It’s a Hallmark holiday. Social media goes wild with folks posting nostalgic pictures of their perfect mommas. Tributes abound. Flowers. Breakfast in bed. Glory to moms everywhere.

Then there are the rest of us. We had mothers who didn’t measure up to the ideal. As a matter of fact, there are people whose mothers were so horrible that even to think of their parents is triggering. Traumatic.

I am not one of those people who have PTSD in regard to my own mother. It’s not that horrible. I had an icy mother. A selfish mother. A rude mother. My mother sent back the majority of gifts I gave her. No matter how I tried, none of my presents were nice enough, or thoughtful enough, or something. I could never figure it out.

As she got older, she became more hurtful.  I had to distance myself from her in order to hold myself together emotionally. I walled off all of that stuff.

As a result, I have my own paranoia as a mother. I live in constant anxiety that one of my daughters will come to view me the way I did my own mom. Any comparison to my mother has been forbidden: for one of them to say that I am like my mother in any respect is like a horrid condemnation–all in my head, perhaps, but that is my truth.

As a result, I understand. I get it if you dread Mother’s Day with all of the trimmings. I feel for you if you simply numb yourself and try not to think of your own past. And I really empathize with all of you out there who have spent your own motherhoods desperately trying to compensate for the failings of your own mothers.

Happy Day to you. To us. With love and compassion.


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