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When Mother's Day Isn't a Hallmark Commercial

Ok my friends, a  moment of transparency and vulnerability.  I think it’s apparent that what I’m about to say probably should have been put out into the world a couple of weeks ago rather than the day before Mother’s Day - but I’ve been avoiding it.

It’s been on my heart so heavily that there are many for whom Mother’s Day is excruciating.  

I wanted to send words of solace to all of you strong incredible women who are single moms because I’ve been there and it is so lonely and hard.  I see you.  I’m sending you so much love and support.  I wish I could clone myself and do laundry and drive the kids to school at your house but alas, I am one being.  I wish I could create a day of ease for you where you could relax and be worry free.  

I am thinking of so many of my wonderful friends who have longed for children but haven’t conceived or been able to carry a child to term.  As one who has had 3 miscarriages, I want you to know that you are not alone.  There are many many many women out here who know your pain and I would help you carry it if I could.  I’m sending love to you and acknowledge that you have a mother’s heart, full of love and nurture and care, no matter what.  I see you.

To my dear friends who have lost a child that made it to this side of the womb and somehow you kept breathing - I salute you.  I don’t know how you do that.  When I see you going about your lives, continuing to create joy and beauty around you despite that ache in your heart, I have the deepest respect for you.  I am a firm believer in the natural progression of events and for a child to die before their parents feels like the cruelest diversion from that.  I see you and I’m holding space for you during this time.  I wish I could change this for you.

On the other side of this equation, I am thinking of the sweet loving people whose mothers have passed away.  One of my dearest friends lost her mother during the past year and she told me it stung a little to receive our other email about Mother’s Day and I apologized and admitted that I have been holding this message I am writing here inside, avoiding the pain of it.  I know that you’re not able to do that.  When we lose a parent, to my observation, that is a profound loss that un-tethers us from the way we have previously connected to the world, to family, to life and it takes a long time for the sharp pain of it to become manageable.  I am sending my biggest mom hug energy out to all of you and a prayer that tomorrow you will find some time to honor your mom in a way that feels right to you.  You’re not alone.  You are loved.  You’re still connected.

There are many of us who experience Mother’s Day with something less than joy for other reasons.  Perhaps your relationship with your mom is strained or non-existent.  There may be painful traumatic memories attached with that relationship or even with an event that occurred on a Mother’s Day past.  Perhaps you do have children but there are complications as you are parenting them or they have grown up and are far away, physically or emotionally.  Actually any parent knows it's a huge job to make sure all the things get done and bills get paid and food gets made and laundry and dishes and and and...

One of the reasons I was avoiding this so hard is because I know so many women with complex life stories and my brain wants to remind me of every single hurtful thing I know about motherhood and mother/daughter trauma and it was overwhelming.  

I was also having a weird moment of self-doubt or maybe self-pity because we do see all of these commercial images of shinyhappyperfect moms and kids or people putting it on for the ‘gram and honestly, the only time my life LOOKED like that, underneath the pictures couldn’t have been farther from it.  These emotions were keeping me from writing.

Whew.  So to bring this into a lighter realm.  For first of all, there’s no such thing as perfect.  We’re messy as hell these days but much happier and I encourage you to let go of expectations from others and yourself and do what makes you happy on Mother’s Day with the people who bring you joy.  Period.

AND - I had been noodling around with a way to send a small gift to single moms or some kind of code so y’all could send a free gift to someone you know who could use a little extra love and I got stuck in the minutia of my own humanity and couldn’t get it together. 

HOWEVER, today we are here.  From right now until Monday morning of NEXT week (May 20th) if you or someone you know needs some comfort, some celebration, some recognition of the joy and pain of motherhood, use code MOMLOVE at checkout for 30% off.  

I was initially going to say “on an honor system” but inflation is bananas and parenting is expensive so GO FOR IT. 

As usual, this got longer than I intended but I hope the message was heard: you’re not alone, you’re loved and you are SEEN at this time.

From one healing person to another - Happy Mother’s Day.

PS: I would love to be here for you if you need someone to talk to or vent to and my lips are sealed if you want to share:  I’m the only one with access to the box.

Love, Maaike


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