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A Motherless Mothers Day

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#1 *Ghania*

Posted 28 April 2009 - 07:50 AM

It wasn’t until I became a mother that I really understood the significance of mother’s day. Sure, as a kid I used to look forward to buying mum a pressie or behaving exceptionally well for her on that special day.  But the true meaning of mother’s day?  Well that didn’t really hit home until I became a mother myself.  

My first mother’s day was a quiet event, spent at home with hubby and our 5 day old son.  I had missed out on attending a mother’s day lunch with my own mother and siblings as I’d been too exhausted from caring 24-7 for a new born baby.

Unfortunately, that mother’s day – my first - turned out to be mum’s last. And it breaks my heart to know that I didn’t get to share it with her.

Since then, Mother’s Day has been a bitter-sweet experience.  Although I have moved beyond that period of intense grief, the pain of not having mum around is still strong.  In the past I generally missed her as a daughter missing her mother, but now more than ever I miss her as a mother missing her own mother.  

So while I try my best to look forward to Mother’s Day each year, the truth is that part of me just wishes the whole thing didn’t exist.  Sure, I enjoy reading the cards the children make for me each year and look forward to spending the day with them. But there’s always that silent yearning for having my own mother to celebrate with. It’s like a sadness that you try to push away, but it slowly creeps up into your gut and makes its way into your heart.  And because I’m surrounded by three (very attentive) little beings, I cover that sadness up with a smile and it’s not until I’m all alone that night that the tears freely flow.

But Mother’s day as a motherless mother is not all about tears and sadness.  For me, a significant part of Mother’s Day is celebrating my own mother by remembering the lessons she taught me; by reminiscing about being the wonderful woman she was; by reflecting on her capacity to love unconditionally and to face adversity head on; by marvelling at her ability to have raised 5 children almost single-handedly and doing such a bloody good job of it.  Mum made mothering look so easy that it wasn’t until I became a mother myself that I discovered how difficult and relentless it could be. Unfortunately, by the time I discovered the difficulties of mothering, and the joys, mum was no longer around to share her experiences and wisdom with me.  I’ve always wondered if she found raising 5 children as easy as she had made it look.  I’ve often wished for her advice and then found myself trying to figure out what she would say in regards to a particular situation...  

It’s true that we don’t appreciate the enormity and selflessness of mothering until we become mothers.  Almost every new mother I know has proclaimed a new found respect for her own mother.  And rightly so.  As women it may not be until we ourselves become mothers that we really understand the significance of our own mothers and the importance of the small sacrifices they made almost daily to ensure our happiness.  And perhaps, most of all that’s what Mother’s Day is all about - paying tribute to all women, past and present, who have dedicated their lives to being the very best mothers they can be.

From the depth of my heart, I wish all mothers a very joyful Mothers’ Day.  I wish all motherless mothers lots of love and comfort on that day, when I expect that they’ll be missing their own mothers as much as I do my own.  

What does Mother’s Day mean to you? If, like me, you are a motherless mother, what are your feelings about Mothers’ Day and how do you celebrate the memory of your own mother? I'd love to hear your stories.

#2 linnyleer

Posted 28 April 2009 - 05:51 PM

I have never had a strong relationship with either of my parents, but ever since I got engaged (now married) I have had basically nothing to do with my mother. She refuses to speak to me and has only met one of her two grandchildren (I am the only one of my siblings with children, and have two girls, 2yrs and 4months)The first time she met her was at my wedding then a few months later when I visited her.
I find it hard that my husband had a wonderful, caring, almost perfect mum, but she died of breast cancer before I met him, while my own, very alive mother is non existent in my life. For all those really important times, a wedding, the birth of two children (one by emergency Caesar) and a miscarriage. I feel I have no mother to ask advice or share experiences. I am very lucky though to have a lovely step-mum-in-law. Just having her around has helped me grieve not having had a proper mother. It is very depressing at times, and I haven't spoken to my parents in six months. But I look at my own little family and know that they are all wonderful and that is where my energy is focused, not on something that I will never have. On the other hand it also has made me very aware of the kind of mother I want to be, and my husband thinks I am a wonderful mum!

