As I'm closing in on my eldest daughter's wedding day — Oct. 14 — I've noticed that even though I'm excited and happy that she has found her person, I'm also struggling with feeling a bit, well, blue.
I didn't expect to feel anything other than complete and utter joyful anticipation to my first daughter's marriage. Yet here I am, surprisingly emotionally divided, which has been troubling me to no end.
These conflicting emotions have had me spending a great deal of time asking: "What's wrong with me? What sort of mother isn't jumping for joy, busting at the seams to marry their firstborn child?" These thoughts then have me spiralling into a pit of motherly despair, and my inner dialogue questioning devotion to my daughter and whether I'm a good mother or not.
All of this is incredibly upsetting and unsettling to say the least. So rather than just wallow in these terrible feelings that I've been battling, I decided to take control of the situation and committed myself to addressing these emotions. In order to do this, I found that I've been spending the months leading up to her nuptials reflecting and keeping my social engagements to a minimum.
What I'm feeling has nothing to do with NOT being happy for her; rather, it is my own mortality.
Doing so has allowed me to inject some quiet into my life and my soul so that I can:
- Thoroughly enjoy the final weeks leading up to her tying the knot;
- Sort myself out so that when the time comes for the festivities of my two other daughters getting married, I don't battle with the same emotions;
- Finally, be happy! Who wants to be blue during a time of celebration of new love? Not me.
What I have uncovered during my months of self-reflection is that the root of what I'm feeling has nothing to do with NOT being happy for her; rather, it is my own mortality. I'm no longer in my 20s (which I obviously already knew), but there is something about taking the first step with an adult child and final steps with a youngest child — who's graduating university this year — that really brings this one fact into sharp focus: their lives are just beginning and mine, in many ways, is winding down.
In reality, I know that her marriage isn't the end of my youth, or my life as I know it. I know that her embarking on this new and exciting phase of her life is not reflection of my life needing to "slow down" or become "less invigorating or exciting" for me and my husband. I KNOW this, but I didn't FEEL it. The mind is an amazing thing; if we're not paying attention, it has the ability to take a truly magical time in our lives and make us turn inward, causing us to miss beautiful experiences that are right before our eyes.
Their new beginning is in no way, shape or form taking away from your ability to embark on some new and exciting journeys of your own.
I am incredibly thankful that I caught myself before it was too late. I'm relieved that I've put my mind and my heart right while I still have time to enjoy all the excitement, adventure and happiness leading up to her wedding day. It would have broken my heart, not only as mother of the bride, but also as her matron of honour, to have missed everything because I was more focused on what was going on with me than what is happening for her.
If you're a MOB who is struggling with feeling "not right" leading up to your child's wedding, I suggest you do as I did and take some quiet time to ask yourself what you're feeling and why. Hopefully you will discover, as I did, that you truly are happy for your child and this incredible time of their lives. And maybe you just need to let yourself know that their new beginning is in no way, shape or form taking away from your ability to embark on some new and exciting journeys of your own. Now is as good a time as ever to dust of your bucket list and start ticking some of the items off!
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