Some women grew up with a strained or difficult relationship with their mother. When these women become mothers themselves, and experience the natural bond that can exist between a mother and child, they are often left to manage some difficult feelings. These feelings may include:
- a sense of loss for close feelings they didn’t experience with their mother
- anger towards their mother
- bitterness toward their mother
Left Unchecked, Hurt Can Turn to Bitterness
Left unchecked, negative feelings and emotional pain can lead to bitterness or resentment. These feelings may cause a greater emotional distance between a woman and her mother during this life season when she may need her mother most.
Bitterness is a poison which can defile many. A spirit of bitterness affects not only the person we are angry at, but seeps over into all of our relationships as the poison of bitterness darkens our heart. I have watched individuals from 3 generations in my family, commit the same hurt and pain on others that they experienced from the person they were embittered against. Bitterness often repeats history and continues generational sin.
How Can You Make Peace with Hurts Experienced from Your Mother?
Allow yourself to grieve the relationship with your mother that you wanted, but haven’t received.
Accept the fact that your relationship with your mother may never be exactly the way you’ve dreamed it would be, or you would like it to be. Take time to allow yourself to grieve your loss.
Record your feelings and prayers in a journal. Ask God to reveal His love for you as the perfect parent. Release your expectations to God and allow Him to handle your pain.
Find God’s grace for your mother by trying to understand your mother’s own story.
Sometimes, what we expect from others may not be given because of their own brokenness or pain. We’ve never walked in our mother’s shoes and therefore we don’t have full insight into what drives her, what makes her tick or what makes her the kind of person and mother she is, or was.
Have you ever considered the fact that maybe there were situations in her upbringing that cause her to withdraw from you or treat you the way she did? It might a good idea to ask your mother about her about her upbringing, and relationship with her own mother. As you listen to her stories, ask God for grace, compassion and insight.
Accept your mother for who she is/was.
Your mom may not be the mother you’ve always dreamed of, but you can learn to accept her for who she is or was by:
- Being thankful for the precious gift of life she gave you. Your mother most likely experienced the discomfort, heartburn, stretch marks, fears, and pains that come with pregnancy and childbirth, but she endured these for you.
- Being thankful for all the sacrifices she made on your behalf.
Focus on forgiveness.
- Forgiveness is often a key to a building a better relationship.
- Examine your own heart. Maybe you haven’t always been the best daughter to your mom. Can give yourself the grace to admit this to yourself, and apologize to your mom?
- Your mother may not be aware of ways she has hurt you. You can choose to have a conversation with her and bring these things to her attention and ask for an apology, or you can choose to pass over the hurts or painful memories, and put them at the foot of the cross and leave them there.
Focus on the Positives.
Make a list of all the things your mom did right.
- What kind of character qualities did she instill in you?
- What talents did she encourage you to grown in?
- What important life skills or character attributes things did she teach you?
- In what ways did she teach you to be a woman?
Learn from her mistakes and don’t repeat them.
It is possible that if you don’t forgive your mother, you will end up becoming just like her. Make a list of the things you don’t want to repeat in your mothering, and then take steps of healing and grace to blaze a new trail.
Look for other women around you to learn from.
It’s unlikely that you will find your ideals of the perfect mother in just one person. Look around you. Has God placed other wise women in your life that you can learn from?
- These can be older women or women even your own age.
- Do you have a friend to call when you’re having a tough day that can empathize with you and understand where you are at, or what you are going through?
- Has God given you a husband who is there to comfort you?
- Do you have friends who would be willing to teach you practical things you’d like to know?
- Do you watch how mother’s teach or discipline their children well?
Through seeking wisdom and friendship from many women, you will be on your way to becoming the mother you want to be.
Become the kind of mother you’ve always wanted.
You are taking that step of courage, working at it, and determining that you want things to be different for your children.
With the power of the Holy Spirit at work in you, you can do your best to become the kind of mother that you always wanted.
For more life lessons, check my other blog articles and get all the encouragement you need.