May 11

Photoshopped Mother’s Day


(c) Michelle Dennis 2008
(c) Michelle Dennis 2008

For some, Mother’s Day is not a day of  joy. It can be a time of sadness and acknowledging loss–missing a mother passed on or lamenting Mother’s flaws–she who may not have been as kind, loving, or sane as traditional maternal veneration would dictate. Some will mourn separations or replay “what if” scenarios ad infinitum. This tends to leave people hurt and feeling left out while others wax poetic on the beauty of their own mother-child relationships.

First of all, the snapshot of motherhood you see on a day like today is heavily Photoshopped. People cherry-pick recollections to support a specific premise. There’s nothing wrong with that, but you don’t want to be comparing your worst memories to heavily edited highlight reels. It cannot measure up.

Not saying some don’t have (or are) great moms! Not saying sometimes exceptionally human moms don’t have their worthwhile qualities, worthy of appreciation. Just realize sometimes this day is ruled by an abundance of rose colored glasses, so don’t let that glorious glow of maternal bliss blind you to the truth. Not “everybody else” had (or is) the world’s greatest mom, even if it feels that way.

I prefer to see Mother’s Day differently. I want to focus on the energy, the nature of what is being celebrated as opposed to the details. While some of us will not have a birth mother standing in the wings applauding our every achievement, I’d wager not a person on the face of the planet is untouched by the energy, the concepts themselves.

The ideal of motherhood is about creating, nurturing and supporting. It’s about giving birth and bringing  “baby” to adulthood with loving care. The concept of motherhood is revered precisely for an abundance of committed, creative and loving energy. It’s about what “mama” means collectively, not who your mama was personally.

Women give birth to children. But anyone can give birth to ideas. We can love and nurture ourselves, our family, our friends, our pets, strangers or even endeavors. We can appreciate those who love, support and encourage us through life’s ups and downs. THAT energy is what is so precious and worthy of celebration, regardless of the source.

Today, I am feeling grateful for the love and emotional support I’ve been blessed with, regardless of the source. Today, I’m hoping to share love and emotional support with my loved ones. Today, I focus on the gifts from my relationships with my own mother and children have given me, without worry over shortcomings. Today, I care for and nurture myself because I know that is a beautiful and worthwhile endeavor.

Today, I’m having a “Happy Mother’s Day.” No Photoshop required.

How about you?

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Holidays, Mothering

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  1. Thank you for this post.
    And I’ve been meaning to tell you that I’m subscribed to your blog and I read you daily. I rarely have the time to stop by and say hi, thank you, but please do know your wisdom is appreciated.

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