#3 Guest_amanda_*

Posted 28 April 2009 - 06:02 PM

WEll Gee,that means something a little different to me and I guess that my title should be...a childless mothers day.. as I remember thinking this time last year how excited I would be that it looked like I would be a mother for mothers day 2009 as I was pregnant and unfortunalty we had some rather unfortunate news about the health of the baby,so made the heartbreaking decision to not continue with the pregnancy. It seems that a lot of women say they had a miscarrige when it fact it isn't,so I feel that it is important as I know there are many others that have had similiar situations but I guess there is a lot of guilt associated with it. It is very hard to be 4 months pregnant and go to a maternity ward with your obstrician and husband and deliver a baby that is not alive,then come home and apparently get on as if nothing happened. I am coming to terms now with age related fertility issues and as mothers day approaches it is also hard for us women facing the fact that it is highly likely that we won't experience the joys of motherhood.

#4 OurLittleDarling

Posted 04 May 2009 - 11:36 AM

I love love love Mother's Day! Thought I am not a Mother myself - yet - I have a very strong relationship with my Mum and when I moved to Melbourne a number of years ago, the distance only made us closer. Im sorry to hear about your loss. Im not sure how I wuld cope without having my Mum around, and I use this day to show her how much I love her more than any other day. She lost her Mum a few years ago and we always have a drink to her. Mums make the world go round! xxx

#5 svufan

Posted 05 May 2009 - 04:00 PM

As a Motherless Mother I can appreciate your mixed feelings about Mother's Day and mothering in general. My mother died when I was four and, as was the custom for many widowers, my father remarried very quickly and my birth mother was never discussed. (That brought on a whole load of other issues...)

But as mother myself, and I was widowed when my daughter was very young, I feel privileged to have such a wonderful young lady in life. I think I have lived my life always thinking 'well I have got my daughter past that hurdle' or 'if I was to leave her now, she would be able to manage for the rest of her life. So every year that I have seen her grow up, from age 4 when I was left motherless, seems like a great achievement.

I know that I did have a mother-figure to show me what should (or in her case what shouldn't) be done, but I have never really known that unconditional love that daughters expect from their mothers. However I am truly blessed that I know my daughter knows she has my unconditional love. It still amazes me when she turns to me at times of sickness, sadness or great joy- and says 'I just want my mum'

So for me, every Mother's Day with my daughter is a blessing and I hope to have many more.

Happy Mother's Day to you all.

#6 lisakd

Posted 05 May 2009 - 04:54 PM

Having had my mother here for the past week (mainly to visit our new son for the first time who is 8 weeks old) I unfortunately was glad to see her go.  I have never really had a good relationship with her, choosing to live with my Dad at 12 when they separated, and whist things did improve when I had my daughter 3 and a half years ago, lately I have realised how selfish she is about her time, general conversations (she talks 80% of the time and seems to cut me off when I do get a word in, always waiting for the next things she can say about her and her life) and her total lack of involvement with the kids (She lives interstate, but has probably only babysat twice in 3 and a half years whilst she was here, and last year they were here on and off for 3 months).

I have even had an experience when turning to her for marital and womanly advice when my husband and I were experiencing difficulties (assuming that having had one marriage for 15 years and another now for 18 she could help) that i got a reply stating I shouldnt ask her to "take sides" - I wasnt, just asking her to listen, and that I "..should deal with it myself and not bother her about it".  So you can see why I am not to fussed over celebrating her mother's day.

In fact I would agree with another reader in saying that she has not taught me too much, but I sure do realise what I dont want to do and the sort of mother I dont want to be, thanks to her.  I am seriously contemplating asking her not to visit again this year as I dont enjoy it and stress more than its worth.

For me however, Mothers day this year will hopefully be spent relaxing with friends who are also mothers whilst the kids run amok and we all enjoy a glass of bubbly!!

Edited by lisakd, 05 May 2009 - 04:56 PM.

#7 lozandwill

Posted 05 May 2009 - 06:14 PM

I can fully appreciate the feelings of emptiness and dread that fill you when Mother's Day without your mum approaches... all those adverts showing perfect kids with perfect mums celebrating their day - they make it so much worse!  
Back in 2002 a friend and I were discussing this and we came up with our solution - the creation of Trees for Mum - a Mother's Day memorial tree planting for motherless sons and daughters of all ages.  We thought it would be a one-off event held in Manly (Sydney) and now 8 years on we are still here!  
There are a number of public planting sites (check local papers and/or our Facebook page (http://www.facebook....77317901&ref=mf) and/or www.treesformum.com - and if there isn't a public planting site near you - we encourage you to plant a tree for your mum in your own garden - or at an organised council tree planting event.
Planting a tree is a great way to memorialise our mums and to nurture the environment with new growth at the same time.  As one of our regular planters said 'Thank you for giving us the opportunity to look forward to Mother's Day rather than back'  

PS Please note this year has been a year of consolidation for Trees for Mum (for various reasons including trying to juggle 2 small children and a 'real job' as well!) meaning there are less public planting sites... and that we are encouraging others to create their own public planting sites.  If there isn't an organised site near you - please make sure you check back to our web site before Mother's Day next year as we are expecting to be bigger and further reaching in 2010.

