when’s the Bad Mother Day?

and does Hallmark sell cards for it?


I hate Mother’s Day. I wasn’t raised by a sit-com Mom.  My Mom didn’t make me cookies and teach me how to shave my legs.  We didn’t have Mother/Daughter shopping trips or days at the hairdressers.  A really good Mother’s Day was one where she wasn’t there. 

Please understand that I’m talking about the Mom I had then, not the one I have now. Two seperate people.  Just in the same body. Untreated mental illness is hell. Not just for the person with it, also for their families.  The Mother I have now isn’t the one I had then but there’s still enough of the old one in her for me to keep my distance. The only reason I can come to grips with it is my faith in God tells me I have to let it go. I won’t forget and trust me…there are no notes of love sent from me to her.  God’s okay with that, he tells me to turn the other cheek and I do, by letting it go. God doesn’t expect me to place my turned cheek within kicking range and I don’t.

I refuse to celebrate what she wasn’t. Which is why I hate Mother’s Day. Every store front in the mall is a guilt trip for those of us who don’t love good old Mom. We cringe when asked what we’ve gotten her. I’ve learned to say “just the usual” and smile.  I’ve learned to see the humor in it all but then today hits.  It kind of makes Mother’s day a down day when you know the Mother you have isn’t worth the price of a stamp.  I pretty sure my Brother puts my name on the card but no one’s fooled.

I know I’m not the only person out there who views Mother’s Day from jaded eyes.  We’re not alone, there’re quite a few who don’t reach for the phone or send Mom a dozen flowers and a ‘World’s Greatest Mom’ t-shirt.  Mother’s Day has always been iffy for me.

But I’m lucky in a sense, maybe I don’t celebrate my Mother but my children celebrate me. That’s pretty cool 🙂 This year I have the inside scoop on my gifts too. I just happened to be in Barnes & Noble with my sons and we pretended I didn’t pick out two books I really want and leave then sitting on a table. If they picked them up, well maybe they wanted to read them?  One’s being reserved for my plane trip, the other’s fair game (odds are I’ll be reading it by 9pm). Then we pretended they weren’t standing in line behind me holding said books. I, of course, had to buy a tide me over until Mother’s Day book. It’s cruel and inhuman to let me go in a book store and not buy a book. 

I am pretty jazzed about the books but the trip to the mall was really my gift. The three of us, and Katie, joking, talking.. it was wonderful. It may not happen again so I’m savoring it still. I’m a lucky woman and a blessed Mom.  It balances today out a little.


an off shoot:

one of the best Mother’s Day’s gifts I’ve ever gotten was the first year I was a solo Mom to Burg. I got flowers and I had no idea who’d sent them.  Then I read the card, which I still have, and it was from my then soon to be ex mother-in-law. She told me that I would always have a special place in their family because I was Burg’s Mother. She said thank you for bringing him into the world for them to love.

In August I’m going to become a Grandmother to a Granddaughter. I took a leaf from my exMother-in-law’s book and got Katie a gift and a card for the Mother-to-be. She will always have a special place in our family for bringing her daughter into the world for us to love.

22 comments on “when’s the Bad Mother Day?

  1. I hate this holiday also. In my “family” there were 2 boys and 2 girls. My 2 brothers and sister were all treated like real children. I was not. I was always the odd one out, the black sheep, the one that never fit in. Maybe that had something to do with the fact that my oldest brother molested me for several years. And he was her firstborn, so she had that certain connection with him (as with her other children). I was also molested by two other family members (not of our household). I could never go to her and tell her what was going on. It would be like the time I was drinking a soda, out of a bottle (the early ’60’s) and my younger brother ran up to me and smashed the bottle into my mouth. I ended up with one of my front teeth demolished. But he was not punished. I wasn’t given any sympathy – it was intimated that I must have had something to do with it. So much mental and physical abuse over the years, and now I am finally in therapy. But I still tend to minimize the horrors I had to live through. There are times I just want to scream and scream. Like when I told one of my friends a while ago some of the things I went through. Of course, he knew someone else that had suffered so much more than me. Really? No kidding? Of course there are other people who suffered more. Again, for what feels like the millionth time, my experiences and feelings are marginized. If I were a stronger person I would kill myself, but I am very weak in that area. So, my two brothers have since died and it is only my sister and me. I thought things might change for the better, but no, that is not the case. My sister and her children are the best thing since sliced bread. I am still not included in many family things. They all do many things together and don’t invite me or my children. It is very, very, hurtful. Before you ask, yes, I have tried in many different ways to be one of the family. Nothing has ever helped. So I am going outside now to make a beautiful planter with flowers to give to my “mother” and I will bring it over and smile and say “Happy Mother’s Day” and all the while I will be thinking “she’s my mother only through the physical process of giving birth, I hate her for all the harm she did to me and continues to do to me”.

