Being the mother I didn’t have
In leading this ministry, from time to time, I get emails that are sometimes a difficult and poignant read. Some moms write to me about a variety of different problems they’ve had with their own mother. Some vow never to become a mom because of that primary relationship. They carry seething resentments. I will never forget a woman on Facebook who made it a point to tell me that she was “defriending” me because according to her, I speak too affectionately about my own mother (who, by the way, I did have struggles with). It triggers her and so, we are not Facebook friends anymore. Another single young woman, who attended several talks that I gave confided in me that her mother had schizophrenia – because of her mother’s illness, she didn’t think that she herself could be a wife and mother.
These women carry a special place in my heart – I have coined these women as carrying “the mother wound.” Instead of being loved, supported, nurtured, valued, and understood, these women have been wounded by their mothers thus “the mother wound” needs healing. My discussions with women, who have this remarkable wound, inevitably ends with a with a few comments and a question.
A few comments to women with The Mother Wound
“Give your mother a break. She doesn’t know better. Stop expecting to get from your mother what she is simply unable to give. Let it go! Get rid of the hatred in your heart – that hatred is a cancer in YOUR soul. Pray for her. Offer Masses for her. Forgive her!
The question I ask women who have The Mother Wound
Have you done a consecration to Our Blessed Mother?
Ask Our Blessed Mother to be your mother, I promise you, Mother Mary will lavish you with graces and consolations you would have never imagined. Mother Mary is the best mother in the world.
Today, I’d like to introduce you to April Smith, our Catholic Moms Group Leader in North Pole, Alaska. Despite her struggles, (or perhaps because of the struggles with her own mom) she set out to become the mom she’s never had. April is vibrant, dynamic and so is her Catholic Moms Group. And guess what?
She’s a mother of TEN.
Isn’t this family photograph taken at her son’s wedding reception just beautiful? Right from Alaska!
Enjoy her blog post below called, Being the mother I didn’t have
Not too long ago we celebrated Mother’s Day — I hate it.
I’m a mom of 10 and I did, however, enjoy the pile of artwork, made-at-school gifts, and special treats that my kids provided me on the special day in May 2023. Yet, as I relaxed in the afternoon, while scrolling Facebook on my smartphone, I let all the lovely Mother’s Day posts that filled my screen steal my joy. There were posts about moms who were best friends to their children, advocates, supporters and taught wonderful lessons. Smiling mother daughter photos abounded. I, on the other hand, have none of these positive feelings toward my own mother. I had no glorious memories or heartfelt thanks to give. I was bitter, resentful, and angry toward her — God forgive me — though I have my reasons from my childhood that have led to these feelings.
As the Lord tends to do, he spoke to me right where I was: on the couch. He showed me that I needed to refocus and continue what I have already been doing, which is living a good life and honoring my own family by being a good mother to my children. After I had tossed my phone aside, disgusted with allowing social media to affect me like this, I picked up the Sunday paper. I have read the paper every day since I was 10 or 12 years old. The Lord’s voice came in a comic, of course. On the very last page was a Family Circus cartoon that paralleled the prayer of St. Francis.
In the comic’s first frame, the words “Where there is doubt, let me sow Faith” accompanied a mother helping her baby take his first steps. In the second frame, “Where there is despair, hope,” a mom had her son on her lap with his poor report card. Third, “Where there is sadness, ever joy,” the frame contained a mom tossing her baby playfully into the air. In the next frame, “Grant that I may not seek so much to be consoled as to console,” a mother patted her crying child. Plus, another frame, “To be understood as to understand,” had a mom patiently listening as her son told a story. But the last frame hit me the hardest. The words “to be loved, as to love” accompanied a drawing of a mom with her babies joyfully piled on her lap.
The Lord was telling me that though I cannot change my past and cannot make my mother a better mom to me, I can and should stay on the path of knowing, loving, and serving God through being the best mom I can be to my babies. I can’t go back in time to seek to be consoled and understood and loved; I must stay firmly in the present with faith in my heart and love in my hands.
NOTE FROM Dorothy
As Catholics, we can turn to Our Blessed Mother and ask her to be our mother! God chose her to raise his only Son, then we can choose her, too, to help heal our hearts. Our Blessed Mother not only wants to console you and mother you, but she also wants to help you in your journey of being a mom. Imagine getting supernatural help from the Queen of Heaven and Earth!
For inspiration, we at CatholicMomsGroup.com recommend praying Consecration Prayers and The Magnificat, the hymn (taken from Luke 1:46-55) that Mary prayed in praise of the Lord:
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children forever.
April is the new leader of the Mothers Group in North Pole, Alaska. She has run various versions of mom groups for nearly 20 years and feels so blessed by the Catholic Moms Group program which has finally led to a real spiritual movement in her parish.
April is a mom to 10 children from toddlers right up to adults. She recently left a successful real estate business to focus more time on things that directly impact her family. This led to her running for and being elected to the Board of Education for her school district. What a challenge THAT has been in these crazy times.
Hospitality is the Smith Family ministry, as they also administer the parish Social Committee, for nearly a decade now, at St. Nicholas. April loves making opportunities for social engagement in the parish that build up families and the whole community, every single month.