#8 Lizz

Posted 05 May 2009 - 06:29 PM

It wasn’t until I became a mother that I really understood the significance of mother’s day. Sure, as a kid I used to look forward to buying mum a pressie or behaving exceptionally well for her on that special day. But the true meaning of mother’s day? Well that didn’t really hit home until I became a mother myself.

I must be missing something.  We just don't place a lot of importance on Mothers or Fathers Day.  As parents, the only request we ever have is a sleep-in and a cooked breakfast.  When growing up, both my husbands family and my family were pretty much both the same with no expectations put on Mothers Days or Fathers Days.  We would make our little cards or small gifts at school and that was all our parents ever received.  We didn't go out and buy expensive gifts and make huge fusses over our parents on these days, and we don't expect this treatment from our own children.

I can't imagine not having my own mother here though when Mother's Day is just thrust in our faces at this time of year through all forms of media.  I can only imagine how the pain of her loss increases in intensity during this lead up to Mother's Day for you.

#9 Melissa4444

Posted 05 May 2009 - 07:08 PM

On my first Mother's Day, I buried my own.

Clearly, six years on (the anniversary of her death is today), I feel my body tense at the mention of MD.

#10 gingermum

Posted 05 May 2009 - 07:32 PM

Ghania, I am sorry to hear Mother's Day is bittersweet for you. I just lost my mum a few months ago, so this will be my first mother's day without her.

I joked to my husband the other day that at least I could soak up all the glory for myself this year, instead of having to share it with mum. And at least I don't have to buy her a present (she was hard to buy for). The jokes disguise my grief.

For a long time, my husband's mum has had dementia and we have lost a lot of wisdom not having her around, especially insights into how my husband was when he was young. It was the same when my dad died-he never got to meet my two little fellas and that thought often makes me sad.

I think that is the sad part about losing your own parents... it's not that they might have had great advice about teething or nappy rash - we can get that anywhere. It's that they can say "Oh, you used to look exactly like that" or "Your brother used to do that". They remind us of our own childhoods, the way we were brought up, the way we were. As a parent, I find it's always valuable to remember yourself as a child.

I am lucky that Mum and I had a lot of great memories together involving my two little boys. We all lived together for a few years before she died so the boys have very vivid memories of her. They asked me the other day if they could keep a library book because one of the illustrated characters looked just like Grandma.

The thing about Mum is she, like me, wasn't perfect. She was often but not always overly strict, grumpy, critical, mean and selfish. Since I became a mum though, I have forgiven her all of these things. I really understand now that she was a child and then a woman before she was a mother. I know how much she loved me and how that love might drive her to be irrational sometimes. I know how relentless I was and how tired she must have been coming in from work each day.

The saddest thing about my mum, is she was always motherless. Her mum abandoned her as a small child and she never recovered from that. Given that start in life, I am immensely proud of her for being able to love me and care for me, and help me see the humour in everything.

I hope not to be too sad this Mother's Day. My intention is to enjoy every moment with my beloved and my children - an intention I start each day with and frequently fail to achieve, but as my Mum always said, we can only do our best.

#11 *Ghania*

Posted 05 May 2009 - 10:56 PM

Thanks everyone for your comments and for sharing your stories. Although everyone's experience of mother's day is somewhat different, i think we all realise the most important thing is spending it with people we love, be it partners, kids, friends, or if you're lucky enought your mother.

#12 tine1973

Posted 06 May 2009 - 12:13 AM

Although I have moved beyond that period of intense grief, the pain of not having mum around is still strong. In the past I generally missed her as a daughter missing her mother, but now more than ever I miss her as a mother missing her own mother.


OMG you have just articulated what my heart screams but am unable to express in words...

