Browsing the blog archives for May, 2013.

Lighter thoughts on Mother’s day

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So I heard some men at work the other day talking and laughing and joking AND wishing each other a “happy Mother’s Day”. I shook my head at how crazy those men are (you can’t take that Lenny serious) and went about my business.

I walked off the bus later that day and half a block from my house an elderly man stood on the sidewalk. As I approached him, he wished me a “happy Mother’s Day”. I smiled and politely thanked him, allowing him to believe what he wished and not feeling the need to explain that “well, actually, I’m not a mother”. As I passed by him, I heard him mutter, half to himself, half for my ears, I believe, “you’re supposed to say ‘Happy Mother’s Day’ back”. I almost paused right there on the sidewalk. Are you serious?! Do we really say “Happy Mother’s Day” to anyone just like we would say “Happy Memorial Day” or “Merry Christmas”?

Is this a clash of cultures? A generation gap?

Or am I just simply clueless? Does everyone out there wish the men in there lives a “Happy Mother’s Day”.

Whew! I might have to study up on Mother’s Day a bit.

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Mother’s Day Thoughts

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I remember that Mother’s Day – the one in which, for the first time, I truly cared about the fact that I wasn’t a mother – the one in which I wondered if I ever would be a mother. I hated the exuberant amount of lauding and applauding and lavishing of praise on mothers. I hated even more the attention that was given to “those that aren’t mothers but want to be”. I didn’t accept the gift that year – the gifts being passed out to mothers and “those that want to be”.

There was the next Mother’s Day. The one where I was much more at rest with not being a mother. The one in which the longing was just as great (maybe greater), but peace was greater still. I still hated the recognition given to “those that want to be”. But I accepted the gift that year and chose to focus and celebrate my mother and the fact that due to marriage, I could celebrate two mothers.

Then there was Mother’s Day last year. The one in which we grieved like crazy as we approached the one year marker of loosing one of our precious mothers.

And then there’s Mother’s Day this year. And I’ve been processing a lot – reading others thoughts on Mother’s Day. There’s the single girl who can’t stand how all the attention (in a public setting such as church) to mothers actually blazes negative attention her way. There’s the aching woman who can’t grow life in her womb. There’s the adoptive mother who wrestles with lies of wether she really counts as a mother. There’s the birth mother who so courageously places her babe in the arms of another to raise.

And I wrestle and I struggle with this day. And I hear opinions of how the childless should be treated on this day, and I cringe.  Because the child holders should really hear from the childless before assuming what they want.

I’m all about celebrating mothers. Mothering has got to be one of the hardest jobs on the planet. I watch my friends do it and marvel at how amazing they are. I’m extremely grateful for my mother – her sacrifices, her love, her grace. I’m extremely grateful for the second mother I had for 3 short years. They are worth celebrating and I delight in celebrating them. My friends who so tirelessly and bravely invest time in their children – they’re worth celebrating, also.

But I wonder if Mother’s Day would be better off celebrated at a personal level vs. large attention given it in our church services. It seems that for every person whom Mother’s Day is hard for, there’s another opinion of what feels loving to them on this day. And it’s hard, almost impossible, to get it right, but on a personal level it’s a lot easier. And on a personal level I’m guessing it would mean more to all these amazing mom’s out there as well.

So this Mother’s Day I’m excited to celebrate:

My mom – who continues to offer unconditional love

Mom Ann – who left us two years ago, but I still benefit from the love and care she invested in her youngest born

My sister – who became a new mom two months ago, and was tranformed right before my very eyes

My sister-in-law and dear friend – who became a mom two days ago and already appears like a natural

My older sisters – who have been doing this courageous raising of children thing for years

My friends nearby – who are amazing examples to me and whom I hope to learn from should that mothering day come

I guess my desire and hope is to remind others this Mother’s Day, please don’t assume what the childless want from you.  Be sensitive to where they’re at in relationship to this whole mothering thing.  And please, whatever you do, don’t argue with the woman who is asking that no attention be given her, by insisting that she deserves to be recognized.  Please, let her sit back in the shadows.  Please, don’t call attention to one of the biggest heartaches in her life.

And one more thing, please, go ahead and celebrate the mothers.  It’s what Mother’s Day is about.  Don’t try to make me feel better by saying, “oh, you’re a mother at heart”, or “I’m sure there are many who look to you as mom”.  Because that doesn’t change reality.  The truth is, I am not a mother.  You pretending I’m “almost” a mom, or “as good as” a mom, really doesn’t help.  Please don’t pity me.  Just go ahead and celebrate the moms in your life, please.

May you celebrate well, the mothers around you this weekend.

 

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