14 May 2017 @ 09:48 am
Grrrrr. Argh.  
I went for a walk this morning before it got too hot, and enjoyed my neighborhood in the quiet while everyone else was in bed or making breakfast. I let my thoughts go where they wanted, and when something bubbled up that needed my attention, I let it. And I spent a good part of the walk wrestling with the resentment I feel because it’s Mother’s Day.

Part of that is tied up in my own relationship with my mother. That part’s easy to see and easy to be gentle with myself about.

But part of it is tied up with the fact that I want a day where I’m recognized for the nurturing I do, which is not a particularly pleasant thing to realize (I feel vaguely like a toddler stamping her foot). But then I quickly realized it’s not really about that. It’s about family.

I have no family in the United States. And while I certainly have a network of friends who love me and support me and are my ‘found family’ in a sense, I don’t have the fallback of family in the way those friends do. There is no default for me on big, family holidays. There is no assumption of us owing time to one another. There’s nowhere for me to be on Mother’s Day – no one for me to honor, no honoring done.

I wish, so much, for an experience of family similar to the ones my close friends have, all of whom have siblings and parents and aunts and uncles and cousins and nieces and nephews galore. I want to be part of a web that pulls me in on family holidays, rather than being on my own. My wish to be recognized is really a wish to be included.

(Maybe this is something I can articulate to my friends – I’m still letting that idea roll around in my mind, where it wars with the idea that I’m being too demanding – and maybe it’s not.)

Aie. Anyway. To those of you who also struggle today, for whatever reason – yearning to be a mother; being a mother who has lost a child; being a daughter who has lost a mother; being someone whose mother was distant or hurtful or abusive; being someone who never had a stable maternal figure in their life; so many other possibilities – I’m sending you so much love today. ♥

eta: Here's Anne Lamott on the complexities of Mother's Day - a really beautiful, thoughtful post.
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lexstar29[personal profile] lexstar29 on May 14th, 2017 03:48 pm (UTC)
Once again, I feel this one. My family feels fractured and uncomfortable, so these kind of days are difficult, Mother's Day especially. I crave that kind of feeling of close family bonds, so am working on trying to create these as my future goes on.

In the meantime, I've been thinking about nominating a date each year where those of my found family and I celebrate and honour each other and those we care about. More and more, I think it's a good idea.
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orasimcha batdina: books cats[personal profile] batdina on May 14th, 2017 05:46 pm (UTC)
caveat on the Anne Lamott piece: DO NOT READ THE COMMENTS.

in our house, we are two women without mothers or children. I completely hear you.
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flaming_muse[personal profile] flaming_muse on May 14th, 2017 06:07 pm (UTC)
*hugs you* What you say makes perfect sense, and I think it's worth talking about with those you love. Someone should unofficially adopt you, I think. but even if that's not the right path I think having your friends be aware of your feelings would make them think more about what it means to be included.
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kass[personal profile] kass on May 14th, 2017 08:33 pm (UTC)
Oh, my dear, I hear you so much. I wish we lived nearer to one another; i would love for you to be part of family holidays for me, because you are part of my chosen family for sure.

And it makes perfect sense to me that you would want to be recognized for the nurturing you do. I wager that you are a mother figure for a LOT of your students, and a safer and kinder one than they're likely to have had in their family of origin, almost no matter what.
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winter_elf[personal profile] winter_elf on May 15th, 2017 02:53 am (UTC)
Yea, I hear you. I have a toxic mom, and basically avoid her. She gets anxiety attacks at any sort of holiday, so there is never a 'family gathering' - for any holiday. My sisters have kids, and the one I'm close to lives far away.

So my friends are celebrating with their families..... and I'm watching movies at home, alone. with the cats. *sigh*
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here's luck: death cab for cutie[personal profile] heresluck on May 15th, 2017 02:50 pm (UTC)
I hear you on this. I've largely let go of my expectations around biological family, but in some ways that actually makes it harder that there's no socially recognized celebration of the found family I rely on. I try to remember to honor the adults who've mentored and supported me in ways my own parents didn't, and I'm lucky enough that some of the young people for whom I feel affection and responsibility do the same for me; but it's not the same thing, and so these days for celebrating family can leave me feeling pretty isolated.

So thank you for this post -- and I send love right back at you.
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perspi: PeaPod[personal profile] perspi on May 15th, 2017 03:26 pm (UTC)
I'm a little late, but: *SO MANY HUGS* I hear you, sweets!

I spent most of the day stitching little pieces of fabric to other little pieces of fabric, which was delightful, and at church our pastor specifically called out to recognize not just moms but everyone who nurtures, so: You got some love from here, even if it didn't quite hit you yet, it's got a ways to travel. :D
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