Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day

This is a picture of me and my Momma from 2004. People say we are a lot alike, both in looks and in personality. I take that as a very high compliment. She was an amazing woman and I was a lucky girl to get to call her mine.

Mother's Day is one day that reminds me what kind of "non-place" I have in the world on this day. The first Sunday I was at my church, one of the members pulled me aside and asked me "Doesn't it make you sad?" and my response to her was a simple "No." My thought process was "Why? Because I'm not a mother? Or because I don't have a mother? Either way, no!"

One thing I really appreciate about my church is that they always honor every woman on Mother's Day and every man on Father's Day. I always acknowledge in the service the role of the people who have mothered us in a variety of ways, not only physically. 

This is one holiday that has gotten a little bit harder as the years have gone by. Not so much because of the death of my mother (although it does remind me of how much I miss her) but also because I don't have children. I'm sort of a "nothing" on this day. I do have my mother-in-law and grandmother-in-law that we celebrate, but it's not the same thing. 

A part of me resents, just a little bit, the assumption that Jeff's family automatically "gets" that holiday and that compromise is not expected or required because there is no "competition" for our time and attention. The truth is, there is a lot of competition for my attention, but it's internal. I actually enjoy the chance to work, especially at the hospital, on Mother's Day because it gives me a little bit of time and space to remember and honor my mother in my own way. 

I saw a nice piece about "the continuum of mothering" so I will close with that food for thought. I found it as a part of this post, but I don't think that is where it originated. I have changed a little bit of it.

To those who gave birth or adopted a child this year - we celebrate with you
To those who lost a child this year - we mourn with you
To those who are in the trenches with little ones every day and wear the badge of food stains - we appreciate you
To those who walk the hard path of infertility, fraught with pokes, prods, tears, and disappointments - we walk with you. Forgive us when we say foolish things, we don't mean to make this harder than it already is.
To those who are foster moms, mentor moms, and spiritual moms - we need you
To those who have warm and close relationships with you - we celebrate with you
To those who have disappointment, heartache, and distance with your children - we sit with you
To those who have lost their mother - we grieve with you
To those who have experienced abuse at the hands of their own mother - we acknowledge your experience
To those who lived through driving tests, medical tests, and the overall testing of motherhood - we are better for having you in our midst
To those who will have emptier nests in the coming year - we grieve and rejoice with you
To those who are expecting new life, both expected and surprising - we anticipate with you.

This Mother's Day we walk with you. Mothering is not for the faint of heart and  we have real warriors in our midst. We remember you.


  1. I completely understand how you feel today. On top of feeling like a "nothing" on Mother's Day, it felt as if my mother in law was doing everything in her power today at lunch to drive home the fact that I am not a mother. Plus, I didn't get to see my family this weekend and that alone stinks. We will get our chances. For now, we will just be mothers to our fur children, and pray that soon we will be a mother to a baby as well.

    1. While I appreciate you were trying to be supportive in your comment and I know that you are hurting too, you don't "completely understand" because you have not lost your mother. The pain I feel about not having kids is pretty minor compared to that.

  2. You still have a mother, it's just that she's not around any more. She raised you to be the person you are today, she's a part of you. So why not honour her by looking after yourself that day? Doing something, however small, to treat yourself? Do your nails, run a bubble bath, buy flowers? She loved you and cared for you whilst she could - maybe your new tradition is to love yourself and care for yourself that day now?