Monday, 8 May 2017

Midlife Monday ~ Mothers Day - It is What it is

Mothers Day - is it ever okay to admit that you feel a little left out?

WARNING: NOT YOUR USUAL FLUFFY MOTHERS DAY POST!!


A VERY BRADY MOTHERS DAY

Every year when Mothers Day rolls around I read and write wonderful things about being a mother and how meaningful Mothers Day is. I morph into Carol Brady and start thinking warm fuzzy thoughts about my children and what a wonderful mother I was, how much time and love I invested in them, how that has paid off so well as they've become wonderful adults contributing to society etc etc.

BUT....

The truth of the matter is that this is all real and heartfelt and lovely...BUT.... there is also a hole in my heart that comes from celebrating every Mothers Day without my kids. This happens each year because (as I've mentioned many times in the blog), both of our adult children moved to the city to go to university, met their spouses up there, got jobs, got married, bought houses and settled happily in the big smoke two hours away from us in the country. Visits home are very few and far between - and that includes making a special trip down for something as minor as Mothers Day.


WHAT ABOUT ME?

Now my daughter (who rarely reads my blog - so I think I'm safe writing this) would say that I shouldn't write "Poor Me" posts because it's not what my blog is usually about - and that is perfectly true. But sometimes you have to acknowledge that little voice in the back of your head that says "I guess I'm lucky, I smile a lot, but sometimes I wish for more than I've got. What about me..." (to quote a Moving Pictures song from a while back).

I know very well that I could jump in the car and drive up to the city and get my kids to meet me for lunch somewhere (if they didn't have other commitments) and I already do that every year for my birthday, but part of me would love to have them do the jumping and driving and lunch organizing. I know that's being a bit over the top in my expectations, but all those Mums who have children living nearby get this every year and don't bat an eyelid because it's just what Mothers Day is for them. An hour or two spent catching up with the kids, feeling the love and heading home with that warm, fuzzy feeling firmly in place.


There are no perfect parents and there are no perfect children - just lots of perfect memories

BUT OCCASIONALLY IT SUCKS!

Just like the quote above, there are no perfect children or perfect mothers, or perfect Mothers Days and it is what it is. I was more than blessed to have had both my kids and their families here for Easter and to know that they remember me on Mothers Day, and phone me - my son even sends a card that he's gone to the trouble of choosing, and writing in, and posting (sometimes my daughter remembers and sometimes not). I know that there are mothers all over the place aching to have a call or a card from their children and I should be satisfied beyond measure with mine.

But....in all honesty, sometimes I just wish for more and it would be a lie to not acknowledge that at least once in my life. Once again, it is what it is and what I have is more than enough. I'm just being greedy and grabby and discontent with my lot. If it bothers me so much I can get in the car and drive....but....it's not that bad and for once I just wanted to say it somewhere - sometimes Mothers Day sucks! I feel better now and I wish every Mum who has her kids with her for Mothers Day all the very best and make sure you enjoy them and your time together.

Happy Mothers Day for next Sunday - do you have your kids with you this year?

Mothers Day - is it ever okay to admit that you feel a little left out?

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54 comments:

  1. I hear your hurt in this Leanne and it the post is beautifully written. I agree that we are expected to always be bright and up but life isn't like that and sometimes you just need to let those feelings out. Sometimes I think we feel we 'need' to keep everyone happy (and being Mum it is just expected) but it certainly doesn't hurt to let our children know that we are disappointed in them. I'm fortunate that MD for me is a traditional run in the Mother's Day Classic with my daughter Rachel and then most years my son will also see me. I'll be thinking of you on Sunday and sending you a big sister hug from Brisbane - because although I'm older than you, I'm not old enough to be your Mum.
    Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond

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    1. Thanks for understanding Sue - I think I need to rename the day and start doing something for myself each year that involves getting away and being distracted. I might start planning an Autumn retreat to a spa every MD weekend from now on :) Enjoy your run - I'm glad you didn't call it a "fun run" because that's a bit of an oxymoron in my book!

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    2. Hi Leanne book me in as well that sounds like the perfect MD treat. BTW I'm nominating this post as my feature for this week's OvertheMoon link party. Sending love and hugs. x

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  2. I'm not a fan of Mother's Day at all. As a child and then an adult my father was insistent we make Mum feel special. So, out of duty rather than love I did. Until my 40s I used to make Mum to focus of Mother's Day secretly resenting that I also maybe should have been.. and even though my now adult kids did the 'right things' with cards and presents I have always felt it was forced. I now am in a very similar position to you. We are same distance from Sydney where our family resides. Each of our kids have a family of 4 kids and lead their own independent lives. I do not expect to hear from one of them as that one has withdrawn all contact with us as of last year. It is sad. I do not want the other one to make a special journey here out of duty either because that was the kind of thing I hated. She is also a mother so....oh dear. I think the whole day will be one I spend wishing it would go away!! I hear you so much. PS I can say none of this on my blog or FB page so your place is where I am saying it!! Denyse x Thanks for linking up for #lifethisweek 19/52 Next week's prompt: Favourite Junk Food

