web analytics
July 29, 2014 / 2 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 

Posts Tagged ‘Mother Day’

An Adult Child’s Response To Mother’s Day Woes

Wednesday, June 20th, 2007

        Last week, I wrote an article about mothering yourself, particularly on Hallmark holidays like Mother’s Day. I suggested that instead of wallowing in sadness because our children didn’t meet our needs on that day, we should give to ourselves whatever we had hoped our children would do for us on that day. We would feel happier, more filled and less angry. One of my readers decided to mail the article to her daughter. She did not comment but only asked for her daughter’s feedback.

 

         As a result, her daughter sent her the following letter. I am printing it with the permission of both mother and daughter. They both felt the experience was of great value. It helped both of them understand each other better. They were pleased to share their reactions with you.

 

 

Dear Mom,

 

         I had hard time reading the article you sent because I was busy absorbing the messages that I felt applied to me – the one of the neglected mother on Mother’s Day. But then I realized, more importantly, the one of being the daughter who neglected her mother on Mother’s Day. Well, just like in the article, I had all the excuses. I was neglectful because I didn’t realize how much you needed my attention that particular day. I was under the incorrect impression that Mother’s Day was like a bonus day, that is extra; and because of my preoccupation with my own kids’ needs, I didn’t give much thought to Mother’s Day at all.

 

         Only a few days before, when you mentioned Mother’s Day, did I even know it was on Sunday, so I wrongly assumed we could just bypass it this year. Had I realized your feelings for Mother’s Day, that wouldn’t have happened. What I realize now (correct me if I’m wrong) is that Mother’s Day is a magnifier for you. Each time throughout the year when you feel neglected or unappreciated, it was on hold until Mother’s Day came and went by with no more than a phone call.

 

         When that happened all the bad feelings surfaced and blossomed with the new neglectful act that left you feeling unimportant and not appreciated. I always thought Mother’s Day was just a Hallmark holiday that Moms (myself included) could benefit from. I didn’t realize the emotional importance that it carries for you.

 

         For me, any heartfelt appreciation at random intervals fills my need more than a random day in May. I didn’t become a parent just on that day, so why that day, more important than the one before it or after it? But I realize now that those are my feelings, and they don’t apply to you. For you, as I now understand from the article, Mother’s Day is  vital to you. And you very much needed my attention and I very much did not give it to you. I am so incredibly sorry.

 

         I am asking you for a second chance.

 

         I now know how you feel and perhaps we can fill the next 364 days with love and appreciation, so that next year when we do celebrate Mother’s Day properly, you will feel that it is an extra – like icing on a cake instead of the bread and water it is now. And, perhaps this year, we can have Mother’s Day “nidche” (like a fast day that got moved to another day). So you choose and we’ll do it right! We’ll give you a Mother’s Day that you want and that you rightly deserve.

Love, your daughter


 


 


     I was humbled and thrilled to feel that my article had been a catalyst to this interchange between mother and daughter. The courage of the mother to be ready to share her thoughts and feelings with her daughter by sharing the article was a tribute to who she is. The insights that the daughter, a mother herself, first got and accepted about her mother’s feelings was wonderful.

 

         It is very difficult to not assume that everyone feels as we do. Because, of course, we feel that our thinking is the right way. For the daughter to gain these new insights and realize her mother (a well spouse) feels differently about Mother’s Day, and that’s ok; for her to accept this and not try to get her mother to change her thinking to be more like her daughter’s, was wonderful for me to read.

 

         Not only did her daughter acknowledge the acceptability of the different perception, but she also offered to make it up to the mother based on the mother’s needs and feelings. The openness both these women displayed, their obvious acceptance of each other as individuals and the love and respect displayed for each other should be an example to us all.

 

         You can reach me at annnovick@hotmail.com 

Mothering Yourself On Mother’s Day

Wednesday, June 13th, 2007

         I am writing this article on May 13, Mother’s Day this year (though it is being printed at a much later date). As I sit at my computer the Mother’s Day e-mails come pouring in. They are sentimental, funny, and reminiscent. They all speak of the love and care it takes to be a mother. I love reading them. But as I look at the addresses of the friends who forwarded them to me, many of them well spouses, I noticed that they were sent from mother to mother, friend to friend but not from children or grandchildren.

 

         For many people, Mother’s Day is the most painful time of the year. It is the day that many mothers feel hurt and neglected by children who forget to acknowledge their love and appreciation for their mother, particularly on this day. Often husbands take on the role, bringing home flowers or taking their wife to dinner to acknowledge their contributions to their home.

 

         This is especially important if children live far away and forget to call and wish their moms a happy Mother’s Day or, as some feel, only call with wishes; no card or gift. For well spouses, whose husband’s cannot make up for the children’s neglect, the day is just one of loneliness and sadness if it is not acknowledged by children. Most of the mothers I spoke with today were feeling hurt and unappreciated. They all had good children; responsive children, caring children. But somehow, today they were neither caring nor responsive to the emotional neediness this day brings their mothers.

 

         Most of us, no matter our age, need “mothering.” We need the caring, praise and approval that our mothers gave us, but are now only a faint memory; or we desire it because our mothers were unable to give that kind of positive caring in their lifetime and the longing for what we never had is still present. And so on Mother’s Day, we look to our children to keep it alive. And when they don’t, we become angry and hurt and often let our children know it.

 

         Why our children choose not to fill our needs on this specific day is as varied as our children. The excuses range from forgetting, being too busy, not celebrating this secular holiday to simply adolescent parent-anger. But whatever the reason, and no matter how real the reason, we know we are simply not a priority with them on the day we need to be their priority so very badly. So what’s a mother to do?

