The wrath of the unappreciated mother can be quite intense. That's why holidays like Mother’s Day should be a day of gratitude for all involved. Yeah, even if our parent wasn’t perfect, cut the lady a little slack, parenting courses are a relatively new phenomenon.
It's also important that our mom's remember...our partner's aren't psychic or perfect.
As I was doing research for my Mother’s day blog I came across an article from a very distraught mother. She was on a solid tirade, slamming every traditional Mother’s day gift the blogger had received from her husband over the years they'd been together. Gifts of chocolate, flowers, jewelry and brunches had her screaming to her uncaring husband and all the insensitive, clueless men on the planet, “How can you not know what moms really want?!”
I wasn't sure who I felt worse for, the unhappy mom or the cluster of men she decided to shame. This mom was justifiably exhausted, frustrated and feeling under appreciated. (I get that way and I don’t even have kids.) I remember my own mother having those moments of sheer frustration that lead to her having rage fest. The love of raising a child is a 7 day a week commitment, that requires years of self-sacrifice and lasts a life time.
We’ve all had the experience of being shamed for not doing a good enough job in one way or another.
So, here’s the thing to remind ourselves of, it’s our personal responsibility to communicate our needs before we blow a gasket. Clear communication is a skill that for some of us may require a little courage and take a little practice. That's not to say we don't need to vent from time to time and get a few things off our chest. It's just finding a balance between emotionally release and shaming an entire gender for not being good enough.
To help better our communicate our needs with those we love we can take mini moments of Me time during our day. Even if we have a busy day we can usually find the time to stop what we are doing for 5 minutes and take a little "me" moment. There are immense mental and physical health benefits in allowing ourselves to take a few moments a day to just reconnect to ourselves from the inside out.
Closing our eyes, focusing on breathing, scanning ourselves from head toe will help us to see and feel what is going on with us. We can usually start to feel the physical and emotional symptoms of stress creeping in before they become a Mach 5 explosion. Exercises like this are quick and effective for cutting off problems before they become major issues thus helping us to better communicate our needs.
Instead of slamming our partner for doing their best (even if it’s not to our standards) to make an event like Mother’s Day special, ask for that day off from the “mom job”. This is a much better solution than hoping or wishing our partner will predict our needs and magically make it happen for us.
If we lose the anger and sarcasm and use self love and the love we have for others (who are probably doing their best too) as a foundation to communicate we can get a lot more of our needs met in a healthy way.
We all get frustrated and tired in our lives (whether we have kids or not). I can’t talk from personal experience when it comes to being a mom but I can certainly tell you how I've been shamed for not being one.
Outside of raising a cat for 21 yrs, babysitting for 10 yrs, being a step-girlfriend and now an Aunt: I am a woman who does not to have children. I never had the personal calling like some of my friends do. But, that doesn’t make me a bad or broken person who will one day “change their mind”. It doesn’t mean I hate children or want to eat children like the witch in Hansel and Gretel.
Telling me, “You’d be a great mom,” with puppy dog eyes of disappointment and shame doesn’t make me feel guilty over my decision. (Just as I’m sure all my moms out there don’t feel guilty over theirs.) I may not have the day in day out sacrifices of a being a parent, but I certainly do my fair share as a friend, a loving family member, a yoga therapist and life coach. I know I’m a good person with or without kids.
And just as there are many women out there who are desperate to become moms more than wives, I relish the day I can become a wife (and/or a step mom) too. Despite what most people think, choosing not to be pregnant is not a choice to be single and unmarried.
With deep admiration and gratitude a very Happy Mother’s Day to all the traditional and non traditional moms (and dads) out there! For as long as we all communicate clearly while doing what we love, raising families or not, and respecting one another, instead of shaming and slamming each other, I think we’ll all be just fine the mommy day season!
Author: Heather Dawn