If you really want to know how your child truly feels about you as a mother, you must do this one simple thing…
…read the words inside of your Mother’s Day Card. These nostalgic words (or lack of) will tell you exactly how your child truly feels about your parenting style and their emotional connection to you!
If you are reading this and are fortunate enough to fall under the 20% category of people who grew up in a healthy, unconditionally-loving, “functional” family home, then you will never understand what I’m about to share. However, if your childhood fate was similar to mine, you will completely understand why choosing a Mother’s Day card can be an extremely disheartening and time consuming experience.
I remember feeling obligated to buy my mother a Mother’s Day card to go along with the generic gift of flowers, chocolate or gift card. Choosing the card was actually more difficult for me than choosing the gift because buying a Mother’s Day card would mean having to express my true feelings to my mother.
This was always difficult for me because unconsciously I learned how to stay in denial of my hurtful feelings for her and to do what was socially expected of me instead. I know that sounds dishonest, but fear dictated a lot of my choices in the past. And, I didn’t want to risk being judged by other people as being the “ungrateful” child at the hands of the woman who sacrificed her whole life by giving birth to me! So, like many other unhappy adult children, perhaps you’re even one of them, I would compromise my real feelings by sucking it up, playing along and choosing a greeting card with the least amount of sentimental words on it. Needless to say, this took a very long time because most Mother’s Day cards reek of nostalgic sentiment – again, targeting the 20% functional family audience. I always convinced myself that this was the better choice to make as it would “keep the peace” and help avoid creating feelings of guilty or shame later for not doing what was expected of me. I know now that I should have been honest about my true feelings and told her how she really made me feel — which was unloved, disrespected and not good enough, but I lacked the emotional intelligence at the time and allowed fear to suppress my feelings. I didn’t know then, but that fear cost me my unhappiness and low self-esteem.
I convinced myself that I had no other choice. I felt angry and trapped by all the commercialism that continuously fed unloved people like me lies about how ALL mothers are good mothers. So I surrendered to playing the game – like every other unhappy adult child out there. Year after year, I continued to play this annual charade, sabotaging my self-worth a little more each year while watching my mother lavish over the heart-felt gifts and cards she did receive from my sisters.
Before learning to love myself and rebuild my self-esteem, I felt a lot of unsuppressed anger, disappointment and disrespect for my mother because I never felt loved and respected by her making it impossible to find a card that was true for her. And, if you are like me, you want to find the right greeting card that honestly and truly reflects the person’s personality and the special relationship you share with them – especially, when it comes to your parents. Today, I cannot get myself to give or say something other than what I feel if it’s not my truth. However, before my self-healing, I went along with the norm and allowed feelings of family “obligation” to go against my better judgment in order to talk myself into buying my mother a Mother’s Day card. So, as a result, it would take me a very long time rummaging through and reading every card on the rack trying to find a card that would wish her a happy mother’s day but not have any mushy sentiment about how she was always there for me and how my life would never be the same without her in it.
Today, the burning question still remains, if 80% of all families have some form of hurtful dysfunction as a result of being raised by emotionally wounded parents who are angry, controlling and can only express love with conditions, should we continue to deny our true feelings and keep buying these mothers (or fathers) a sentimental Mother’s (Father’s) Day card? Interestingly, these fear-based parents feel very much entitled to receiving a card filled with loving sentiment from their children – even if they never do anything to “earn” it. Should genetics alone still continue to qualify these unhealthy parents the right to feel eligible, obligated and justified in receiving an annual Mother’s Day (or Father’s Day) card that brags of their unconditional love and nurturing demeanor “just because” the media has brainwashed society to continue to support their bad behaviour for the sake of not hurting their feelings by telling them the truth?
I believe it’s time we stop playing games with our hearts. As a healer, I can assure you that the price of continuing to do so is much too high! I believe it’s time for hurtful, unhealthy parents to take ownership of their own suppressed emotions and invest their energy in healing themselves so they can heal their relationships with their children as well. No more free rides, unearned gifts and empty Mother’s (Father’s) Day greeting cards rewarding hurtful, dead-beat parents.
SOCIAL CHANGE NEEDS TO HAPPEN — NOW!!
In reality, no parent is perfect so no family is perfect. However, we cannot continue to deny that there is also some very unhealthy, even dangerous, parenting continuing to take place in our society. The media (and the greeting card industry) needs to stop brainwashing the public into thinking that ALL moms (and dads) resemble the happy and healthy ones we see on TV!
Our children are our legacy. Long after we are gone, our children’s imprint will continue to influence the generations that follow. Therefore, to preserve the health of these precious souls, we can no longer leave their emotional well-being up to chance. THE SOLUTION is…we need to come together as a society (after all, we are the “they” who said…) and recognize the obvious areas of weakness that still exist in many of today’s families to ensure that our children’s first teachers and role models (moms and dads) offer positive, unconditionally loving experiences to their children for them to develop the fundamental emotional necessities of life. This will ensure a healthy self-esteem throughout their lives and the lives of the people they interact with throughout their life journeys. And, most importantly, to ensure that when it comes time for these parent’s children to purchase their next Mother’s or Father’s Day card, these parents would have legitimately earned the beautiful, authentic, heart-felt sentimental words that their child easily and painlessly chose for them to express the authentic love, mutual respect and gratitude they feel for their parents!