  2. We Fail to realize, that Mother’s Day only target a small piece of the community. Good Mothers who DESERVE to be rewarded. Just because you gave birth to someone doesn’t make you a parent. What about childless women unable to get pregnant, women who have miscarried, are trying to get pregnant? I guess their feeling don’t matter. I chose not have children to break the cycle of mental, and physical abuse I suffered, at the hands of both my parents. Do we honor mother’s day for those mom’s who killed their kids? Happy mother’s Day Casey Anthony. Sounds sick, don’t it. Until the day no child is beaten, starved, physically, mental, emotionally, or sexually abused, I say we end Mother’s and Father’s Day. No one protected me, lucily I got out, when to therapy and I am safe. I feel for all the others lost.

  3. Mother’s Day again. This year is the hardest for me. I too had a “non-mom” kind of mother. I went through 16 years of war fighting every single day to survive her souless abuse. She really puts bad mothers on a pedistool comparatively. Maybe she felt guilty and that’s why she could never speak to me when she was sober after I was adopted at 16. She passed away last September. The last words I said to her a few months prior were not “I love you.” or “I forgive you.” I was angry because she was wasted! It was like 2:30 in the morning and she kept calling me; yelling at me and crying and talking crap because she didn’t approve of a decision I hadn’t even made yet. I hadn’t seen her in 10 years at this point. Who was she to yell at me! From 1,150 miles across the country no less! I was so ANGRY! The last words I said to my mother were “Do NOT call me back unless you’re sober!” and I hung up my cell phone and turned it off and went and cried myself to sleep. Today I want to say: Thank you mom for making me strong.

    • I like the way you look at this. It made you strong. It sucked then but who you are now is shaped by who they were then. I agree, my thinking is that we can either let our childhood destroy our adulthood or we can use it to shape us into the right people we should be. It sounds like you know this too.

  4. Thanks so much for writing this. There’s this sanctification of mothers that happens at this time of year and the world loses sight of the fact that for some people this is very far from their truth. Thank you for sharing your story.

  5. As this “holiday” once again comes around, it brings with it all the terrors that remind me of my mother. Between her physical and emotional abuse, as well as a lack of teaching mother-daughter things, I cannot say I could ever wish her upon my worst enemy. While all of my friends talk about what they’re getting their mothers, I used to just shut down and feel ashamed. I’m so glad that someone took the time to not only let her opinion be made, but to help encourage those who aren’t to that “acceptance” point yet. As an older teenager, this post gives me hope that I can one day come to peace with what God has given to me and I can strive to be a good mother-despite my raising.
    Thank you for these inspiring words! It’s good to know that I’m not alone during this time of year.

    • it’s funny in a sad way that this one entry gets attention years after I wrote it. There’s a comfort in not being alone in this but a sadness that others also know it.

      I’ve just spent more time that I’d have liked to visiting my parents and helping them out. Some asked me why I did these things for them since they’ve done so little for me and my only reasoning is that I did what was right. My faith in God is stronger than my feelings for them. I’m not suggesting anyone else do it though. What is for one is not for all. I will not be sending flowers or any cards, not this year or any other.

      This Mother’s Day I’ll take a walk and celebrate the blessings I have and hopefully my mind won’t wander to what isn’t. To each of you who bear the scars of poor parenting, take heart in the fact that you are whole and that you can break the patterns they set. Focus on that this year. I will.

  6. WOW, I feel the same way. Thank you for your bravery. I, too, didn’t have a loving mom.or father for that matter…but thats for another stupid holiday 🙂
    He sexually abused me, she did nothing. He beat me, she did nothing. I was hurt, she did nothing. I just cut them all off from my life last year..finally. A true cleansing. and as the craziness of mother’s day begins,I will reflect on my years as a mom and not think about the mom I didn’t have because I became the mom I needed. I loved and cared for my kids and protected them like a mom should. so this moms day…I celebrate me!

