I awoke to my traditional programming many years ago (about 2007) when I noticed that I was the only one concerned about the tree, tinsel, gifts, meals, visiting relatives for holidays, etc. "What was I doing?" I asked myself. No one was stressed but me. The males in the family continued to do what they always did year after year (watch TV and eat) while mothers, stressed like myself at the time, put on phony smiles and complained to our moms about everything from how much something cost to what someone wasn't doing to help us.
Those days leading up up to 2007, I was beginning to feel angered for no apparent reason especially during the holidays. I was stressed about spending far too much money and time with folks who didn't appreciate much or did little any other time of the year. Did they really give a d*mn anyway?
I learned early on when the tree was no more one year that no one seem to care not even my little ones. Then the next year I noticed nothing was said when I bought less. Years later included no cooking and no gifts, the family complaints were few. They lived with it despite my mixed emotions. "Wait a minute," I thought. "I am making a big deal out of nothing! I do for all sorts of people other times of the year too! And isn't this the season that is really supposed to be about Christ, but then no one really knows his real birthday...and don't I have debt to pay...so now what is the purpose again?" Then when I saw the billions of dollars corporation receive around the holidays and I had nothing--I really woke up!
Mothers take on more than their share of holiday planning, buying gifts, bridging gaps with their families, friends and in-laws, and for what? You don't realize just how much you are doing and how it starts taking a toll on you (mentally, physically and spiritually) until you have a wake up call--the kind that leaves you scratching your head, "Now what am I doing all this for again?"
Rest in peace to all the mothers who are no longer with us this holiday season. (It kind of makes you wonder they might have lived a little longer if they hadn't stressed so much during their youth about the holidays and during other times of the year).
Nicholl McGuire shares spiritual wisdom on this site and others. Get your copy of When Mothers Cry today.