I Hate Mother's Day (But Please Don't Tell My Daughter)

mother's dayI always thought motherhood would change the way I feel about Mother's Day. In some ways it has; at least I have something to do on the second Sunday in May. But the fact is, while I love my child, I still hate Mother's Day.

I hate the commercials that show loving families all gathered around granny. I hate the newspaper circulars that beg me to "thank mom."

Thank her for what? A desperately low level of self-esteem and a tendency to apologize for breathing?

In the way that single people dread Valentine's Day, those of us with absent mothers dread the first few weeks of May. We prepare for the onslaught of mush and gush by steeling our hearts.

I didn't grow up in one of those homes you see on the commercials. My mother was cold. Is cold. She's mean and manipulative. She's a raging narcissist.

She doesn't need a Mother's Day to feel special. She has every day to make life about herself.

I sound bitter. I know. I am bitter.

But it's not because I didn't have a perfect mother or even a good one. I'm trying to make my peace with that as I attempt to be a good mom without a good mom role model.

I'm bitter because she's made a day when I should be reveling in being a mother into a day when I would like nothing more than to crawl under the covers and sleep until it's over. 

I should be overjoyed on Mother's Day, drinking in the scent of my flowers and the scent of my daughter's shampooed hair. I should be smiling and singing and on top of the world.

Instead, I struggle to be present and paste a smile on my face for the sake of my child and my husband. Just looking at my daughter on Mother's Day is painful.

It's not her fault. Being a loving mom reminds me that I don't have one. By the end of the day, I hate myself more because I've succumbed to the feelings of resentment I more easily keep tamped down during the rest of the year. 

On Mother's Day, I'm forced to confront the fact that I'm jealous of my own daughter. I am jealous that she has the mom I didn't have. I'm jealous because she will never spend a Mother's Day crying because a gift she worked her heart and soul to make was cast aside. I'm jealous because Mother's Day will never be another day to make her feel more inadequate.

I'm jealous because everything the commercials say is true. Moms are supposed to love you and care for you and be that hero you want to run to on Mother's Day with an armful of flowers. And mine isn't.

I can't change my mother just by being a mother. I can't change my feelings about Mother's Day just by being a mother.

The only thing I can do is prop myself up, put a grin on my face, and try to give my child the Mother's Day SHE deserves. She still has a chance to love Mother's Day. I don't want to ruin that for her.

Dealing with an absent mom on Mother's Day? How do you deal?


Image via Woodleigh School/Flickr

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Brain... BrainyMommy

Mother's Day is exactly like Valentine's Day.

femal... femaleMIKE

My first one this year.  I am excited to hear people tell me HMD and I respond Thank you. Before I would have to say "no, I am not a mother". 

I am not much for these holidays.  So I know by next year, I will be like "so what".

Denise Parkhurst

You are so wonderful.I don't even know you. I am proud of the honesty and courage to write this.I have three nearly grown children.My mama passed away nearly ten years ago.When I am at Target and I see the cards I want to throw them all over the floor/hide them from myself.I'm still working on thinking Mothers Day can be for me.I miss her .The pain her death is numbed by only the years that have passed.I wish you peace and love and a one step at a time day today and tomorrow. : ) Denise

Idrea... Idreamofwires

It's comforting to know I'm not the only one who hates Mother's Day.  Father's Day is even worse.  The only thing I look forward to with my parents is their deaths.  It's wearying to have endless exposure to those who are devestated that their parents are gone, and those who have parents that love them when my own parents are so abusive.  Jealously over others with good parents is harder to kill than a beast with 9 heads.

ZamEnt25 ZamEnt25

Wow, this is why I love TheStir.Cafemom. So I read this and it goes with what I am feeling today. I didn't have an absent mother, well she had to work a lot since my abusive father left. I know she was very hard working but she criticized me a lot. I have a group of sisters who were the same. I never felt like I was accepted. Sunday they will have a cookout and my twin and I are not invited. My mother said to my twin, everyone is invited except the two of you. When I heard it, it broke my heart a little bit. It makes me sad that I don't have that relationship with my mom that I always longed for. She's older now, so I choose to forgive more. I know I try. Also, I pray and beg the good Lord to allow my daughter and I the greatest relationship. Now when people say Happy Mother's Day I am so happy bc I have an amazing daughter, that I hope with all my heart will say my mother was the best and loved me unconditionally and I am grateful for that!

nonmember avatar MammaMel

I can't relate to you, but I really want to give you a hug! Kudos for being a good mom without a role model! I hope your daughter goes all out for your birthday instead!

Simona08 Simona08

I can totally relate to you... *HUGS* I hope you find the strength to get thru the day! and I hope the both of us one day realize that we are the best mothers we can be, despite not having the mother we hoped for.

nonmember avatar Bambi

I realized after 3 decades that my mother is a narcissist. It's been a difficult road with NO CONTACT- 2 years ago I wrote her a letter expressing very vividly why I was angry at her for years of abuse that even continued into my adulthood. She denied it, invalidated me, then called me an ungrateful daughter - I called her delusional.
After writing the initial stinger of a letter, a year later I decided to let go of the anger by writing another apologetic one. That doesn't work with Narcissists ladies and gentlemen.
My sister had just had a baby and I really wanted to make things right for my nieces sake.
I haven't heard from her anyway so it's going on 3.5 years with only contact twice through letter and one email. NOW that I can put a label on her, I now am finally at peace that I never want to see her again. If she comes to my door - I will shut it. If she is on her deathbed - I won't see her. This is what a daughter has to do in order to survive a mother with NPD.

But it doesn't mean Mother's Day isn't difficult...the best thing I have found to do is WRITE. Those who survived a narcissistic mother have morsels of wisdom to share. Like me.

Nicole Goenner

I get it. I sort of feel numb on mother's day because my kids are too young to really understand it yet. I just can't realte to people lavishing their gratitude on their mothers. I didn't have a relationship like that with my mother and I don't even want one. I hear what you are saying. Yes, just try and give your babies a beautiful day with their (very deserving) momma. 

nonmember avatar K

I'm glad to see I'm not alone.

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