With the month of May upon us, many of us are starting to rejoice in the warmer weather, blooming flowers, and longer daylight. With the spring season, many of us also indulge in outside activities and look forward to gathering with our loved ones. Traditionally, the month of May annually utilizes an iconic Sunday as the day to celebrate motherhood and all the positive things that come with that. However, I want to take the time to recognize that the traditional aura that is often associated with Mother’s Day, care, and nurture may be unrealistic to some.
Within most run-of-the-mill television family dramas most of us grew up watching, a mother is showcased as a loving, kind, accepting, and nurturing individual who is supportive in all aspects of her children’s lives. She tucks her kids into bed at night, participates in all their school functions and somehow always manages to have a clean home despite there never being any time to clean up. This trademark image of a mother is a great visual representation, but it is definitely not realistic.
Taking a second to reflect upon our own lives, what does the term motherhood bring up for you? Do you think about things within your own upbringing? Do you reflect upon care and kindness that you have been able to give to someone else even if they are not your children? Are any of the thoughts coming up negative ones rather than positive ones? Whatever may be coming up for you, I validate your thoughts and feelings and hear the diversity that may come up when discussing this subject.
Moreover, I also want to acknowledge that negative emotions may arise every time a family holiday such as this one comes up, and that painful memories are something that we often try to get through on days like these. Keeping that in mind, what if we were to sort of “wallpaper” over those negative memories, thoughts, and feelings? Similar to wallpapering over a hard-to-look-at wall within a home, this concept can serve as a tool to become unstuck from the unpleasant things in our past we no longer have control of while creating new, more constructive memories for our future. For instance, if Mother’s Day weekend is a constant reminder of the arguments and physical altercations that used to occur growing up, I will instead choose to be self-aware of my tone and enjoy a good meal with my family. Of course, not everyone reading this is a mother, but that does not take away from the fact that we are all nurturers who need nurturing in some way.
This month, take the time to identify what the term “nurture” means to you, and how your personal definition of the word can be individualized to your daily life. Here’s to everything you set out to do this month and remember that self-nurture is the most important kind of nurture.