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    1. You're right about the whole "obligation" thing Denyse. Maybe our generation was better at fulfilling our obligations than the current generation is? Sometimes putting yourself out shows that you care - and I totally get not bothering if you don't care, but if there is some reciprocation in the family love dept then maybe that's where obligation and duty become less onerous. I'm sorry that one of your kids is being difficult and I hope that resolves itself soon x

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    2. Thank you Denyse and Leanne for sharing your feelings about Mother's Day. I have mixed feelings about each of the family holidays that roll around. Life is messy and I reflect on sorting out what's feelings based on past memories and what's real for me now in the present. It's part of my letting go and self-love. My children are scattered all over and live a distance away. The closest one has four children and all their lives are at peak and very involved. I like to think that I'm loved ...... even though I share many of the same thoughts and feelings of sadness and loss as you do. Enjoy the day in your own way! <3

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    3. I think you're right Mary-Lou - distance makes it all so much harder to keep that sense of being a close family - nobody has the extra time to do all the travelling involved and it's only another day in a busy calendar. I guess it's the spin that's put on having one special day - maybe it's just about being satisfied with bits here and there and being grateful.

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  3. Leanne, you may not see your kids on Sunday, but there is every chance that your mother will drive down to see you and your two siblings after she has been out for lunch with her Turkey reunion group. So even if you have posted your gift to her, you will be able to give and receive hugs and kisses on Mothers' Day after all. See you then chickie. Love, Mum. xo

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    1. In that case, I'll take the present out of the evelope and wrap it in flowery paper and have it ready to present to you with afternoon tea and definitely a hug and a kiss. Keep me posted on your plans xx

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  4. It is hard when our kids move away and special days like Mother's Day are empty. I'm like you with children scattered around Australia and one in UK. I feel for you. I will be running in the Mother's Day classic in Canberra and will stay with one our daughters - so one out of three ain't bad �� My mother is a long way away too but thankfully we will be seeing her at a family wedding soon and will celebrate with her then. I applaud you for writing this heartfelt post. I'll be thinking of you next Sunday ❤️

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    1. You and Sue have this whole mother/daughter running thing down to a tee Deb - good on you and I think it's great that you're doing something that gives you a common goal (and an excuse to catch up!) Enjoy your run and your family time xx

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  5. I'm so sorry for your pain, Leanne. I try to relate, as I don't have human children of my own, but I can only imagine. I think it's only natural to miss the "what was" and not be so content with the "what is". But in reality, you do still have your children around, they are always with you in your heart. Cherish that and the memories you make even if you are afar.

    Bren Lee @ A Splash of Cray

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    1. That's the thing Bren - it's all good, it's just stupid events like Mothers Day that make me wistful and a little bit sad - the reality is that I see them regularly and they're in really great places in their lives - you can't ask for much more than that can you?

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  6. There are no accidents. I was meant to read this today. I need to read it again as I fear my own mother could have written this

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    1. Well, you know what you need to do Carla - make her feel special for the day (or at least phone her and send a card with something meaningful in it!)

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  7. Leanne this is a refreshing honest post. Yes there is a high sucky quotient to the Day. Do you text them several times so they know Mother's Day is even a Holiday or guilt them into feeling obligated? There really can be a no win when kids aren't near. The up side there is SKYPE for a virtual visit. Happy Mother's Day to you Leanne hope it just sucks 50%!

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    1. Hi Haralee - I think I'm going to have to get into Skyping soon - especially once our little granddaughter can talk - it would make for some fun conversations. And no, I hope my kids get the fact that I'm allowed to miss seeing them on Mothers Day without having to remind them of it - and a 50% suck rate's not too bad :)

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  8. On Mother's Day I think of a friend who became estranged from her daughter, who didn't even reestablish contact when the friend was diagnosed with cancer. Sadly, there was never a reunion. I think all "hallmark" holidays should be banned. They cause hurt over and above the hurt that already exists. Your post was beautifully written. Alana ramblinwitham.blogspot.com

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    1. I think you have hit the nail on the head on the head with banning "hallmark" holidays Alana - they kind of rub your nose in the fact that you don't have a hallmark life - maybe some people do, but for me they just poke at the sore bits. And I feel so much for your friend and her daughter - what an absolute waste...

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  9. Leanne, Right now I'm lucky. My oldest son lives close by, so I can always wrangle him for dinner (especially since I'm paying). My youngest still lives at home. But I totally get how you feel and it won't be long before I have to bribe them to have a meal with me.

