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mother daughterMothers Day is one of the most wonderful, horrible, expectation laden, expectant, confusing and memorable days of the year.  The emotions surrounging this day depend on so many factors.

Number one: your own mom. We all have one. Not all of us have one now, not all of us had a good one and those of us who have fabulous moms, if we aren’t with them today there will be all sorts of emotions surrounding that as well.

Number two: what if you have several moms you need to be with in one day. You have mother (the one who bore you), grandmothers, great-grandmothers, mother-in-laws, women who feel like mothers, women who feel like mothers who have no kids around and you feel like they should be with you or visa versa.

Number three: Men. If you have a woman in your life who bore your children, you get to honor her. So often I hear “but she isn’t my mother!” Oh, please, you wouldn’t be a father without her. Your life would be completely different. If your kids see you honoring her, they will follow suit.

Number four: “It’s just a commercial holiday, why does it hold so much importance?” Well, commercial or not, someone a long time ago decided Mothers needed one little day a year to be the focus of your attention. I am sure they had no idea what a can of worms they were opening, (or maybe they did).

Number five: Women who want to be mother but cannot or have experienced the horrific grief of a death of a child. This is the one that makes me the saddest. If we grieve because we have lost our mom or because she was a “mommy dearest,” at least we have some memories to hold on to. But for the millions of women who yearn to hold their baby in their arms, to put the baby to the breast and to sing a lullaby, there are no substitutes. For these women, my heart only prays they know their nurturing love is a soothing comfort to many. Use it freely and lavish it on many. It will bring many returns.

If you know one of these women who find mother’s day especially painful, please let them know how much you appreciate their love and be with them in their sorrow.

There is only one way to remedy this milieu of emotions. Gratitude. Gratitude can overcome the icky expectations, loss, and what ifs. I encourage you to fill your mind and maybe a few cards, emails, texts, letters and journals with gratitude. Fill it with memories of who you value, who has helped form you, and why you are grateful.  Think of what life would be like without them.
Happy Mother’s Day!