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The Obligation of Mother’s Day

Let me start out by saying that I am not a fan of Mother’s Day.

I know that sounds strange considering that I, myself, am a mom.  But, for many years, this holiday has caused me much stress.

I know that people wax poetic about the virtue of their moms, but I just do not feel comfortable doing so.

And believe me.  I am no faker.  If I don’t feel something, I don’t pretend I do.

For me, Mother’s Day carries obligations that I cannot honestly meet…at least with my own mom, as this post is in NO way directed toward Coupon Queen (hugs, Coupon Queen, because I know you’re reading this).

See, for most of my life, my own mom has been a stranger to me.

At first, it was her fault.  She was married and divorced quite a number of times.  She spent years here and there as a single mom, working multiple jobs to make ends meet.

When she did not have to work, she still kept herself busy on her own interests, rarely attending school functions and often forgetting to pick me and my sister up from school (a thirty minute drive each way).

Now, I know she is to be applauded for doing what she needed to provide, and I do not fault her for that.

However, I barely remember the time she did spend with me.  She would claim otherwise, but she played favorites.

I was never able to do anything that satisfied her.  She and my sister clicked.

After my dad and I reconciled, my mom became bitter.  Well, actually, she was bitter before then, resenting the relationship I developed with the Mr.’s parents.

They were different, though.  From Day 1, they accepted me as part of the family, and they always treated me equally.

Several years ago, I found out that another couple tried to adopt my sister and me when we were youngsters.  My mom had been very neglectful, leaving us with them for stretches at a time.  They finally took steps to formally adopt us.  I can’t remember what happened…I think my dad, estranged from my mom, found out and stepped in to halt proceedings.

Either way, I was shattered.

I talk to my mom maybe twice a year on the phone.  I see her once, the week of Christmas, each year.

We only live four hours apart.

In the seven years I’ve lived in my house, she has never been to visit, although she has been invited for Thanksgiving almost every year.

For my birthday this year…my 40th…she did not call or even send a card.

I cannot help but see this as evidence that our relationship is almost completely broken.

And so, on Mother’s Day, I am simply not the “Oh look how wonderful my mom is” kind of person.

Just as I am uncomfortable bestowing attention on my own mom, I am uncomfortable accepting it for myself as well.

My children know me well.  I am a woman of mistakes.  I am simply thankful that God is working these mistakes into the fabric of my children’s lives as they choose to follow after Him.

For those of you who DO have loving relationships with your own moms, give them extra hugs.  You are to be counted among the fortunate.

And to Coupon Queen, thank you for loving me despite my mistakes and for never playing favorites.  I love you for loving me unconditionally, even though I have been quite unlovable at times throughout the years.

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