Mother’s Day is a wonderful day for celebrating the beauty and joy of motherhood, a role that is often undervalued. Mothers are gifted to love, inspire, and nurture their children in a unique and vital way, and the many things they do to serve their families often go unnoticed. Taking a day to recognize the contribution of mothers is a beautiful thing.
But this day can also be a difficult day, and with it can come a broad spectrum of emotions for women.
Women who have lost their mothers may feel the void of their presence on this day. Still others may have had a difficult or painful relationship with their mothers, and the day can bring a reminder to them that not every mother is the loving, generous type who is celebrated in greeting cards.
Single women who desire to be married may feel an ache on this day, desiring the role of motherhood. Those who are struggling with infertility may feel the sting of the day as the desire for motherhood is something that they long for with all their hearts, yet it remains out of reach for them. And still others may feel pained by the fact that their hearts are stretched between heaven and earth as the children they mother are in both places. Or perhaps their only children are in heaven, and they go unrecognized as a mother altogether by those who do not know their pain.
Many times, we have combinations of these experiences that can complicate the day even further and make the jumble of emotions challenging to manage.
But none of us is alone in any of these emotions.
God orchestrates the events of our lives because He has a divine purpose for them, and one of those purposes may be to come alongside others to offer them the gift of our accompaniment.
One of the beautiful things about being a woman is our ability to empathize with others. God has gifted us with this ability to help us connect with and nurture others in meaningful ways, fostering relationship and community. This can be undermined by the superficial connection that happens online, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
We have so many relationships nowadays in our social media spheres that many of us have friends we have never met. We may have shared our stories and had that moment of connection when someone else said, “Me too!”
That’s when we remember that there are real people behind these pages and photo squares, and we are all in desperate need of genuine community. Consider deepening those connections and reaching out to another friend who may be experiencing the same emotions you are.
“I’m so sorry your relationship with your Mom is a complicated one. I’m thinking of you today because I know how hard Mother’s Day can be.”
“I know that you are a mother, even though the rest of the world might not see it. Thinking of you today and remembering your precious little one in heaven. You will always be her mother.”
“It is hard to mother children who are with you while also loving and missing children who are not. Thinking of all your children with you today.”
“I’m so sorry that your mom isn’t here with you to celebrate this day.”
“I know this day is hard because you long to be a mother more than anything. Thinking of you today and praying for your heart.”
Mother’s Day can be a complicated day, but it also provides a unique opportunity for connecting with other women in a personal way. In this age of busy-ness, superficial friendships, and competition, imagine the impact that genuine connection could have.
And consider the beautiful example of our Blessed Mother, whose own experience as a mother was a painful and challenging one, yet who now mothers the whole Church, wraps us in her mantle of protection, provides us with grace to endure our suffering, and intercedes for us all in the most personal and loving ways.
This year, I hope to use Mother’s Day to model her example and connect in a deeper way with the other women whom God has placed in my path.
What might happen if we all did that?