Surplus to Requirements

I’ve never liked Mother’s day. Trying to please a mentally ill mother is no one’s idea of a good time. I did or didn’t become a mother, depending on how you want to define that word. My mother died.

I am surplus to requirements on Mother’s day.

It sits somewhere between the hell of heartbreak and the hades of a sandpaper based smugness. My mother wasn’t fantastic when she was here, Now she isn’t here.  My reproductive abilities are sub par.

They don’t mean me when they talk about Mother’s. There’s no room for my kind of “mothering” in there. There’s neither room for the nurturing of various nieces and nephews nor for the various women who have nurtured me.

Mother is a word filling me with chaotic and clashing feelings.  It’s messy. There are dead babies and ambivalence and second guesses. There’s no closure. There’s just this day.

And I don’t know what to do with it.

Surplus to my requirements.

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5 Responses to Surplus to Requirements

  1. Debby Hornburg says:

    Perhaps it would help if you viewed ‘mother’ as a verb instead of a noun. You have nurtured many a niece and nephew. You are successful at mothering. <3

  2. Jane says:

    What Debby said.


  3. loribeth says:

    With all due respect to the commenters above, yes, there is certainly more than one way to “mother” — but it doesn’t get a lot of airtime on/around Mother’s Day, & those of us who don’t mother in the conventional sense don’t often get recognized for it. (And those who have not walked a similar path and yet do remember that this is not an easy day for me receive my undying gratitude.) It’s not an easy weekend; my consoling thought is it will soon be over…! Thinking of you, Mrs. Spit… <3

  4. Debby Hornburg says:

    I do get it. Believe me, I get it. We lost our grandson hours after his birth. I see this anguish in my children’s faces. I did not mean to dismiss the pain of it at all, but to point out that life does not always go the way we expected/hoped/prayed, but that all we can do is try our best to make sense of it the best way we can.

  5. Barb says:

    I recognize my Aunt on Mother’s day because she was always like a second mother to me. My sister and I are her only children. She seems to like this but I’m not sure she’d say so if she didn’t. Do you have an opinion on that kind of recognition?

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