am so glad your lovely kids made your day beautiful.

    DAVID – If only. I think her response is more of the incredulous kind. To be truthful, I really don’t know. I wish I did know the reason because I might then be able to resolve some of our differences. Maybe someday…..

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  19. GERALDINE – Your comment made me a little teary because I know how much you miss your Mum and I am so sorry she is gone. Life is just so hard for us sometimes….

    DAOINE – You are just beautiful to think those things for me. What a gem you are. Luv ya heaps XXX

    JENNIFER – Self-assessment and critique is good. I am all for it. I think it does keep us in touch with the bigger picture. I hope there are many sunsets out there for you too!!

    MELEAH – A double AMEN to that. Hope you had a fantabulous Mother’s Day!!!!

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  20. DAVID – What a fantastic collection of photos. Some of them are hilarious. You always have such good links. Thank you!!!

    TIPOTA – You are far too kind to put it that way. I think I am casting stones of some kind but the dandelion seed feathers appear so lovely in my mind I shall claim them, I think. I like to be honest because it helps me to put aspects of my life into perspective and even though I don’t always like writing about or facing negative things if they are there I have to acknowledge them. Maybe then I can change them. I hope I can.

    SUSAN – You are so right. Doing our best and keeping love in our hearts is the only way to go. What an insightful comment. Thank you!

    TBALL – I am so happy you are my friend and I would love to hug you to pieces too. It will happen someday because I am determined to get to Canada before I get too old and rickety. I want to visit there so badly. Someday soon. That’s a promise XXXX

    KATE – Awww. You are such a sweetie. Aren’t some of the cards just awful? Who writes the poems? And the funny ones just aren’t funny. I cringe too. Sending back a big ole cyberhug to you XXX

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  21. Oh Selma, I find it unfathomable too. I feel like grabbing her and saying ‘wake up woman’ I’m just glad you have your own family, who know what’s important. Sending ‘another’ hug to you x

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  22. Some parents just cannot stop feeling responsible for our behaviour… poor deluded things. But we learn from them what not to do (if we are wise). I am sure you had a happy Mum’s day, oh wise one!

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  23. DEBORAH – Some things just remain inexplicable. I have pretty much accepted it but every now and then it just gets to me. If I didn’t have my ‘boys’ I don’t know what I’d do. I love your hugs ♥

    STAFFORD – Yes. I am the little cross-legged wise one on the mountain watching the world make a mess of itself. Channelling Jim Morrison in his more hallucigenic moments. LOL. This situation has taught me what NOT to do, for sure. I hope it has made me a little wiser. That, at least, would be a positive!

    ADEEYOYO – I know. I hate the thought of wasted years. It is upsetting. I keep hoping…..

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