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    1. It's the tyranny of distance that gets me Laurie - it's so much easier to keep these occasions when you live near your family - having to travel for hours just to spend an hour or two together and then turn around and drive home again really takes the gloss off it all.

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  10. Our son is 35 and single in LA 2 1/2 hours away. Our daughter is 37, married with our first granddaughter who is 2 1/2 with one in the oven! It gets increasingly difficult to always celebrate the holidays on the actual holiday. Plus we have to share with in-laws etc. So, I have told my kids - I don't care what day we celebrate, but I want to be together and have a celebration with them. This mother's day my son can't come down, so we are going to celebrate Mother's Day the following Sunday. I am fine with that. Some Thanksgivings we celebrate a week before or after Thanksgiving. If that is the case, then on the actual holiday weekend, I have a friendsgiving. So, perhaps you can have a belated Mother's Day if you can't go see them or they can't come down. Instead, on Mother's Day, get together with some friends who are meaningful in your life. Or, have a pamper you day! Just don't let the day go by without set it up so that you enjoy it.

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    1. I think I feel the same way Ellen - but finding an alternate date for each event gets tricky too - I settle for a different day for Christmas because it can be nearby the day itself, but weeks later for Mothers Day seems to be a bit of a non-event. I'm thinking that the pamper day might be my solution - at least a movie and dinner with my lovely husband as a consolation prize.

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  11. Hello Leanne
    My Mother's Days are still very child centric as my son is only 4. I'm very lucky also in that my mum will be over on the day to stay with us too. But I think the day and its meaning will change for me as time goes on. Please have a wonderful day treating yourself!

    SSG xxx

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    1. Thanks so much - you will have a fantastic day with your little boy - best time to be a mum is when they are so little and so uncomplicated! Also enjoy time with your mum too - she will be rapt to be with you and her grandson - double the joy x

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  12. You are not alone with this feeling...I am in the same boat with my kids but one lives locally...my son has a very busy life which I understand but he makes time for his dad because they have common interests, and my visits are few and far between...guaranteed though he will make time for me on Sunday...my daughter is a 4 hr drive & 1.5 hr ferry ride away so its a bit harder to see her...she has decided to make her life in that city which means she only comes home at Christmas if it works with her schedule...we talk on the phone alot though...my husband & I have decided to fly to the city she lives in (Victoria BC) for Victoria Day long weekend but we havent told her yet as we are celebrating our anniversary there and she has told me to consult her first if I want to come see her as she might have plans on the long weekends...I am hoping to see her, but if we dont we will make the best of our little getaway...I just hope they dont ever have to realize too late that they should have spent more time with me...

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    1. When I wrote this post it was probably to have a little bit of a pity party - it's really comforting to hear from others that it's just the way things are these days. Our kids grow up and make lives for themselves and we are just small satellites orbiting in the distance. I hope your long weekend visit goes well and that your daughter has some free time to fit you in. If not, at least you will have had a wonderful time away xx

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  13. Big hugs for you. I understand the hurt. I have one child that makes every special day a celebration and would travel 4 hours to see me. I have one who is just to tired to see me on mother's day because it's his only day to relax by himself.

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    1. Thanks Michelle - it's not really a big deal in the grand scheme of things - but occasions like Mothers Day just seem to magnify it for me - the distance thing sucks at times - you are very blessed to have the child who'll travel that far to see you though - enjoy it!

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  14. There's nothing wrong with missing your kids! I hated Mother's Day for a long time, which I wrote about here: http://www.middleagedmama.com.au/when-mothers-day-hurts-like-hell/. But now with my own kids, I love it!

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    1. Thanks for that Janet - I feel like I have to keep apologizing because I miss them - I know they have their own lives and it's ridiculous to drive all the way down for a visit, but I still wish we lived closer sometimes. Enjoy your day with your two - lucky duck!

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  15. When I attend church on Mother's Day, often there are tears rolling down my face. I'm not even sure why.

    I will take out my mother for lunch. One thing I won't do is to cook that day, like I do on most of the holidays. My daughter lives in LA, so she can't be with me, but I have two sons who still live with me.

    Last year, they gave me a card and that was it. I called my daughter and let her know how hurt and disappointed I was, and that I went to bed that night crying. She said that she had been nagging her brothers for a couple of weeks to go out and get the gift certificates, but they had dragged their feet. I was glad to hear that this year they have been planning for it several weeks ahead.

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    1. I SO get what you're saying - I think we've been sucked into the Mothers Day mythology and it seems like such a small thing to ask to be recognized for the time and investment we've made in our kids. But they are living their own lives in their own worlds and we are such a small part of it - I guess it makes the times when they put in the effort all the sweeter. I hope your boys spoil you heaps on Sunday xx

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  16. You pushed their little bodies out of yours, you deserve to want a visit on Mother's Day!