    • I agree. I celebrate all of us that have grown up in a living hell, only to come out of it with a desire for a better life than the one we initially got. My brother and i often wonder how we grew to be decent people after being raised by an alcoholic mother and an extended family who turned a blind eye to all that she did. We also mourned and questioned why we never had a mother who genuinely cared about what was best for us, but i now know that adulthood does bring realisation that we all have the freedom to control our own destiny – to determine who we let into our life and to be who we want to be. I’m 28, I surround myself with positive, loving people, and while i used to feel cheated by life, i realise that what i never had has made me strong, self sufficient and independent. And just like the other lovely ladies who have left posts here, i look forward to (one day) being the mum that i never had.

      • All these comments help me feel that I’m not alone. I too am 28 and it just took me until this year to cut her off. Even though I know she deserves it I still feel tremendous guilt. I hope that fades with time. Thanks everyone for sharing your stories. They really helped me.

    • Thank you Kris for saying what you said.

      We don’t celebrating mother’s day or father’s day or grandparents day or any other Hallmark Card holiday. We spend time as a family and show appreciation every day of the year… Unfortunately, part of me still reflects on the past but I look forward to the future. It is interesting bringing up a child without any of my side of the family. It has been around 20 years since I cut them all off.

      Celebrate life.

  7. While I respect other peoples’ decisions to celebrate Mother’s day, we choose not to. My stance with my family has always been “treat me right all year”; I don’t need the 1 day a year lip service. Honestly, Mother’s day has become too much in-your-face and we all breath a sigh of relief Monday.

  8. I have just re-read your post since it is May and we are coming up to that special Hallmark moment called Mother’s day. I too had a mother I wouldn’t wish on an enemy and I struggled to find appropriate cards and gifts. I struggle even now to come to terms with the damage she inflicted upon me as a child – emotionally and psychologically. Ironically, I think dealing with her made me strong, resilient and formidable.
    I was also able to break free from the model she presented. I have 3 wonderful children who do not wait until the third Sunday in May to tell me that they love me. They are now grown themselves. And my mother’s hateful invective oft hurled in my direction (I hope you have one just like you)… has, lo and behold, come true. 3 wonderful, caring and loving children.

  9. Anonymous, what I wrote last Mother’s Day still holds true today. I’m not ashamed to feel as I do, I’m proud of it because it shows that I am strong enough to face and accept the reality and I made my adult life a good one in spite of the parenting I got. What’s funny in a nonfunny way is that I have an older brother and even though we were raised under the same roof, we were raised by what seems like different parents. Now as adults, I’m the one who turned out strong and proud of who I am.
    Mother’s Day is not good for all of us, not all of us had good Mothers and I’ll be damned if I pretend otherwise.
    If you cannot celebrate your Mother today, do me a favor and celebrate yourself. Celebrate who you are in spite of who raised you!!!
    I’ll raise my coffee mug to you as well!

  10. Thank you. I needed this today.

  11. Diserted, I suggest you reread what I wrote.

    But thank you! my first hate mail 😀 you may not like the way I think and that’s for you to decide. I’m not going to change who I am and I’m probably going to anger you up again. Feel free to tell me when I do but before you go off and insult me please take a minute and reread what I write. And if it still pisses you off than by all means let me know but like I said… don’t expect me to change who I am and how I look at life.

    My view may be skewed at times but my eyes are always wide open.

    • Until the people know what’s it’s like to have a “bad” mother, they shouldn’t say anything. Good mother’s deserve attention and Bad mother’s Don’t deserve the attention. This person’s mother is just one that doesn’t deserve it. I get that same thing too, Why don’t you like your mom? What did she ever do to you? blah blah. It’s none of thier business for details. It’s your life, your mind and your heart. Your probably a great mom to your children and that’s all that matters now 🙂

    • I just came across the link to this post and do understand in a way. My mother wasn’t abusive, but she meekly went along with allowing my father to abuse me and even participating in it by way of blaming me for his anger (he did not abuse her or my siblings; he singled me out.)

  12. @ DisertedMother:

    What the hell are you talking about? Tia didn’t go into detail, but her beef with her Mom goes beyond not getting gifts. There are Bad Moms out there that abuse their children physically, mentally and emotionally. Accept that fact.


  13. You should be ashamed of yourself. Did your mother and father give of their life to work to provide the esentials of life for you? Food, housing, clothes, education. How ungrateful a brat you are, because you didn’t go to hair dresser or on a shopping trip. You are a disgrace.

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