I have been estranged from my mother for over a year now through my own decisions. It’s a choice I don’t regret 364 days of the year. But, today, sadness and guilt overwhelm me. Today, I’m reminded of everything my mother wasn’t. Today, my heart physically aches at the thought of my son-years into the future-removing all contact from me like I have with my own mom. Today, in North America, we celebrate the day of mothers.

A day when we celebrate the kind, nurturing nature of moms. When we’re encouraged to call up our own mother and thank her for the wonderful job she did. It’s a day we appreciate the compassionate, soft, and loving touch only a mom could give. A day we all stand, unified, thankful for the benevolence, loyalty, and unconditional love of a woman who pushed a child through her own body. It’s a day we spend in celebration, reminded of how incredible, and utterly selfless our own mother is and was.

That is…unless, she wasn’t.

My Facebook is swarmed with beautiful photos of moms and their kids. It’s clogged with long, heartfelt letters to moms, thanking them for being so absolutely wonderful. The stores are flooded with people buying roses, cards, and chocolates for the woman in their life who helped shape them into who they are.

And I’m left, just sort of standing there. My heart heavy, and my cheeks wet.
Once again, I am reminded of my own mother’s shortcomings.
Once again, the memories of loneliness, fear, and neglect flood my mind.
And, once again, my heart grows heavy with jealousy at what I should have had.

The reminders that “you only have one mom” come as a relief. There’s no way you’d want two.
The urges to “forgive and forget” are just another stab as you wonder how you could ever forget.

Mother’s Day is tough when you have no mom.
It’s hard when it wasn’t death that stole her away, but mental illness and addiction-when her own demons from her past were so strong that they followed you into your future.

It’s kind of difficult to join in on the mother praising and celebration when, by your own choice, your mother has been removed from your life. When there are nights you sit awake, paralyzed by fear, because you don’t want to make your own child feel the way you did, even for a second. When you try so hard not to be like her that the terror overwhelms you.
When you promise yourself that your children will never feel the deep loneliness that pricks at your heart on this day of celebration.

To those who suffer on this day: you are not alone.

Celebrate the women in your life who have inspired you to be better. The women who show you what a true mother’s love looks like. I celebrate my own mother-in-law who has taught me that love alone can grow a child into a strong, independent, wonderful father.

But more than that, today, celebrate you.
Celebrate the mother of your children, the mother who would go to the ends of the Earth to make her child smile. Celebrate your strength. Celebrate the love you gave yourself on the nights it was coldest, and everything you were for yourself. You, who became your own hero, your own protector, and your own source of comfort. Yeah, the sting never really goes away, but you learned to do it for yourself.

Today, I remind myself that I made the right decision. That, for my own protection of myself, my family, and my child, I did what was right. The choice to estrange myself from my mother was not one that was done easily or taken lightly, and it’s a decision that, even today, I do not regret.

Until next time,
Savannah

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Mummuddlingthrough

themumproject

Author: Savannah Baker

Savannah is a full-time mom of one, and can often be found outside on one of her various adventures. She enjoys carving her own path through natural and holistic living, as well as discovering ways to use food as medicine.

  • Wow Savannah, that must have been really difficult, I can only imagine. You definitely made the right decision to separate yourself from such negativity. So for this Mother's Day we should celebrate you because you sound like a wonderful and kind mother! Thanks for sharing with #StayClassy!

  • Thank you so much! <3

  • Thank you for your lovely comment, Franca, and for your encouragement! <3 Your comments are always welcomed! As always, thanks for hosting #KCACOLS

  • Oh lovely, I'm so sorry to hear that. This must be so hard for you. I understand that sometimes it is better to distance yourself from people that will make you suffer even though that person is your mother. I think you did the right decision and of course you should not regret it. It is really nice to hear that you celebrate the women that inspired you and the ones that taught you about love. Very emotional post.. Thanks so much for sharing this at #KCACOLS. I'm so sorry I'm commenting so late. I have a very busy week. Just catching up, 🙂 x

  • Beautifully written – thank you so much for sharing it. (((virtual hugs and love)))

  • Isn't it ironic how some decisions, even good ones, can hurt so much? Thanks for your lovely comment!

