Monday, May 13, 2013

Happy Tears & Flowers (And Mothers In The HOOD part Deux)

Mother's Day used to be not my favorite day.  It was a day for people who got along with their mothers.  It was a day for people without mother issues.  It was a day for happy tears and flowers.

Even after I had my first two babies, it still was about those people, not me.  Not someone who was resentful and bitter and hurt from a less than perfect mother/daughter relationship.  

I thought I would let go of some of those feelings after I had my children, but they just intensified.  Once I had babies of my own, I got angrier.  How could she have treated me like that?  I was her baby once.  I gritted my teeth and hugged my sweet kids tighter and thought "I'll never treat my kids like that."

Over the years, I've let go of some of the anger and replaced it with love and compassion.  It's less about what I wish I had and more about all that I have right in front of me-- four children that I love with all my heart and soul.  A world of possibility.  Possibility of giving them what I longed for--stability, unconditional love.  
Breakfast in bed is a pretty great way to start  Mother's Day.
As my babies get older, I actually have more compassion for my mother.  It doesn't mean that we are a Hallmark movie happy ending, it means my heart hurts for what happened to her in her life.  It means I feel sad that she felt powerless to addiction and mental illness.  It means I'm not as angry.

Instead of resenting Mother's Day and those people that it was made for, I now join them.  I embrace my role as a hard-working, well-meaning, big-loving Mother with a capital M.  It's my day of happy tears and flowers too.

Tim and Wade planted some Mother's Day flowers for me this weekend.
Part of my acceptance and feelings of belonging to this tribe of Mothers has been a journey of what I like to call intentional compassion. I do my best to show my children that emotions can be healthy, not crazy or scary and unstable.  I try to live by example, I try to set an example.  Showing my children they are not powerless, that they can hurdle emotional roadblocks, forgive people, make a difference in the world, help people and not sit on the sidelines of life. And while I'm doing all my example-ing, I'm also connecting with other mothers in this tribe, in this village it takes to raise our families.

In the spirit of intentional compassion, I hosted a pre-Mother's Day/post Cinco de Mayo/ Mothers in the Hood party.
Delivering the happy tears and flowers message
with lilacs from my front yard.

A couple months ago I had an idea to start a movement for moms in my neighborhood, I call it Mothers in the Hood Parties.   This "mothers in the hood" movement idea is not about judging what inspires or speaks to women, it's about celebrating it.  It's not about feeling less than or more than, it's about feeling wiser, prouder and stronger.  We are mothers hear us roar kind of thing.  More Helen Reddy less Sarah Palin.  But if you love her, that's cool too, no judgement, I mean it.  No mommy wars here. (Click here to read about the first party.)

One of the main reasons for these parties is to connect with other mothers and honor their/our awesomeness beyond the running around, making everything happen for our families kind of incredible-ness we do everyday.  Last week, for Mothers in the HOOD Part Deux, I invited my dear friend Liane, who is an amazing photographer/artist, to display her work and give tips on how to take beautiful pictures. She rocked the house.  Check out her photo blog here .

A new friend came to discuss her foundation's gardening project-Raising Rochester-that will help fill food pantries in our area.  Click here to learn more about all the good that they are doing.

And I sold jewelry from 31bits. The jewelry supports women in Uganda. It is all made out of recycled paper and it's beautiful.  It's about mothers making a difference for other mothers and women across the globe. 

Lucy and I had a good time modeling the jewelry.

As my babies get older, I actually have more compassion for all mothers everywhere.  We are a powerful force.  I'm so happy to be a part of this sisterhood, this tribe, this motherhood.  I'm so happy to be one of those people.  

Happy tears and flowers for everyone!

What are the mothers in your hood doing that inspires you or interests you?  Ask them.  Invite them over. Support them.  Tell me about it in the comments. 

1 comment:

  1. A really fun time (again!), Angela. Thanks for believing in me:)