For writer Isom Kuade, the relationship between him and his mother began to dissolve amid trust issues after his parents divorced.
“We split up after my parent’s divorced at 6. I didn’t speak with her again for six years, and then not again for another 11, so about 17 years total,” Kuade says. “I think my dad was motivated by guilt to get my mother’s contact info after my brother and I became adults. She was so excited to be in contact with us again that peace came naturally. The relationship was another story, especially after so much time and separated by many states. We’ve been building that relationship another 12 years since.”
Yet, for another man, who wished to remain anonymous, his relationship with his mother soured for other reasons.
“The nature of our broken relationship is my mother’s need for power, control and the art of manipulation,” he says. “We have not been connected since 2012. We have not yet made peace because she refuses to admit any wrongdoing or acknowledge any of our issues.”
Your story could be like his, or Kuade’s or it could be completely different. Perhaps she wasn’t always there. Maybe she wasn’t comfortable telling you she loved you. Or she could have even struggled with showing any signs of affection. Unfortunately, not everyone experienced a nurturing relationship with their mother. Some have been estranged for years and others are just beginning to work through some past hurts.
As many of us plan to honor our No. 1 lady on Mother’s Day this year, there are some, who for various reasons like the ones above, aren’t thrilled about celebrating. Definite prayers for those dealing with the loss of their mother. But for those who’ve struggled with building a solid relationship with a mother who is still living, here are just a few things to consider:
Put yourself in her shoes.
With any broken relationship or disappointment in another person, it helps when you put yourself in their shoes. If you were to think about your mom’s upbringing, her losses and disappointments, how do you think it affected her? What if someone hurt her? What was her childhood like? Was it painful or was it joyous? Did she have good examples of motherhood? Think about why she may have made some of the decisions she made.
Remember life is once and it’s short.
I believe in living a life of no regret, therefore I have to remember to appreciate what I have, and that includes my relationships. If they are broken, mend relationships when necessary. I only get one chance to do this, and I want to get it as close to right as possible. You may not have another moment to get the relationship right with your mom, take advantage of the now.
Forgiveness is the key.
It’s the key to peace of mind and spirit. What most people don’t realize is that forgiveness is for you and not necessarily the other person. When you forgive you release that burden preventing you from moving forward.
You don’t have to be best friends.
As you consider mending your relationship with your mother, know that you don’t have to be close right away. It’s definitely okay to take your time during the rebuilding process and be honest about what you’re feeling. Even if you never experience that close mother/child relationship, you can still feel good knowing that the healing has begun.
The relationship won’t heal overnight.
It more than likely took years for the relationship to break, so it’ll likely take some time to actually heal. It’s important to have realistic expectations in terms of reconnecting that relationship. Start small by asking questions, answering questions and spending time with your thoughts. Trust that whatever you’re feeling is okay.
While Mother’s Day can come with some excitement, it can also come with some resentment and disappointment. Know that it’s up to you whether or not you continue to hold on to that pain or decide to move forward in mending what’s broken. The choice is yours.
BMWK, what suggestions would you offer to someone who is having a challenge with their mother this Mother’s Day?
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