This day is second only to Valentine’s Day in creating angst and discomfort for many women.
It’s a day to celebrate Mom. To honor the one who birthed us and to receive the adoration of those we’ve birthed.
I wasn’t with my immediate family for this day. It would have been fun had all the kids come into town. For me. To remember together younger years. When handmade cards were diligently crafted. When gifts included homemade potholders and flowerpots with tiny colorful handprints on the sides.
I was with my mom and sisters for Mother’s Day. A wonderful reminder of my heritage, the people and circumstances that have helped me grow to be who I am today.
Mom wasn’t easy. I was loved, but she and I butt heads more often than not. As I grew up, there were things I swore I’d never do if I ever became a mother.
Most kids have those mental lists.
I’ve ended up doing many of those things.
This day, though, can be hard for women.
There are those who don’t remember their moms because she was, for whatever reason, not in the picture.
There are those whose relationship with their maternal parent was more than difficult—it was toxic. “Mother” brings up mental pictures of pain, hurt, rejection. Not love and affirmation.
There are those who’ve struggled with infertility, wanting to be moms but not being able to conceive a child. Many of them don’t have the funds to adopt or go through expensive procedures to help them get pregnant. Disappointment on top of disappointment.
There are single women who dreamed of being a wife and mom when they were little, and it never happened. Career happened. Mr. Right never materialized. The dream never became reality.
Women who’ve never chosen to be moms can be made to feel like they abdicated their roles and responsibilities if they opted for career over family.
Hardest of all are the moms who’ve lost children before their time. When Mother’s Day reminds them of what was and will never be again. It magnifies the loss in light of the celebration. Even if other children are in the home, the empty chair, the never-slept-in crib and the trips to the cemetery are laser beams of focus on lost dreams.
We need to celebrate mothers. Their jobs can’t be measured in hours worked, projects accomplished or net profit accumulated. Their rewards are often minimal but meaningful: a snuggle when a small one is sick or sad; a smile when they see you coming across the room; a homemade potholder.
I propose we expand the focus of this holiday. Rather than limiting it to traditional mothers, what about making it a day of gratitude to all those women who’ve encouraged us in our growth and development? A time when all women, no matter their role, can be honored for how they’ve impacted others for good, whether it be children, neighbors or a stranger in need.
Jesus urges us to be encouragers of others. He knows we grow as we’re seen, known and valued.
What about Happy Nurturing Day?
Hallmark may have issues with that.