When the ultra sound tech told me I was pregnant with a girl, my hub was so happy he cheered and I was so disappointed I cried. In the car ride home my hub asked me why I wasn’t thrilled to give birth to a girl and my reply was, “ I don’t think I could be a good mother to a daughter.”
Mother’s Day is coming up and that means you probably started searching for the perfect card*. Mother and child relationships are highlighted in specialized thank you cards. Gratitude for all the guidance and support children have received over the years written in cards with matching pink envelopes. My search is a little complicated because it is hard to find a card that says exactly what I feel. I was not close to my mom when I was growing up. I was a Daddy’s Girl. Not to be confused with hating my mom. I genuinely love(d) my mom. And, I am extremely grateful for everything she sacrificed and gave to me - and continues to give to me. But I don’t give her credit for the person I am today and she’s not one of my best friends, not even in the Top 20.
Ouch! Doesn’t all this sound so bad coming from the person who writes a blog on being thoughtful? Call me old-fashioned but I am thoughtful in that I don’t buy cards to say things that I don’t really mean. Not because cards are expensive or a waste of time but because I believe if you're going to say something, mean it. For years, these Mother’s Day cards were torture. In my own independent, unofficial study, I have found that I am not the only one who has this problem with this special day. I have been grateful for the generic cards because I am able to write my own sentiments inside. This year, my daughter chose the cards for the Grandmothers.
My hub said something to me that was very simple yet profound on that car ride home from the ultra sound. He said, “You may not have had a good relationship with your mom growing up but you have the opportunity to raise your daughter the way you would have wanted to be raised.” This gave me hope and from that point on, I fell in love with being a mother. The only problem was that I wanted to be the opposite of my mom. I would wake up everyday hoping that I wasn’t like her. Double OUCH! This all changed when my daughter turned 7 years old. It finally hit me that my mom did the best she could with what she had as far as resources or education on parenting. I felt bad that for all those years I thought I had missed out on having a great mother. Even worse, for the first 6 years of my daughter’s life, I actually thought I was better and above my mom. Of course, all of this was in my head and it’s a shame that I have just figured out that this has little to do with her. I know this because I have tried hard to be the ideal mother for my daughter and she is no closer to me than I was to my mother. My hope from now on is to leave the baggage behind and just love being a mother. Maybe then my relationship with my daughter stands a chance. Ideally, it would be great if I could share this recent epiphany with my mom especially on Mother’s Day. However, if you know her, you know why this conversation would be one of the hardest conversations I could ever have with her. I do love my mom very much - flaws and all.
*My heartfelt condolences to those who do not get to shop for Mother’s Day cards because they have lost their mothers.