  • Thank you, lovely!

  • Thank you so much for your encouragement! <3

  • Yes! We all own our own lives (: Thank you <3

  • Very true, sometimes our decisions, even the best ones, come with a sting. Thank you so much <3

  • It's so true, I don't know that I ever saw myself here. Thank you so much for your encouragement <3

  • Thank you so much! I really do hope this piece helps someone out <3

  • I am so sorry you've had your own struggles with your father. It can be so difficult when you try and compare what you 'should' have had :/
    I definitely agree, blood doesn't just give you permission to do whatever you want. Thank you so much for your comment, and I hope you have found peace in your situation <3

  • <3 Thank you so much, lovely!

  • I definitely know I'm not the only one who feels like this on Mother's Day, so I do hope someone else found comfort in reading this. Thank you so much for your lovely comment <3

  • Thank you so much, Lucy! <3

  • Thank you for reading!

  • Thank you so very much, lovely <3

  • Sorry to read this, and to find out how incredibly hard Mothers day is for you. It does sound like you made the right decision for you and your family. However hard that might be. Sending hugs x #coolmumclub

  • Such a wonderfully honest post. I'm so sorry that your relationship with your Mother has ended the way it has, but it does sound like you've made the right decision for you and your family. x #KCACOLS

  • Sorry to hear you had a tough Mother's Day. I'm sure you didn't make the decision lightly though, and as you say have done what's right for you & your family 🙂
    #StayClassy

    http://www.digitalmotherhood.com

  • Wow, that's tough but you sound like you know what you're doing. Take life into your own hands and own it. Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub

  • You have made a brave decision but it doesn't stop you grieving. Congratulations on being the best mother you can be. Stay strong and #Stayclassy

  • The hardest choice I am sure you have had to make. Sometimes we must make choices that we never thought we would need to make in life for our own safety and state of mind. I celebrate your bravery in such a tough decision. happy Belated Mother's Day to you!#Kcacols

  • The hardest choice I am sure you have had to make. Sometimes we must make choices that we never thought we would need to make in life for our own safety and state of mind. I celebrate your bravery in such a tough decision. happy Belated Mother's Day to you!#Kcacols

  • I'm really sorry to read this, but I love your raw honesty in writing this. This will come as such a comfort to others in this situation. Happy Mother's Day lovely, you write so beautifully and hope you feel better soon x #kcacols

  • I am sorry to hear this. I hate the term you only have one mum etc (though my dad doesn't want anything to do with me in my situation). But it is too easy to allow people to have power over you to feel guilty. Yeah they are blood related but that is all the rest us personal and down to the individual. I hope you feel better soon and just focus on your children who I am sure love you dearly as their mum X #kcacols

  • Amazing post! I am sorry you had to go through such tough times. Thankful that you're able to find comfort in your child.

  • Hi, You are very brave in writing this post. It feels like you are reaching out and comforting others. I came over to say thanks for visiting my blog, but I think I got more than I bargained for. I love this post, it was so well written and a great reminder that we do have choice as to how we turn out. WE decide how to act inspite of how we are raised. So thank you for that 🙂

  • Wow what a wonderful post. Such honesty about your own experiences with your mother but also such perceptiveness about the wider role of mothers…how incredible that not only can you identify that love and positivity in other people but that you can also make it a reality for your child. I'm going to wish YOU a happy Mother's Day today #KCACOLS Lucy at occupation: (m)other

  • How difficult it must be and how brave you are to write about it. It sounds like you are being a great mum to your child so he will always want you in his life. Thanks for sharing x #KCACOLS

  • Min

    This is really heartbreaking, but beautifully written. I'm sorry you had to go through what you did, but it's testament to how strong you must be that you have managed to come out the other side and be the mum to your own child that your mother couldn't. #KCACOLS