We are entering into the season of honor for parenthood, with the arrival of Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, which often evokes a wide range of emotions and expression of these primary relationships that mark our first love story or our first heartbreak. First up, of course is Mother’s Day.
The relationship with mothers and children can be quite complicated. This has become more evident with social media playing its public part in the celebration and sorrow of this day, where we’re reflective on our experience of our mothers, which shapes our multilayered lens of motherhood.
Mother’s Day is a pretty straight forward and beautifully, honorable day when it comes with the gift of physical connection and emotional availability, as well as the ongoing life evidence of unconditional love. Even for those of us whose hearts are heavy with the physical departure of our mothers on this day, there is still a blessing in missing the physical connection of the nurturing relationship with your mother. There is a privilege of having a treasure chest of memories of her love that carries you beyond her earthly presence.
This day becomes a bit more complicated when you have to mourn the difference between the hallmark gestures of motherhood and possible limitations and absences you actually endured. There are individuals mourning the emotional and physical absence of mothers still living on this day, as well as mourning the forever lost opportunities for any possible joint healing and mending that wasn’t afforded prior to the loss of their mother. While people are preparing, attempting, or proactively healing these first love stories and heartbreaks; language to accompany this healing is constantly being explored, developed, and evolved. This is where it becomes important to remember that people’s relationship with their parents belongs to them. And though advice on how someone “should” be, feel, or speak about their parents might come with good intentions, ultimately it’s a hi-jacking of another’s journey to make sense and fit with your own (whether you have similarities or differences within your own maternal love story.)
If you find yourself being triggered by how another expresses their feelings and experiences of motherhood, remain curious and follow through with why it’s causing a disturbance within you. This moment is more about a lesson and guidance to you than it is about a relationship you have no ownership of (even if that other person is a sibling…being born to the same person does not equate to the same experience of that person for various factors.) I implore you to show up in your truth of celebration, honor, and grief and allow others to do the same.
A child’s physiological wellbeing is determined in utero from their mother’s physical and emotional wellbeing within her world, as well as how it’s nurtured once birthed or bonded (inclusive of motherhood via adoption and surrogacy) in the mother’s maintenance of her wellbeing. The depth of that visceral connection remains in the shaping of that child and their movement over the course of their life. Let’s remember the magnitude of the parent child dynamic and allow everyone the authorship to his or her first love story and/or heartbreak.
Be blessed in your happy, memories, and/or healing this Mother’s Day!
Shameitra N. Green, LMFT
*Shameitra Green is a psychotherapist and founder of her private practice, Nexus Therapy, where she serves adolescents, adults, and families in Pearland.TX and surrounding areas. Shameitra’s client populations includes individuals and families dealing with complex trauma and PTSD, survivors of neglect and sexual abuse, grief, and attachment disorders. Shameitra also provides trauma informed trainings and consultation to assist with agencies, schools, and trauma professionals in enhancing their trauma informed best practices.