 

         It is not reasonable to expect our children to make us a priority for this day unless they are willing to. And, if they had that willingness we wouldn’t be in this situation in the first place. The only thing that is constructive for us is to mother ourselves. On this day of uncomfortable feelings, each mother that is feeling neglected needs to buy herself flowers, go on a shopping spree to get that gift she’s been hinting to her children about, and take herself and perhaps a friend that is feeling the same way, out to dinner.

 

         You will feel less pained; less neglected and as you fill your own needs, much happier. It is even a good thing to share your plans with your children if they ask how you plan to spend the day. Telling your children you bought yourself flowers for Mother’s Day or went out to dinner is not a way to criticize or punish them. It is not a way of getting even for the neglect and shouldn’t be said in that manner. It really has nothing to do with them at all. It is merely a healthy way of filling your own needs, showing your appreciation of yourself, and acknowledging your self-worth. It is a way of making the day a happy one for you. Further, it is a wonderful example for our children to see.

 

         As mothers, we always put ourselves last in the family pecking order of needs. For one day (and even more if we have the courage) it is a good thing to make ourselves the priority. If money is tight, use the money you would have spent on your children this week, on yourself. Buy yourself one flower instead of a bouquet. Order a sandwich instead of a meal. Keep your gift to yourself modest. But give to yourself. The result will be a happier you. Who knows, maybe this new self-mothering will shock your family into behaving differently on your special days and maybe you won’t feel that need at all.

 

         You can reach me at annnovick@hotmail.com.

Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities – 10/06/06

Wednesday, October 4th, 2006

We encourage women and men of all ages to send in their personal stories by e-mail to rachel@jewishpress.com or by mail to Rachel/Chronicles, c/o The Jewish Press, 338 Third Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11215.

To all women, men or children who feel that they are at the end of their ropes, please consider joining a support group, or forming one.

Anyone wishing to make a contribution to help agunot, please send your tax deductible contribution to The Jewish Press Foundation.

Checks must be clearly specified to help agunot. Please make sure to include that information if that is the purpose of your contribution, because this is just one of the many worthwhile causes helped by this foundation.

********

Dear Rachel,

On this past Mother’s Day, my thoughts were with all the agunahs and Single Moms who are raising their children while dealing with ex-husbands who have abandoned their own by not paying child support, yeshiva tuition and other financial needs of their children.

To these Moms everywhere: Bear in mind that our former marriages were not mistakes – they had a noble purpose: to bring precious neshamos into the world!

These children, Hashem’s miracles, have a virtuous mission in this world. And while it is tempting to resent our exes, we have at least, with Hashem’s help, had children from them. Even though it is a constant struggle to provide for their basic needs, let’s withhold the self-pity and view our offspring as a gift rather than a burden chas v’shalom.

Let the good moments our children provide us with wash over us: an A+ grade once in a while; a pretty picture made especially for you, Mom; the small gift they lovingly present you with; a kiss, a hug, a tender moment; a smile and the simple thank you in a show of sincere appreciation for something nice you’ve given or done for them.

These are the instances to focus on. And so, in reality, Every Day is Mother’s Day. Let us dwell on these priceless moments during frustrating times as Single Moms.

Also, to those of us who have lost our own Moms – instead of experiencing sadness, let’s recall all that our Moms have taught us and shared with us… that have made us the Moms we are today!

But, alas, I do have one message for the Ex Husbands/Deadbeat Dads: Remember when you once loved your wives enough to want to bring a child into the world? Why not work on vanquishing your ill feelings toward your ex, the mother of your child(ren)? Just think of the gift Hashem gave you in bestowing upon you the capacity to produce a child, to make this world a better place.

Help him/her achieve that special goal by living up to your responsibility. Follow the Ethics of Our Fathers (Pirkei Avos) that you learn every Shabbos afternoon during this season – by providing for your child’s needs. Don’t allow your loved ones to suffer for no reason!

A concerned and loving Single Mom

Dear Loving Single Mom,

Though your sensibly voiced sentiments arrived on the heels of the officially declared secular holiday of Mother’s Day, which has come and gone for this calendar year, this is as appropriate a time as any to take your poignant words to heart. For, Baruch Hashem, Mother’s Day for us is indeed every day. (At the top of the list of exalted mitzvos we are commanded to observe is the one that calls upon us to respect and honor our parents.)

Your letter also serves to remind us that in our society today single mothers who often fill the role of both mom and dad run many households. What better time than now (when we’ve turned a new page in the Book of Life and hope to have begun the new year with a clean slate) to remember the Single Mom and alleviate her loneliness by inviting her with her children to luxuriate in the warmth of our brightly lit sukkah, to share in the togetherness of our family seudah.

When a guest appeared at the home of a feeble and ailing R. Chaim Ozer on the holiday of Sukkos, the rebbe expressed his regrets at not being able to join his visitor in the sukkah. To the surprise of his guest, it wasn’t long before R. Chaim Ozer entered the sukkah, despite his earlier assertion.

The rebbe explained that though his debilitating physical state exempted him from the mitzvah of sukkah, he was not absolved of heeding the mitzvah of hachnosas orchim. And to properly fulfill the mitzvah, he was obliged to see to his visitor’s comfort and ample accommodation – making it necessary for him to access the sukkah.

How great is the mitzvah of hachnosas orchim! What a meritorious way to begin the New Year! How apropos to show our gratitude to Hashem by displaying the midos of concern, caring and compassion – precisely which we pray and hope for from Him! May our good deeds stand us in good stead.

A G’mar Tov and a happy Sukkos holiday to one and all!

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/chronicles-of-crises/chronicles-of-crises-in-our-communities-37/2006/10/04/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: