Relationships

How to celebrate mother’s day – even if you’re not on good terms

Mother’s day is coming up!

This is supposed to be a special occasion, a date to recognize and celebrate the woman who gave us life.

Many people, however, have less than ideal relationships with their mothers. Perhaps there was abuse or neglect, or some other sort of trauma. Maybe your experience is nothing so drastic, but nevertheless your relationship with your mother can be fraught with tension.

How do you approach Mother’s Day when you have a hard time being grateful for your mother?

I once heard a quote that went something like this:

“If we want to have healthy and productive lives, the very first thing we must always do is forgive our parents.”

There is such wisdom in these words. I like to say that children are the best observers and the worst interpreters. As kids, no matter how wonderful our mothers were, there are undoubtedly things they did that hurt us. Sometimes these wounds go much deeper than we’d think they would, requiring counseling, medication, or other forms of professional help.

If you’re approaching this holiday with more anger or trepidation than excitement, try to give your mother some grace.

She has certainly made mistakes, but at the end of the day she still gave you life. Remember that she is still only human, and adjust your expectations accordingly.

Please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying to re-enter into a relationship with her if it would be unhealthy or dangerous. Boundaries are also good things. Yet you can appreciate the life she gave you, regardless of whether you like your mother or not. So send her some flowers if you can. Give her a call if possible.

Remember that we are all human, and we all need grace and forgiveness. The sooner you learn how to extend it, the better you’ll be at accepting it into your own life!

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