Mother’s Day ranks right up there with Valentine’s Day with its ability to make people feel miserable.
It’s the reminder of what isn’t. What might be but hasn’t happened. And because women are particularly adept at comparing, it’s one more opportunity to experience a sense of “Why not me?” “Where did I go wrong?”
There are many women who long to be married and have children, an opportunity that hasn’t been given them. There are those married who are challenged by infertility, and every month is a reminder that what they hope for hasn’t yet happened. Some have chosen to adopt or foster those birthed by others. Some have lost children, through miscarriage or early in life, which leaves a tangible hole in a heart that knows they’re there but are no longer. Others have children who are challenged with special needs or difficult circumstances that no mother can control. Others became moms without a plan or a partner, and being a single parent has changed everything for them.
Motherhood isn’t what it appears to be.
I have friends and family in all those situations, and for each, there is an underlying whisper of insufficiency. Of something good being not so good.
What is a mom? Certainly not just a baby-making machine, a sum total of eggs that can produce a perfect human being.
It’s the nurturing nature that reaches out to those who have a need to be cared for, seen, and loved. It’s the willingness to sacrifice oneself for someone else because their life demands can’t be attained alone. It’s being present when you’re tired because somebody desperately needs to be heard. It’s loving others with authenticity, no matter who they are, how they look, or how they act.
It’s not the kids that make the moms. It’s receiving well whatever “kids” God gives us and loving them without strings attached.
I’ve had wonderful mom figures in my life who never had biological kids of their own. These women were present with me, heard me and loved me well. They made me feel like I could do anything, and they didn’t condemn my failures but encouraged me to try again.
It’s easy to be disappointed with what we have because we look at what others have and it appears to be so much better. In a culture where images are constantly managed, it’s simple to fall prey to what we perceive is good.
God knows us perfectly. He is more concerned about who we are than what we have, about how we deal with life circumstances than the value of a reputation. We limit ourselves when we assess our value based on societal norms.
God has a better story for us. One of redemption and love, of forgiveness and hope. Every story is different. Every woman has a unique plotline that raises her to be somebody special in the eyes of the One who made her.
I’m grateful to be celebrating as a mom. My story engages my six amazing kids.
Beauty isn’t limited to procreation.
Beauty is the gift God gives in making us complete in Him.
Maybe Mother’s Day should be Loving Day.