Whilst i know that time is ever so slowly helping me to cope with my grief, i know that it will never go away.. and that at certain times, special times like the birth of my son or her birthday or mothers day, the wound is rubbed raw again and the pain returns...
Its my dads birthday today - we went out for dinner last night (I was working all day today and knew my son would be tired after daycare)and dad was a little subdued over dinner.. i asked him what was wrong and he said how much mum would have loved to see my son. cry1.gif so today i have spent a fair amount of time thinking of mum and how much i am missing her right now, although if i really admit to it, i miss her all the time.....
so this sunday i am joining my bestie and her family for mothers day (she did invite me!!)the kids are going to tire themselves out in the park and im going to let her husband do all the cooking... thats my plan for the day!!
and when i come home that night and im in bed relaxing to go to sleep, i will ask mum to keep an eye on me and to help me to find my way... as i know that shes still with me in my heart...
i love you mum


#13 cjodonne

Posted 06 May 2009 - 12:48 PM

I'm in wierd position I guess that on Mother's Day I'll be able to see my Mum, but it won't really be her. She had to be institutionalised recently (in her 50s) for a rare early onset fronto-temporal dementia.
When I was young Mum was my best friend. She couldn't wait to have grandkids - she was a Maternal and Child Health Nurse and was very skilled and knowledgable about babies and parenting. However by the time she got grandchildren, she was unable to relate to them. She is agressive and difficult,(when she can talk at all which is becoming less and less) and hisses at the kids. There is absolutely nothing of her personality left. I hate that she can't enjoy the kids, and that they don't much like her.I hate that I've had to do all this mothering on my own. Like another member mentioned, I hate not being able to ask her things like "Did I do that at my baby daughter's age? Do they get that from me? What was I like when I started school?" etc but I mainly hate that Mum is unhappy and stressed and there is nothing I can do to help her, and there is nothing I can give her for mother's day AT ALL that will bring her any pleasure.

#14 michm

Posted 06 May 2009 - 06:05 PM

My mum passed away a month ago from breast cancer at 55 yrs old and I am DREADING this mother's day, my first without her. I'm trying to focus on the positives of being able to spend the day with my hubby and 2 beautiful children, but I can feel the tension building as the day approaches.

I am heartbroken. I know the next year will be filled with "firsts" - the first Christmas, birthday, etc without her. She was my best friend and I feel so lost. I've already had a moment (as mentioned by other posters) where my son was sick and I wondered "did I have the same thing as a child?", then realised there is no-one who would know as Dad was too busy working when I was little to really be aware of, or even remember that sort of thing.

I hope as the years pass that I will be able to focus on the special woman my mum was and honour her on mother's day. But this year I just want to crawl under the blankets and hide until the day is over.


Edited by michm, 06 May 2009 - 06:07 PM.

#15 *Ghania*

Posted 06 May 2009 - 09:43 PM

Mich, i really feel for you. Mum died a couple of weeks before my birthday and i remember not wanting to get out of bed and face the world. And although my DH and family had a little get together to celebrate the occassion, i remember having to go away on my own to shed a few silent tears. The first year is certainly difficult, but even now, i often think about things as "before mum's death" and "after mum's death". Her passing away is a defining moment in the timeline of my own life.

#16 charmer6000

Posted 07 May 2009 - 12:22 AM

I really have to say this.
You are very lucky people to have a mother.
Whether it is to greive over, or to snuggle into , on mothere's day.
My mopther (if you can call her that), was a nasty evil child abuser.
For the first 4 precious years of my life, she abused me horribly.
Then I was taken from her, and put in an orphansge, where the abuse continued.
These actions were taken, despite the fact, that I have siblings.
I have had and will continue to have, an awful life.
And, all of this happened in so called "holy catholic ireland"
When she died, all I could say (expletive) may she roast in hell.
And, at least she cannot hurt anyone any more.
There is a lot more, but, I won't put you through what I have been through.
I'm sorry to put such a post on this site, but, I feel i have to.
Thank you

#17 mumof3b1g

Posted 07 May 2009 - 01:33 AM

This will also be my first Mothers Day without my mum and I feel sick to the stomach when I think about it  sad.gif
My Grandmother flew over here to Perth for the funeral then I flew back to Melbourne with her to make sure she was okay etc, she died the day after we both flew back into Melbourne, so I no longer have her with me either....  cry1.gif

I am going to try so hard to enjoy Mothers for my children, I love to see their 4 little faces when they hand me their hand made cards and Mothers day gifts from art class at school, but the ache in my heart will always  be there.

We will be spending some time during the day with my MIL, and I know as much as I should be doing it for my beautiful, amazing and very supportive DH I just know I will be thinking well it should be my mum I am seeing too.....  

I just hope that everyone who has posted who have lost their mum realise that  there will be lots of us thinking of you on Sunday, its gonna suck big time but you will be in my thoughts and prayers  wub.gif  wub.gif

#18 anon60

Posted 07 May 2009 - 12:57 PM

This is my 24th Mothers' Day as a mum, my 42nd with out my mum, my 6th without my Nanna (who raised me after mum died). Growing up, I hated Mothers' Day. My kids like to make a big fuss, we usually have a get together with MIL (all her kids, their wives and as many grand and great grandchildren as can be mustered).

