Written by Sara from Suburban Oblivion
I got my copy of Redbook magazine a couple of days ago. This is usually an exciting thing for me- I admit I love stealing 5 minutes here and there and hiding in the bathroom to read about all the things people do and wear and buy when they aren’t the mother to 3 kids. I know a lot of women with families do read this magazine, but they have so much content that is NOT about children that reading it makes me feel like for 5 minutes, I am not just someone’s mom. I am woman, hear me roar.
As I began to flip through the pages of the new May issue, my heart sank. This was not just any issue; it was the Mother’s Day edition. Then as I continued towards the back cover, I first was irritated, and finally became angry. Page after page, piece after piece on wonderful, cookie-baking, business-owning, charity-driven, self-sacrificing Mother of the Year nominees.
What about the rest of us?
Try as I might I couldn’t find a single page pertaining to my own history with the woman who gave me life. There were no “20 Ways to Celebrate Not Turning Out Like Her”. Nothing about women who had dealt with abuse at the hands of their mothers, yet managed to break that cycle and not pass it down to their own children. No pretty little poems for those who witnessed more than any child ever should of drug abuse, no song lyrics about mothers having affairs on the fathers, no opinion pieces from those who finally, for the sake of their own sanity, broke ties and never looked back. Nothing but happy, happy, happy little bits of fluff for happy little families.
Society ingrains in you the idea that the mother is the most sacred of all things, and because her blood runs through your veins, and she gave you life, she is to be all but worshipped. What society (as well as Redbook) fails to prepare you for is if you are instead born to the kind of parent who prefers to worry more about their desires than their child’s needs. Those preaching the bond of family suddenly fall silent, and you are left to deal with it alone, while all around you the world celebrates the gift of motherhood.
They say it takes all kinds, and I believe that. I believe most women probably are good mothers, and I try my best to be one of them. I believe that cutting my mother out of my life was one of the healthiest things I have ever done for myself, despite what society thinks. I also believe that the world has a lot of women like me who might look at a Mother’s Day issue of a magazine and hope that maybe there is some acknowledgment out there that we are ok, and that not every mother is worth celebrating.