Ads on TV and the radio go over the top in portraying all mothers as idealized heroic women who did absolutely every single thing right. The hyperbole is nauseating.
Motherhood is far more complex and grittier than those bleached versions of it. It’s a vocation that, when approached right, requires maternal sacrifice, encourages a selfless love from the mother, and fosters virtues in the family.
In a special way, motherhood is a calling to live out the definition of love: “Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury. It does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)
Some wonderful mothers do their best to follow that definition. They can inspire us and present a type of motherhood that adult survivors can learn from to parent their own children.
But then, some children were brought up with a broken version of the above or one that goes in the exact opposite of it. The maternal love received was impatient, was unkind. It was jealous, it was pompous. It was inflated and rude. It sought its own interest and was quick-tempered. It brooded over injury. It rejoiced over wrongdoing and despaired the truth. It bore nothing, believed nothing, hoped for nothing, and enduring nothing. That twisted version of love failed.
For those adult survivors of emotional child abuse, the upcoming Mother’s Day holiday can be incredibly difficult. So, on this day before the holiday, I offer these three articles (from The Invisible Scar archives) offering different approaches to surviving (or ignoring) Mother’s Day.
- How Do You Handle Mother’s Day When Your Mother Was Abusive?
- Four Sanity-Saving Tips for Ignoring Mother’s Day
- You Don’t Owe Your Toxic Mother a Card, Candy, or Quality Time on Mother’s Day
Onward and upward.
Veronica Jarski is the founder and writer of The Invisible Scar, a passion project dedicated to raising awareness of emotional child abuse and its effects on adult survivors. She has extensive editorial experience and a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Her work has been featured on myriad online publications. She also is the author of an e-book about waking up to the realization that one had an emotionally abusive childhood.