This Mother’s Day won’t be like any other Mother’s Day.

For this is the Mother’s Day of Covid19.

My mind isn’t too much on gifts. But I wondered what I might want, if I got that opportunity.

The first gift I might wish for is far too dangerous, for it has to do with knowing when the light at the end of the tunnel will come, and where this particular tunnel will lead. And yet I know you have to be careful what you wish for. So do I really want to know the future?

Probably not. So I’m barking up the wrong tree with that one.

So how do I figure out what I actually do want?

It’s not that I haven’t dealt with death as a reality. It was part of our dinner conversation, as my dad, a funeral director, talked about what had happened that day at work. I sit with patients every day who are grieving the loss of a loved one, sometimes even a child.

Nor is it that I’m covered up in fear. I’m aware of a steady backdrop of transience and not knowing; like everyone else, it has its effect on me. But I’m busy and distracted and careful. I try to focus on what I have control over. Or will at least try to have control over.

It’s not that I want to avoid the day.  I celebrate being a mom every day of my life. I went through infertility procedures for years and count myself as extremely lucky and blessed that we ended with a healthy child. I’ve had many patients who’ve suffered multiple miscarriages or stillborn children or babies that die in utero — and of course, those that can’t conceive at all after years of trying. Their pain is very different, very unique, and very real. It’s a grief that has to be trudged through, day after day. Hard decisions have to be made when others seem to have babies effortlessly.

Okay, maybe I think I know what I might wish for.

For my gift, I might wish for time to travel backward and take me with it. I’ve felt similarly when people I love have died. Or a special time in my life came to an end. I want to look into my child’s eyes. (My child of now almost 26 years of age…). I want hugs. I want to watch my husband and son act goofy in the kitchen as they try to work together to make a meal.

That’s my fantasy. Fantasies don’t make for reality however. And this is my present, like it or not.

So what to do? What could my gift be?

Perhaps it’s one I have to give myself.

On this Mother’s Day, I want to reminisce. Nothing can take away my memories. Not even the number 19. I want to hold close the memories of a time when the number 19 was simply the one in between 18 and 20. I want to design an intricate collage of mom memories that are celebratory or funny and will make me smile or cry or pray. They are mine and will always be mine. Moments that I’ll never forget. When I held my baby for the first time, while reeling from a tsunami of sudden responsibility and wondering what in the hell I’d done. To trying to be artsy while building a puppet theatre or his own Monopoly-like game, our son delighted in our final product. (Me wishing that I’d taken that art course). To figuring out how to manage teenage angst, those efforts sometimes working, mostly not – with me simultaneously in menopausal angst. To driving away from his college with alligator tears rolling down my cheeks, no longer held back out of attempted respect for his obvious excitement. To watching from afar as he began his first job and coped with being in a new world, a new culture, with new expectations — and me feeling lost, knowing that the only help I could give was support. Plus a pumpkin pie wouldn’t survive the trip to California.

Pride. Worry. Sadness. Delight. Anger. Mostly love. Always love — all gifts of motherhood.

But there’s one more gift I can give to myself.

I can add the memories from this Mother’s Day to my collage. I can embrace things as they are instead of focusing on what cannot be. There are many who are mourning loved ones on this day, and I can send up a prayer for them.

And rejoice in the blessing of being a mom.


You can hear more about mental health and many other topics by listening to my podcast, SelfWork with Dr. Margaret Rutherford. Subscribe to my website and receive one weekly newsletter including my weekly blog post and podcast! If you’d like to join my FaceBook closed group, then click here and answer the membership questions! Welcome!

My new book entitled Perfectly Hidden Depression has arrived and you can order here! Its message is specifically for those with a struggle with strong perfectionism which acts to mask underlying emotional pain. But the many self-help techniques described can be used by everyone who chooses to begin to address emotions long hidden away that are clouding and sabotaging your current life. And it’s now in audiobook form!

If you’re interested in seeking online mental health online services, BetterHelp has an ongoing offer right now for 10% off the first month of therapy if you use this link! They’re a new sponsor of my podcast and as a opening gift, are offering this special to all my readers and listeners!

And there’s a new way to send me a message! You can record by clicking below and ask your question or make a comment. You’ll have 90 seconds to do so and that time goes quickly. By recording, you’re giving SelfWork (and me) permission to use your voice on the podcast. I’ll look forward to hearing from you!

Photo by Kaboompics .com from Pexels.

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap