You don’t need anyone else to tell you that to feel that way. It’s like not needing a church to feel close to God, or not needing a reason to feel happy. You know deep down that your connection to your child is like no other in your life. You care for them even when they give you nothing in return. You love them and think about them in all the moments since you knew of their existence, even if that is not always easy. Even if you didn’t attach to them right away, because of trauma or circumstances, even if you haven’t always been perfect or nice, you are still a good mother.
Your partner, your parents, your friends may not make you feel as special today as you’d like. It’s probably not because they don’t see you. It may be because they don’t understand the enormity of your love for your child. It may be that they don’t know how hard you try to be a good mother during the hard times, or what a joy it is during the special times with your baby. They may not know that when you became a mother, that role became a huge piece of your identity, and you will never be able to go back to not being a mother, even if you wanted to. You are not just a mother, but you are a mother and million other amazing things. Don’t let others bring you down today. Don’t let them steal your power and accomplishment. Even if they don’t see or understand what motherhood means to you; you know: that knowledge is yours alone. Celebrate it with them and your baby. Or just reflect on it. Either way it is still yours.
Some people experienced trauma and abuse growing up at the hands of their mothers. It’s not yours to own if your partner or parents or friends had a less than great experience with their own mother. You are still a good mother, and they probably recognize it even if they have trouble expressing it. On the other hand, maybe everything to do with mothers makes them feel a certain achy way, and they can’t be there for you today. Maybe they aren’t ready to confront those feelings or will never try to heal them. You are still a good mother. If a good mother stands alone with her child in the woods, she is still important, even if no one sees her. Don’t let someone else’s trauma take away from your experience. Don’t let their trauma form a rift between your bonds. It’s not yours to fix, and they don’t need to make you feel like a good mother, because you already are and always will be.
For some people Mothers Day is complicated. They lost a mother, a child or had other trauma that happened around a holiday or with family. For some people, they can’t celebrate Mother's Day because they are in deep need of mothering themselves. Something happened to break that connection inside and they feel motherless or childless or not good enough. That really has nothing to do with you and your motherhood, but it’s there like a shadow. It may be why this day is quieter for some people. Even if the people around you have shadows, you are still a good mother. If no one will shout it from the roof tops, shout it yourself. You deserve to be celebrated every day for responding with love to your child, for caring for them unconditionally, for giving to them when your bucket is empty. You do it all without the need for thanks or praise, except for every once and while when you want flowers or to sleep in. You want the reassurance that it’s all ok, that you are doing all this hard work for a reason, that you are doing a good job. That giving up a huge piece of yourself to your baby everyday is worth it.
You are a good mother. Even if no one else tells you that today. Tell yourself. Know it in your heart every single day. Keep the shadows out. No one is ever perfect, but you are doing an amazing job and your baby sees that.