Why I Hate Mother's Day

Saturday, May 09, 2015 by Meg   •   Filed under Mom Stories/Opinion

As Mother's Day approaches, many are gearing up for celebration. Today I have a guest post from someone on the flip side of that coin. This post is for anyone out there struggling today. 

By: Scarlet Hayes

The day of the year that I dread most is upon us: Mother's Day. 

Don't get me wrong. There is nothing that I love more than being a mother. Having my children is the best thing I have ever done. I look at them and my heart skips a beat, much like it does with new love, except that feeling never goes away. The love of one’s children is love in its truest form. 

But on Mother’s Day, I also feel a pang of emptiness, because I know that the woman who gave birth to me does not, actually cannot, harbor the same love and feelings towards me. 

Sometimes, mothers suck. I know because mine did. She tried to destroy my career, my family, and my life. My womb donor was, and is, a piece of shit.

No one’s perfect, mind you; motherhood isn't pretty and it isn't glamorous. I certainly did not walk out of the hospital ten hours after popping a10 lbs 3 oz baby out of my vagina, clothed in a perfectly pressed dress and high heels with fabulously coiffed hair. I was just worried that my cervix was going to drop through my mesh panties. But the roller coaster of pregnancy was worth it. All the panic about drinking and sushi was worth it. And the weight gain. And the illness.  All worth it for that flutter in your tummy that feels like butterfly wings in the wind.

The love of a mother and the love of a child can, and should be, unconditional. With my children, it is. 

With the woman who harbored my in her womb until she ejected me into the harsh reality that would become my tumultuous relationship with her, such love never existed. At least, not in a way that she could demonstrate without also hurting me simultaneously. Laughter followed by tears. 

My mother would fly into drunken rages from the time I was little, yanking my brother, sister, and I out of our beds in the middle of the night because she was leaving our father. In her underwear. With no car keys. Details. 

I tried to protect my sister and my brother from her rage from the time I could care for them. But it wasn't a perfect system, nor was her diagnosis which sometimes leaned bipolar, sometimes borderline personality disorder, sometimes narcissism, sometimes substance abuse issues, sometimes antisocial personality, sometimes all of them. She would throw things at all of us if we dared cross her drunken path while she was in a sanctimonious rage against one of us. She jerked me off of the clothes hamper by my hair where I had hidden my sister because I didn't want the banshee to get ahold of her.

She went to prison for embezzlement when I was in law school. I went to class knowing that that woman's picture was on the front page of our metropolitan newspaper. I was sued because of what she did. So was the rest of my family. 

She never apologized. 

When she got out of prison, she made her way back into our lives. And for a short time it was okay. There was laughter. There were apologies. But she abandoned us again when my daughter was two-weeks old because she found another money train in the form of an elderly person she could take advantage of. She let me know by email. 

My mom was gone. Again. And I had no idea what to do with this little person I had just brought into this world. When my little girl woke up screaming ten minutes after I fed her and put her back down, I had no idea what to do. My "mom" was supposed to be there. She was supposed to help me and explain to me why babies cry like that after you just fed them, changed them, fed them again, rocked them, burped them, and did every bloody thing the damn books tell you to do. 

I wept. Often. 

I wept because I was sleep deprived. I wept because I didn't know how to soothe my baby girl. I wept because my fucking mother was supposed to be there to help me. And I wept because I saw the tears glistening in my sister's eyes as she stood with us, not knowing what to do anymore than I did. 

But mostly, I wept for the loss of a parent. 

A woman who could up and abandon her daughter and brand new grandchild without a backwards look in her own selfish haze was not truly a mom. 

I made the mistake of letting her back into our lives approximately a year and a half later, thinking that perhaps she had changed. She had been begging to see my daughter and to be a part of our lives again. Her apologies, while worthless, seemed sincere. And, I wanted my mom. A mom. 

But, true to her M.O., she once again, screwed us over. Only that time her actions were so manipulative, so underhanded that the damage was irreparable. She tried to get me disbarred. She tried to get my children taken from me. She stole from my elderly mother-in-law who has Alzheimer's Disease. 

The woman who walks around and provided half of my DNA is still alive. She still tortures us by trying to communicate with us at times. There have been restraining orders and police reports and criminal charges against her because she has truly tried to destroy me and my family. 

To me, she is dead. For that is the only way that I can let go of some of the pain that my mother caused me. I still grieve the loss of a mother I never had. 

Sometimes, I try to remember a time where she took me to a park or laid on the floor and made a fort with me so that we could eat popcorn and watch a movie "under the stars" of a strand of twinkle lights, like I did with my kids last winter. No such memories exist. 

Growing up, I always had clothes on my back and food to eat. I was bathed and I was taken to the doctor when I was sick. But there was no love from her. 

Mother's Day is difficult because though I had a mother to feed me, I never had a mom.

So, when I see the "love your mother" and "call your mother" posts that abound during the weeks preceding Mother's Day, and all of the reasons we should celebrate our mothers on Mother's Day, I turn off the Internet. The only thing I celebrate about that woman is that she can no longer harm me because it's my choice not to let her back into our lives. And I am glad that she gave me life, which in turn gave me the ability to give life to the two most amazing human beings I have ever known. 

My children call me mommy. They hug me and tell me that I am the best mommy in the world. We make memories. GOOD MEMORIES. 

Not once has my daughter had to hide her brother in a household piece of furniture to protect him from an insane rant. 

The best mother isn't the one who looks perfectly put together in public and has Stepford looking spawn who never step out of place. I had that. The best moms are the ones who, at the end of the day, can look at their kids, and can look at their friends and family, and see the look of love returned. Most days, we are all doing a damn good job. And without the sisterhood of real moms, we would all be wandering lost in a mass of dirty onesies and diaper genies. 

I am happy for those who have a good relationship with their moms. I hope that my children aren't writing a piece like this about me in thirty years because I screwed up their worlds so horribly that they had a funeral for me before I died.

To all the real moms out there, the ones who know what it truly means to be a mom, and not just a birth canal donor, I wish you the kind of Mother's Day that you desire, be it one without interruption and sleeping in, or one stippled with your children’s laughter as blades of grass tickle their toes. 

To my circle of friends, to my sister, to all of those who have shown me what it is like to be a real mom, I raise my glass to you with my sincerest thanks. 

Here's to not completely screwing our kids up, in spite of our parents and in spite of ourselves. 

Scarlet Hayes is a recovering lawyer. After receiving one too many propositions for inmate boyfriends, Scarlet decided that her time might be better spent making people laugh on purpose, rather than by tripping over deputies as they lunge to taser her unruly clients. Now, she just uses the taser as a threat to keep her minions in line, i.e., her fighter pilot husband, their two adorable children, and her menagerie of asshole animals. You can find Scarlet on her blog, Down The Hole and on Facebook for an irreverent, inappropriate look at the life of a working mom with a foul mouth. You can also find her on Twitter.

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