A mother's day message for less than perfect, but perfectly good mothers


In my practice the Monday after Mother’s Day is always the toughest. The mothers who come to therapy are not happy. Their ungrateful children and non supportive husbands, at least by definition today, ignored the day. They would have been thrilled to get half cooked eggs complete with bits of egg shell, cold coffee and burned toast, or a small gift, or a hand written card, or three words on facebook, a phone call, a text, ANYTHING!! But nothing. No acknowledgement.

If no one else celebrates you, and I certainly hope they do, but if they don’t, celebrate anyway.

The show was unremarkable; half asleep and bored, too sleepy to find the remote, I continued watching. It was a monologue. A male from New York discussed parenting.  He recalled a friend of his. The man was 40 and his first child had just been born. It was the middle of the night, and he discovered there were no more diapers. And his son needed clean diaper. The father leapt into the car, went to a 24 x7 store, was about to pay an outrageous amount of money for a small pack of diapers, when he remembered that his wife was helping her sick mother who needed to go to the E.R. He had left his son home alone. He began to feel guilty, every hair on his head felt guilty and from there it traveled down his entire body until his toes felt guilty. Now I am fully awake, therapists listen when guilt is mentioned.

The monologuer, who claimed to be experienced at the parenting gig comforted him by saying "and you will feel guilty about it for the rest of your life".

Like him, mothers, we have all done less than we could, we have all done more than we should and at times we have been less than, well kind. But, this is not all we have done. Cut yourself some slack, enjoy tomorrow, it’s Mother’s Day. Your Day.  Celebrate.


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