Mother’s Day is a very difficult holiday for me.
On one hand, I am a mother. I have a 19 year old son that I absolutely adore. He is smart and funny and talented and off to college to study biology in August. I think being a mother was one of the best learning experiences I could have chosen.
On the other hand, I have no relationship with my mother. I broke off all contact with her after years of failing to build a relationship on mutual understanding and love. Since then, I have been able to work through most of the anger and pain I have from growing up as her daughter.
Many pagan people, when they learn I have no contact with my mother, are appalled. “She’s your mother,” they say, “She gave you life.”
Yes, she gave birth to me 44 years ago. As a single mother, she worked very hard to make sure we didn’t go hungry or without shelter or clothing. She had the tenacity to survive no matter what the cost. She worked hard, and expected hard work from us. She also scarred my soul, with her rigidity and intolerance for difference. She pitted my siblings and me against one another. She treated us like possessions that reflected on her, rather than special, unique individuals.
The best lesson I learned from her was not to be like her. She became a yardstick for any action I took as a mother, “Would Mom have done that?” And if the answer was yes, then I did the opposite.
My most valuable lesson about motherhood came from goddesses themselves.
When I found out I was pregnant at 25, I was terrified.
I have passed on motherhood three times before I became pregnant with my son, through both abortion and adoption, because I knew I would be a terrible mother. I could see the connections between my mother and her mother, the weave of narcissism and abuse that wove from generation to generation, all the judgmental intolerance, all the hate. My mother was horrible and her mother was horrible and I assumed that I would be horrible too. I couldn’t see how I could avoid it. It was part of my DNA, my soul, my wyrd.
In my terror, I prayed to Freya for advice and got Frigga instead. I had never had any contact with Frigga. With my issues about mothers, I never expected to have contact with her. And she gave me the most transformative sentences I have ever been given. “Your wyrd is not set in stone. You control what kind of mother you will be.”
Her words calmed me in a way no one else’s words could have.
I’ve never regretted becoming a mother.
Thank you, Lady Frigga. Happy Mother’s Day.