This Mother’s Day, I’m working with Clever Girls in support of Macy’s Heart of Haiti to shine a light on the “trade, not aid” program, which provides sustainable income to Haitian artisans struggling to rebuild their lives and support their families after the 2010 earthquake.
I had a great Mother’s Day tribute in mind when I accepted this sponsorship, but as is very common in my life, it didn’t work out. Life tends to get in the way when you are mom. It doesn’t matter if you are a mother of young children and they are sick or if you are a mother of older kids. So many of the people I have connected with online are young mothers. Sometimes I am a sounding board for them and I love that role. I am glad to share whatever knowledge and wisdom I gained through my younger mothering years as I can. I remember those years so well and so dearly. Mostly how desperately I valued the life-stories of others who had ‘survived’ motherhood. What I am coming to realize with nearly-empty-nest syndrome is how difficult mothering continues to be. When your child is hurting, nothing compares to the pain in your heart. However, when they are younger the ability to help them through their troubled times is one-hundred fold your abilities when you a mothering adults.
And therein lies the difficulty. You can’t step in and make it better. Rarely can you even be an arbitrator in their difficulties. Now instead of mean kids, failed tests, bullies, or BFFs who aren’t true(all of which can be “my life is never going to be the same/I will never get over this” experiences; you have to try to comfort them through infidelity, children who are gravely ill, broken hearts and sometimes even the loss of a child. This parenting adults is damned harder than teenagers. You can’t control anything. You can’t influence anything. You can’t make it better and you can’t make it go away.
But what you must always do, as a parent, is share your heart. No matter how much you feel their pain or have your own pain, you must be there for them. Give them all you have. Show them your heart, so they know it is okay to feel pain. It is okay to heal. It is okay to hurt. It is okay to grieve. They will still, always, have your heart.
To mothers everywhere, thank you for loving your children. Thank you for always being there for them, even if they aren’t ‘children’ anymore. A heart needs its mother and father just as much at 28/35/62 as it does at 16. Maybe more.
Thank you to Macy’s Heart of Haiti for sponsoring my participation in this “Share Your Heart” promotion. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective. All opinions expressed here are my own.