Edited by anon60, 07 May 2009 - 01:02 PM.

#19 nickysolo

Posted 07 May 2009 - 01:57 PM

This story brought tears to my eyes.  My mother passed away from ovarian cancer in February this year and I have no idea how I will be on Sunday.  Irony of all this too is that I TTC for many years with IVF with no success.  The hubby and I parted ways a few months back due to the pressure of this (plus a myriad of other resaons) and now.....found out 2 days ago that I have fallen PG accidently with my new partner. Am aged 40, so finally it has happened to me. Do I wish she was here to share this with me?  You bet I do.  Her own mother died at age 6 from uterine cancer so my mum was a motherless mother too.  If I could have half the patience, understanding and love my mum had I reckon I will be doing well.

To all you mothers or TTC'ers out there, whether this is your first Mothers Day without your mums or its been many years, lots of  bbighug.gif  to you all.

#20 MsDemeanor

Posted 07 May 2009 - 07:15 PM

I am about to celebrate my second mothers day without my mum. Then a few days later I will be thinking of her on what would have been her 51st birthday and a month after that, the 2nd anniversary of her untimely death.

Not a day goes by that I don't miss my mum and cherish every memory I have of her. I wish I could have done things differently, if I only knew then what I know now.

Being a motherless mother really does suck sad.gif


hugs to everyone who doesn't have them mother here with them.

#21 anon60

Posted 07 May 2009 - 07:18 PM

Mum died 3 days after her 38th birthday (aneurysm). Last month she would have hit the big 80.

Edited by anon60, 07 May 2009 - 07:18 PM.

#22 *Ghania*

Posted 07 May 2009 - 09:01 PM

DramaQueen, i agree - being a motherless mother does suck. The past couple of weeks have been particularly difficult for me and everyday i wish mum was around. I think her mere presence would have made things easier. I sure would love one of her hugs right now...

#23 ~ky~

Posted 08 May 2009 - 12:32 AM

This is my 13th mothers day without my Mum and I miss her still. When the shops and tv start pushing the fact, I tend to bury my head and try to ignore it.

I have never asked anything of my DH or kids on mothers day, I guess it is just too sad.

To top it off, I am also a Mum with 3 missing children. It is my 8th mothers day without Nikki, my 4th mothers day without Sam and my 2nd mothers day without Ruby. Sure, Bella and Daniel are still here and they get excited, but it is so had to try and share their enthusiasm.

On a lighter note, Daniel who is 6yo, came home from school today with the gift and card they have made in class. He promptly opened the cardboard cone with 3 chocolates he helped mold and started to eat them! At least I got to see them this year ... last year they were gone before I picked him up from school! And, last year he decided to keep the card he had made as it was 'too pretty for Mum'  roll2.gif

I love and I hate mothers day ... it's not exactly pleasant, but at the same time it is always a joy to spend an entire day with my family - especially when I don't have to cook  Tounge1.gif

RIP Mum ... 18/12/46 - 9/12/95, take care of your grandchildren in heaven until we meet again.

Edited by ~ky~, 08 May 2009 - 12:33 AM.

#24 BDJ06

Posted 08 May 2009 - 12:38 AM

Sunday will be the 15th anniversary of my Mum's death.  She died aged 39 from Motor Neurone Disease. She died a couple of days after Mothers Day at the time, so each year the anniversary falls around about Mothers Day.  

Since I have had my wonderful children Mothers Day has taken on an entirely different meaning to me.  I now look forward to it again and and it feels like a much more happy occassion.

bbighug.gif to all those who are finding this time of the year hard.  It did get easier for me.

Edited by BDJ06, 09 May 2009 - 02:30 AM.

#25 screaming

Posted 10 May 2009 - 10:48 PM

My mother is a selfish cow and I haven't spoken to her for 3 1/2 years. I hate that i have a mother but that I don't and feel terrible that all the other people have had such wonderful mothers die when mun is so nasty and selfish and very healthy. For me I don't miss mothers day with my mother as it was a chore, all about her and what i could do for her, not what we could do together.

I have two children now and Mothers day means very little to me, maybe because my husband forgot the first one, maybe because I have no positive memories and maybe bacuse I am a cynic and think if the media need to think up a day to tell us we're special then it's not really special. My 4 year old daughter telling me she loves me and wants to stay with me when daddy goes out is better than Mothers Day.

Be happy that you all have such wonderful memories of your mothers, i have other older women in my life who are like mothers but i envy my friends whose mothers these are!

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