I love being a Mom, though I find most days exhausting and frustrating and totally overwhelming because of my inadequacies. My identity is completely tied up in being a mom, a job that has forever changed me. A job that does not allow for vacations or sick days. A job that requires me to put the needs of someone else before my own. The act of mothering I can do, but I am ashamed that I don't always "feel" it. Somedays, I just do it. And I begin to wonder if I am broken.
Mother's Day is so sweet with the homemade gifts from the boys. Handprint flowers, picture magnets. The handwritten notes they did in school. I like to see how they celebrate the day, what they envision for Mother's Day.
But it is also a day that reminds me of my own fractured relationship with my mother. It reminds me of who I am as a mom and what I missed from my mom. I know she tried her best, but she was really sick a lot while I was growing up. Facing her demons of mental illness and struggling to find her way out of the darkness. She is much better now but the darkness rises up sometimes and lashes out. It will never fully be gone and it is something I have to guard against. So feeling safe, feeling secure, knowing she will always be there for me... Not really true for me.
So each Mother's Day I am gently reminded of God's grace in my life as I see my kids celebrate their Mommy. And of the pain of this world when I struggle with how to reconcile my relationship with my mom.