How to celebrate Mother’s Day

By Charissa Kaschel

As I find myself reflecting on Mother’s Day this year…

Charissa Kaschel
Charissa Kaschel

I’ve been fortunate to have a biological mother who has always been present in my life.  My mother is driven, strong, intelligent, snarky, a little, okay, A LOT Type A (shhh.. that’s a good thing, clearly I come by it honestly), wise, encouraging and always ready to give me a dose of reality when I need it. She taught me always to honor my commitments, speak my mind, have an opinion, and how to cook.

But, I have four adopted sisters who experienced the trauma of a mother who wasn’t able to care for them well, which provided quite a contrast to my life as a teenager and young adult. As an opinionated teenager, I couldn’t understand how a mother could do things that left those lifelong effects. To this day it grieves me greatly.

I’ve come to greatly value the saying “it takes a village to raise a child” combined with “there’s no love like a love for a mother.” As a single mom raising two boys, there are days where my “mom super powers” just aren’t enough to get through the day let alone the week. There are other women in my “village” who can step in and love and nurture my children when I’ve reached my breaking point.

This year, as I experience my second Mother’s Day post divorce, it comes coupled with the strife of a four year old grieving the separation and change who often knows no other way than to lash out with words such as “I don’t like you,” or “I hate you.” While I know that he loves me deeply, I also know he is hurting greatly and I am unable to fix that hole in his life right now. It’s been painful as a mom to know that a decision I have made has caused such hurt and void in his life at such a young age.

I’ve always struggled with Mother’s Day as a mom and for a variety of reasons, but mainly because I never have felt like I’ve actually done a good enough job to be celebrated as a mom. I’ve failed my children in so many ways, divorce, moving, being unwell, recovering from surgeries and accidents… and the list goes on.  Someone very wise once said to me: “regardless of how you feel about your mothering, there are those without mothers who would take you in a heartbeat;” which of course got me thinking about those who grew up without mothers or maternal influences.

So, no matter how you grew up or live now–whether you are connected to your mother, or someone who stepped in where your mother couldn’t, whether your mother is no longer living on this earth, or whether you’re honoring her in memory this year–I encourage you to celebrate Mother’s Day this year by honoring those who influenced your life, or your children’s, in a way that maybe you’re only now recognizing as “mom.”

A very Happy Mother’s Day to you all.

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