The calendar has flipped to the month of May, and right on cue, I feel my anxiety rising. I HATE MOTHER’S DAY. It’s no secret and it’s no wonder. I have had three women come into my life and ask me to call them ‘MOM’. All three are no longer a part of my life by their own choice.
My Birth Mother walked away from me when I was only two years old and started a brand new family, leaving me in a foster home.
My Adoptive Mother decided after two years that actually, she didn’t want to be a mother after all, and left in the middle of the night, never to be heard from again.
My Stepmother “tolerated” me as part of the package deal, and her last words to me were: You were supposed to be a solution to a bad marriage, but ended up being a problem we were stuck with.
So every year on Mother’s Day, I scroll, as quickly as I can, past Facebook and Twitter streams that are impossible to ignore. Every year, I read hundreds upon hundreds of messages, all basically saying the same thing:
I love you Mom for always being there for me.
My mom’s love and devotion made me the amazing person I am today.
I got my strength and independence from the strongest women I know, my mother.
Years of this ritual got me thinking. If “Mom” is the one person who passes these wonderful traits along to young girls, how did I become the Woman/Mother I am today? And then it dawned on me. I am like a PATCHWORK Quilt.
Growing up, I would look at my friend’s mothers and see qualities in them that I wished I could have in my own mother. There was “Melanie” whose mom didn’t work and made homemade meals every day. And how about “Jeff” whose mom was one of the classiest women I had ever laid eyes on but could rock a ponytail and baseball cap like nobody else.
Now, later on in life, I still watch women around me. The woman across town who selflessly gives her time as a volunteer for children’s & seniors programs. The CEO who is a true picture of Boss Babe and has a heart of gold.
Over the years, I secretly stole bits and pieces that I felt represented the perfect woman, and somewhere deep in my heart, I stored those bits and pieces. With time, they carefully patched themselves together to create who I am today.
I am not trying to suggest that I am perfect. I know that every masterpiece has to have its imperfections. For you see, I did include pieces of each of each of my own “moms” in my patchwork, and I refer to those imperfections daily as reminders of the things that I will never do as a mother, a friend, a woman, a human being.
I will NEVER turn my back on my children, even if they don’t grow up the way I had hoped, but instead accept them for who they are.
I will NEVER make any person feel like my love and friendship is conditional, but instead, with all of my heart, show them the joy that they bring to my life.
I will NEVER become a victim of my childhood by using it as an excuse, but instead, share my story and try to inspire others to find the courage to heal their own scars.
The best lessons in life don’t always come from Mom, nor do the best lessons in life necessarily present in positive and heartwarming ways.
This Mother’s Day, I will curl up with a cup of tea on the couch, and let the “Patchwork” memories of life wrap themselves around me like a warm Quilt. And then, I will raise that cup of tea, and toast one of the Most Amazing Women that I know. Me.
Michelle Lockwood is not a blogger. She is simply a woman who shares her thoughts, feelings and experiences via the written word. She tackles her childhood trauma and challenges of life with a bit of Sass and a glass of Riesling. A big believer of #WomenHelpingWomen, Michelle runs her own business educating women on their sensuality, and coaches women who wish to do the same.