Happy Mother’s Day!! This is a wonderful day for most mothers in the United States. We are showered with love, congratulatory greetings, phone calls, texts, emails, gifts…all in honor of the fact that we are mothers.
I love being a mother, and I love that there is one day when our families take the time to recognize that ours is a 24/7 commitment. On the other hand, the older I get, the more aware I am that this holiday can be the holiday from H.E.double-hockey-sticks for other people.
People who recently lost a loved mother, grandmother, or other female relative who was like a mother. People who lost a kindred spirit who was like a mother to them. Women who just lost their life partner, the ones with whom they shared the journey of parenthood. Parents and children who are estranged from each other, no matter whose “fault” it is. Women who tried desperately to conceive and whose time never came. Women who recently suffered a miscarriage. Women who have suffered the loss of a child, at whatever age in their lives. How do they ever answer the question, “How many children do you have?” Transgender people who are born with the desire to bear children and without the anatomical equipment to be gestational parents. All of them are suffering in silence most days. Today is especially difficult for all these people who are watching and expected to participate in the “greeting card” version of a holiday on steroids.
So in the midst of all the joy, congratulations and celebration of the work of our wombs, I also want to send special love to the people who fall outside of “the circle” today. I wish I could give you a hug in person and support you the way you need to be supported. I feel you and wish you love.
Our family suffered the loss of a beloved mother and grandmother figure this March. The realization I came to after her passing has been incredibly freeing and empowering. I am no longer trying to compete with past constructs of motherhood in my life. I am simply looking forward and looking for my children to guide me.
These are the introspections I make that are guiding my mother-journey today:
- What is my mothering philosophy?
- Am I following my philosophy and leading our children, or am I simply reacting?
- Can I use humor to diffuse the situation?
- How do I want our children to remember me?
- As individuals, what kind of mother does that child need me to be? (i.e., which Love Language do they speak?)
- How can I best help them grow into their full potential?
- How can I help them discover their gifts so that they can enjoy them for their lifetime?
Taking the pressure off of having to “be better than”, and looking at the future helps me to deal with the little daily frustrations. On a daily basis we deal with bickering amongst the siblings, the endless duties around the home, the kitchen that always needs cleaning, the laundry that doesn’t quit, a schoolroom that needs to be straightened – again. I look at my motherhood as a path, a journey I am on with our children. I can take on today – it is only a day in what I wish and pray will be our long journey together.
At the end of the day, I want us all to be happy, whole, fulfilled individuals who love each other because we value one another for who we are. I don’t ever want them to make a choice because they want to please me – I want them to make a choice because they know it is the right one for them.
We are still walking that path together. I look forward to another 365 days of meandering along that path joyfully with our family. Please take a minute today to celebrate the mothers in your life. Take it a step further and hug someone who is suffering in silence today. Let them know that while you can’t take away their pain, you care and you love them.