There are some holidays I’d like to rein in a bit, and Mothers’ Day is one of them.
Like many special dates on the calendar, this one seems to have been commandeered by Hallmark and other retailers. There are ads galore in the weeks leading up to that special Sunday in May. They offer countless options for the perfect gift to honor the “best mom in the world.” Most of us will fall in line and purchase cards and gifts. Some will treat Mom to a nice meal.
And it will all seem perfectly wonderful.
Real life for many, however, is neither perfect nor wonderful. For many, that yearly date in mid-May brings fresh reminders of pain and sadness.
What does this day hold for those mourning the loss of a child? What is it like for mothers of seriously ill children? How does one cope with the holiday while grieving the death of their own dear mother? Women longing to be mothers who are unable to conceive—how do they get through the day?
No, in reality, Mothers’ Day can be more heartache and tears than sentimental cards, flowers, and gifts.
According to the dictionary, mothering refers to “bringing up with care and affection.” It also means “looking after kindly and protectively.”
To me, that is proof positive mothers aren’t necessarily women. They may or may not have physically given birth. In fact, they don’t even have to share familial connections.
As much as I sometimes want to dispense with this holiday, maybe we can use it to become more aware and compassionate. Maybe we can all learn to be mothers to one another every day. With care and affection, we can surely tend to one another kindly and protectively.
Accepting. Embracing. Nurturing. Loving.
We’re in this together.
Happy Mother’s Day to all!