Mother’s Day 2020 has been quite something. It almost feels like a cruel joke so absurd that it is, in fact, laughable. So many people have lost their moms, can’t see or hug their moms, or don’t have a mom to speak of in their lives. They don’t have a mother figure that they can turn to for nurturing… those kinds words, a kiss on the cheek, and positive reinforcement to go forward.
I’m lucky. I have a mom in my life, and she’s a great one. Despite me not having been the easiest child to raise, she stuck by me. I know there were times she had her doubts, but today she is beyond supportive and proud to call me her daughter.
I’m also lucky to have been afforded the experience of being the mother to two very amazing, unique humans. Parenting under my circumstances has been a challenging and enriching exercise of motherhood, one that I would not exchange for anything. I try my best to be nurturing with my kids. But sometimes I feel inept, and am constantly worrying that I am psychologically damaging them in some way. Because we have such different brains, I don’t get feedback from them as to how I am doing as a mom… So I find it where I can and just keep following my instincts.
I think I’m a good mom. Everyone tells me I’m a good mom. But I don’t actually 100% know if my kids think that about me. It’s a weird place to be.
But I’m not a very good daughter to my mother in similar ways. Sometimes it feels like we aren’t on the same wavelength because I have weird ways of expressing my feelings of closeness to people. I used to unintentionally hurt my mother because I couldn’t give her the feedback that I do 100% think she is a good mom. I am getting better at that…
Because to me, part of being a good mom is about assuming responsibility for another person’s psychological and physical well-being.
In many ways, I do that to varying degrees with other relationships in my life. The people I care deeply about, that I consider to be my family community, I want psychological and physical well-being for them. The nurturing part of my brain activates regardless of which family member it is. It is selfish really, because their happiness and well-being will directly affect my happiness and well-being in the short and (perhaps) long term. But, on the flip side of that and depending on how connected and intertwined my life is with theirs, when their life goes sideways, mine tends to as well.
Motherly nurturing is a risky emotion to invest with sometimes.
So for this extremely fucked up Mother’s Day 2020, to all the humans out there who invest with motherly love in the other humans (and fur babies) lives, Cheers to you. The world needs you now more than ever. It is going to take some heavy duty nurturing to rebuild.