This Is Why I Decided To Spend Mother's Day Away From My Mother

mother & daughter enjoying sunset.
mother & daughter enjoying sunset.

This was my first Mother's Day as Lana, and not as who I was before, or who I tried to be. And this was the first Mother's Day, in 26 years, that I don't spend with my mother.

Mothers are creatures filled with love. They have boundless love for their children -- they will always look at them as fragile human beings that need to be protected. This is the most beautiful, and the most dangerous, feature of motherhood.

Unfortunately, from the moment we are born, people start making plans for our future. In fact, the plans are created even earlier. As soon as people find out our biological sex, they start having certain expectations.

Families start making plans for our lives. Mothers, more than anyone else, have limited expectations of their boys and girls. And sometimes, for one reason or another, we are unable to fulfill these expectations.

My mother wanted me to study Business Administration. I tried out many courses until I finally decided to study Social Services -- which gives me a career path in which I feel most comfortable.

My mother wanted me to play soccer, but I preferred playing with dolls and couldn't stand to look at a soccer ball.


It is not easy to spend Mother's Day without my mother, but it is less painful than being with her and finding disappointment in her eyes and words.

My mother wished I could be a more outgoing person -- but I was always shy.

My mother wished I could be a good boy. But I am not a boy.

Agatha Christie once wrote: "A mother's love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity. It dares all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path."

The problem with such great and excessive love is that it can turn into something dangerous and painful.

It is not easy to spend Mother's Day without my mother, but it is less painful than being with her and finding disappointment in her eyes and words. Her disappointment sometimes turns into humiliation and denial of my existence and my life.

Many specialists, including psychologists and anthropologists, say that there is no such thing as a maternal instinct, and that it is actually a social construct.

"These values [having children, building a family] are still too internalized in women. Women are under great internal and external pressure to have children," said the anthropologist and professor at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Mirian Goldenberg, in an interview.

Society relentlessly dictates what women should or shouldn't do. Because women are pressured into having children, we hear many stories of people's relationships with their mothers breaking down. Many people take any chance they can get to escape their mothers -- so that they can save themselves, and their mothers, the suffering that comes with making their own life choices.

I was born on Mother's Day. I would have loved to be with my mother on that day, but I would rather not hurt her or myself. Therefore, we spent this day apart.

This post first appeared on HuffPost Brazil. It has been translated into English and edited for clarity.