Earth would have no life without mothers, and humanity would never have survived this far without them. They birth us, feed us, bathe us, comfort us, and love us. They brush our hair, cheer us on and, when that time comes, unwillingly let us off into the world. Like Adam said of Eve when he laid her to rest in Mark Twain’s The Diaries of Adam and Eve, “Wherever she was, THERE was Eden”.
Mothers are human: flawed, imperfect, beautiful beings and, sometimes, we don’t get along with them. The mother-daughter relationship is a complicated one. Mothers often love their sons so effortlessly, that it seems unfair that this relationship becomes tricky when sons become daughters. As well as loving us, they berate us, they criticise us, they misunderstand us, they compare us with others, and they judge us. Sometimes we’re just too very different people. And, sometimes, we’re just too similar!
But love is an action. Love goes past what we feel. Yes, love can even be a duty and an obligation. I am not obliged to accept my mother’s criticisms of me, neither is it my duty to visit her or call her every day. Yet, it is my duty to honour her, just as I am obliged to respect her. Despite the deep, painful complexities that can take place within this relationship, I will try my best to love my mother with my actions, regardless of feelings. When I feel betrayed, I will try my best to forgive. When I feel angry, I will try my best to let go. And should she be so terrible that I must cut her out of my life, I will try my best to do just that, for love is also defined by boundaries!
Let’s face it, loving our mothers is often a challenge for most of us. We must give them the very things they gave us as children. We must be patient and love; we must be compassionate and empathetic; we must forgive and be kind. We must nurture them as they nurtured us.
Even when we don’t get along, our relationship with our mothers remains precious, for it allows us to grow.