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    1. Nicely said Patricia - I don't think they'd agree with you but it had a nice ring to it :)

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  17. Dear Leanne, you had me at this: "WARNING: NOT YOUR USUAL FLUFFY MOTHERS DAY POST!!" THANK. YOU!!!!! I'm not a particular fan of Mother's Day myself...to me (warning: brutal honesty ahead), it feels like a day when moms have to do every single thing they have to do every other day of the year but act cheerful and fulfilled while they do it. But you've convicted me that I should be grateful I have my girls with me, because at 13 and 18, that might not be the case much longer. Thank you for sharing honestly and taking the "fluff" off Mother's Day! #FridayFrivolity

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    1. Thanks so much for your kind words Elizabeth - make sure you enjoy your girls while they are still at home - once they grow up and move out, their lives take off and you become a much smaller slice than you are atm. They have to spread their wings - it's just a shame that it usually means the mum is left back in the nest. Normally it doesn't bother me too much but days like Mothers Day tend to rub my nose in it a bit.

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  18. Wow, great discussion here.
    This will be my first Mother's Day without my mother. That's definitely a game changer, but I'm trusting for grace to be thankful for the given -- and evidence of that blessing is that I'll be seeing my boys on Sunday.

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    1. A mixture of joy and sadness for you Michele - I'm so glad you have your boys with you to lighten the day. My mum is coming down especially to lighten mine a little - I guess that's what mums are for sometimes. I hope you have some happy memories of your mum on the day x

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  19. Love the quote. Perfect Memories are what makes life worthwhile :0)

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    1. Exactly Aileen - there are certainly a lot of imperfections in my parenting over the years, so I guess the best I can do is hold onto those lovely memories and hope the rest of the family does too.

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  20. Watching our kids grow and learn is wonderful then they reach the dreaded teen years. Soon after they are adults and out on their own and no matter how bad we miss them, we have to let them go and be their own person. It's hard but that's life. Love the pic of you and your babies, so precious. Thank you Leanne for attending the #WednesdayAIMLinkParty. I shared your post.

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    1. Letting go and realizing you are a small blimp on their radar is one of life's hardest lessons to learn isn't it Dee? To be relegated to a back seat can be tough at times - especially when you remember being such an important part of their lives once.

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    2. So true but that's just how it is. Thank you Leanne for linking up at the #BloggingGrandmothersLinkParty. I shared this post.

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  21. My kids also live too far away to be with me on Mother's Day. But, we did phone calls, texts, FaceTime, and they sent flowers and candy. So -- it was all good. Thank you for sharing at #BloggingGrandmothersLinkParty. I'm sharing your post on social media.

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    1. So glad you had a lovely MD Carol - I can't say the same, but "it is what it is" seems to sum things up for me these days for a lot of celebrations.

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  22. This post reminds me what I love most about your blog, Leanne....your heartfelt honestly. Thank you for sharing this very open and personal post. It is very thought-provoking. #BloggingGrandmothersLinkParty#15

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    1. Thanks Donna - I just couldn't write a fluffy post and feel honest or sincere - this was how I felt at the time - just acknowledging the problem that distance creates for families when these occasions arise.

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  23. I understand! My kids all came to dinner, but two didn't commit until Sunday morning and one was late. I did all of the cooking and cleaning up myself. But life is busy for them with jobs and babies so I try to be understanding. Thank you for linking up at the #BlogginggGrandmothersLinkup Party!

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    1. I'm glad you had your family (even if it wasn't quite the Hallmark moment we'd all love) Better a little than nothing at all Lori - and "trying to be understanding" seems to be the way to cope with it all.

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  24. Oh my goodness Leanne, I want you to know that you are not the only one who feels this way. I often wonder why my only child, a daughter, feels a text and a sweet message on FB is what I need to make my mother's day special. Of course I accept it and I realize there are many moms who would love this and I have felt guilt for as you said "wanting more". I don't feel so bad about wanting more any longer. And this year my daughter's now fiance proposed to her with his family. Remember this is my only child...my hubs knew it was coming and swept me away on Friday and we stayed until this afternoon. I love this man. But I am not gonna complain. I am just gonna continue enjoying what I get and I like not being here so maybe that will become my new tradition. Getting away for a long weekend. :) SThank you for linking up at the #BloggingGrandmothersLinkParty. I shared this post.

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    1. Hi Clearissa - I think we're on the same page with this - we know that we get a little bit of acknowledgement for Mothers Day, but I often question why we get such a small dollop on the one day a year where we are supposed to be acknowledged for our 20+ years of parenting. I guess it's a different generation and different priorities - I'm definitely going away next year - after goodness knows how many lonely Mothers Days, it's time I did something about it.

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  25. I've commented above Leanne but wanted to thank you for linking up at #BloggingGrandmothersLinkparty. I've pinned and shared on social media.

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    1. Thanks Sue - and your comment was beautiful and much appreciated - thanks for sharing too xx

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