It's almost Mother's Day and people are starting to post their “I love mom” photo frames on Facebook. There are lots of different styles and fonts but the one I am looking for doesn't seem to exist. The one I am looking for says, “I don't love my mother, and that's ok.”
Every year people like me who are estranged from their mothers, get bombarded by the Mother's Day love fest. I was lucky enough that even though I didn't have a mother I could love I had other mothers in my life who were very loveable.
I never felt scarred by the experience of not loving my mother, it was when I did love her that I was most in pain. Once I got over that, life got a lot easier.
Many's the time that people have told me that I should work for a relationship with my mother cause won't I feel a deep grief if I don't? I don't feel any grief, I feel relief. My rule of thumb in personal relationships is that if you are in my life you have to either maintain the status quo of contentment or make it better. If you make my life a worse place to be – you have no place in it.
I don't feel bad. I don't feel like I am missing anything. I don't love my mother and that's ok.
While I don't love my mother I also don't hate her. I am indifferent. I treat her as I would treat any stranger on the street. I am friendly, invite her in my house, talk about the weather, offer her tea-- but that is as far as it goes.
This works for me and it might work for other people too if they didn't feel like there was a biological imperative to be 'close' to their mothers no matter what kind of hell might ensue.
I am writing this because I want other people to know that it is ok, you can be a good person and not love your mother. You may be better off breaking that toxic bond—if it is impacting your life in a negative way.
And for those of you that have those 'I love mom' frames; enjoy your moms, love them ferociously. When I see those lovely photos they highlight all the moms I want to emulate in my own motherhood. They should be fully celebrated—this is just a little nod to those of us who won't be posting those pictures.