Mother’s day

This can be a painful day for so many.

Some of us no longer have our mothers with us.  Some didn’t have a safe, loving mother while growing up.  Some don’t have kids, and some have lost a child. It seems there’s no escaping the images of grateful, adoring husbands and kids lavishing love on their beaming mother.  blech   Holidays like this often have a big ‘should’ stamped all over them, and we’re incessantly reminded through commercials, posters, and various forms of advertisement of how this day ‘should’ be.

But for so many of us, it’s not. 

In my case, I’m married to a passive aggressive man who for some reason that’s no fault of his own (according to him), is entirely unable to plan for a day that honors me or is built around what would make me happy.  He’s unable to do this every mother’s day, birthday, Christmas, anniversary etc.  Somehow, he ends up crabby and disagreeable, and somehow it’s my fault. 

You know what?  That can be pretty depressing.  In fact, it has been stinking depressing over the years, and it’s not exactly feeling peachy on this Mother’s day eve either.  I’m trying so hard to detach, to accept, to proactively let go, let go, let go. 

But I”m struggling.  I’m sad.  I feel tired and depressed and wonder if I’ll ever have what it takes to really change my life.

Meanwhile, it’s still Mother’s day tomorrow, and I just wish it was over and behind me.  Every time a friend or acquaintance posts on facebook about their husband and kids having them go to another room to relax, or having them go out to coffee to leave the house so they can make preparations, I just feel like a small sharp object jabbed me and a little emotional blood leaked out. 

This year, I decided to grab this holiday gig by the horns.  I bought myself a 4 pack of flowers (they were in maybe five inch pots) from Costco for my Mother’s day gift.  Why wait for nothing, or some stupid thing grabbed the ‘day of’ from a dollar store or Walmart?  We were there together when I bought the flowers, and he said he’d plant them for me.  This was many days ago, and today he said he was going to do it.  I had the audacity to have added two miniature four packs of cosmos to the planting mix.  Little bitty one inch pots. 

First time in years that I’ve bought flowers to plant.

I was about to leave on a walk with our oldest son and two youngest daughters when he asked me again where I wanted the Costco flowers planted.  I told him (again), and this time walked out to actually point and stand literally in the exact spots.  He told me he’d plant the Costco flowers, but he was too tired to plant the cosmos.  I basically ended up weeding the area for planting and helping through the whole process.  I almost didn’t walk… but thanks to my kids patient support, I did!  About three miles, and whew, I was dragging myself today.  Can we skip the part where I was so tired and hungry I ate chips and hummus after the walk?

He did make a salad to share with me.  That was nice.

Let me tell you what all he did for me before that for Mother’s day. 

Four days ago, he bought a piece of gluten free cake for me to eat today (a piece he planned to share). 

And… yeah… that’s it. 

This morning he handed me a list that he’d written out for his day.  Here it is verbatim:  

Reading 30 min.

Dump 1.0 hour

Bird Cages 0.5 hrs

Water seedlings 0.3 hrs

Dust clean B.R. 1.5 hrs

Clean office windows 1.5 hours

Clean office – dust/vacuum 1.0 hr

Filing/misc 2 hours

He said, “I cleaned your bedroom.”

I asked, “Did you move out of it??”

I’ve asked in the past (in vain) for help with the windows on the other parts of the house.  In fact, he knows that dirty windows make me feel kind of dreary and almost sad.  It felt like a bit of a slap to clean the windows where he spends time, but not even clean the kitchen window by the sinks where I wash dishes every daggone day.  (I plan to hire someone to help with windows if I have to now.) 

So this year will be like every other year, a total bust.  I know, I know… why would I expect anything different?

I don’t.  But I’m still with him.  And that’s a whole crazy can of worms.

I know it’s not rational, but it feels like there are all these great moms out there, and then there’s me, the screwed it up mom, the mom who can’t seem to shed the chains of dysfunction. 

Forgive me for the dip of self-pity.  I’m sure it will pass, but I just have never liked this holiday.  Well, I guess I struggle with almost any holiday anymore. 

I’m fighting for change, but tonight just feels so discouraging, like it’s sucking the heart out of me.

What I want to finally say is that I’ll be thinking of all of you tomorrow, and hoping that each and every one of you finds some bright, pleasant, comforting patch of serendipity that brings a smile.  You deserve it, and I’ll be hoping it for you.

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5 Responses to Mother’s day

  1. Exodus says:

    This is a horrible day for me and I’m so depressed and sad that I feel foggy and can’t get my bearings. BTW, my dishes are still sitting in the sink and yes, I have one of those windows too. My husband will never do the dishes or anything else for me. It’s a horrible day, I had a horrible nightmare this morning that just left me feeling so depressed. I’ve lost both of my beloved dogs and I have nothing that brings me joy to look forward to anymore. I’ve cried and cried and now I’m sick to my empty stomach. It seems very strange to me that a person who claims to love me would not want to make feel special every day – but my husband can’t even pretend to do that on any holiday. I’ve never received anything from him that was thoughtful or planned. He’s one of those guys that goes out on Christmas Eve at 9pm to get a card or left over halloween candy to put in my stocking and thinks that he’s done something really special.
    So, here’s the day he has planned for ‘ me’…….he wants to go shopping. I told him that I don’t want anything or need anything except groceries. However, it turns out that HE wants some things. He wants to go to Orvis and get his new broken fly fishing rod replaced ( he broke it ‘ accidentally’) and he wants to buy some shorts. Lovely. It’s a day about him, not me.
    One Christmas I threw him out so I could spend the day with my dogs and just enjoy the few gifts I got from a couple of friends. I had removed all of my gifts to him under the tree and planned to return them and keep the money. He stopped by to pick up some clothes and when he saw that his gifts were gone he told me that I could not have mine ( note, there was not one gift from him under the tree for me) since he could not have his.
    This is the type of man I’m married to…a spoiled angry brat who has always been blessed to have others in his life who provide for him, cater to him and clean up all of his messes.

    PJ’s, I wish I could be there to give you a big hug and a big thanks for creating this safe place to share and receive validation. We are both going to have to create our own happiness today and every day. The hope of expecting anything from our husbands is foolish and we’re smarter and wiser than that. I hope that we can find some way to manifest joy today in honor of ourselves, our strength and the love in our hearts. I hope that one day we will find a worthy recipient and that we won’t have to keep it all frozen-up inside.


  2. needtomakeachange says:

    Why are you so hard on yourself… you are the Mom you are because you can only do the best with what you have…. I’m sure that you did your very very best, that the only thing the most of us Moms can hope for. I know it’s hard to realize that sometimes we fall short, I’ve fallen short myself many times and do all other mothers on the planet. We are not perfect, God does not expect this of us, HE does expect us to forgive ourselves and to do better and we are always forgiven by HIM no matter what. Give yourself a break and a little love dear.


    • WritesinPJ's says:

      I know you’re right. It’s so easy for me to look at someone else and wish for them mercy and love, but I have to really think about it and purposefully try to do it for myself. Thank you for reading and sharing!


  3. marsocmom says:

    Group hug…if not for my youngest daughter, I would have had a pretty icky Mother’s Day, too. It’s almost impossible to get off that hamster wheel of expectation/disappointment, but we have to try! You did not screw it up, he did, and you are doing just fine, doing the best you can with what you have. That’s all any of us can do.


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