This year I shelled out $75 to send my mom tulips for Mother’s Day. It was the best I could do, seeing as how I won’t be spending the day with her.
Now before you start to pat me on the back for this, I should say that I don’t live far from my mother. She’s a 30-minute drive away, with no traffic. Nor do I have a prior engagement that I can’t get out of. My day is free and clear the last time I checked.
The only reason I’m not seeing my mom for Mother’s Day is because I don’t want to.
In fact I haven’t spoken to her since Mother’s Day last year, when she kicked me out of her house.
Since that day, I’ve chosen not to include my mother in my life.
So this year, I was plagued with the question of how to recognize Mother’s Day when I’m not even speaking to her.
A part of me considered swallowing my feelings like always, shoving them down into a deep dark corner behind my stomach so I could show up and celebrate because that’s what good daughters do.
Good daughters celebrate their mothers.
Good daughters let things go because they know how hard their mother worked for them. They overlook their mother’s (and father’s) flaws because they fulfilled the obligation of raising them. Good daughters hold their tongue when their mothers pick apart their relationships. They accept when their mothers throw out words like “naive” or “dumb” because in what possible world could you know more than them?
Good daughters accept that it’s “just how their mother is.”
Good daughters just let it go.
I was a good daughter for a very long time. At least I think I was.
Then I asked myself if being a good daughter is worth it if it means never saying when I’m hurt or disappointed, and silently letting it go when she chooses not to apologize or even acknowledge how deeply her words can affect me.
I decided that it wasn’t. So I’ve opted not to celebrate with her this year.
This year I’ve decided that the obligation of family isn’t worth the dents to my self-esteem or mental health. I can’t keep taking hits from someone just because they raised me.
I love my mother.
I respect her and admire her, and I’m grateful for all the sacrifices she made to help get me to where I am, along with my four sisters. But that respect, admiration and gratitude doesn’t translate into a good relationship and I won’t pretend that it does any longer.
I hope that one day my relationship with my mother can be repaired, but getting to that day is going to take a lot of work and communication. And those are things I don’t think I’m capable of giving right now.
The best I can do is $75 tulips.
Like All the Moms?