Thursday, May 09, 2013

5 Minute Memoir: Mother's Day

Tis the season when we see many article decrying the way Mother's Day is handled, and how it hurts those who have lost children, who haven't been able to have children, and so forth.  While I certainly can appreciate this and would hope that churches and other organizations could learn ways to somehow be more inclusive and less upsetting to these women, I have a few feelings about this myself.

For years I have attended a church that does nothing for Mother's Day.  No mention.  No carnations.  No honoring.  Nothing.

And you know what?  It hurt.

I'm a mother of six children.  I have busted my butt for over 20 years to do my job as a mother and do it well.  I have sacrificed greatly in order to take care of my children in a way that seems right to me.

So now I'm supposed to feel bad if my church honors me in some way on Mother's Day?  My church is supposed to feel bad if they want to honor moms and dads on their respective holidays? Does everyone else's loss negate my turn at having something?

And it's not just me that I'm talking about.

I think of my friends who planned carefully for the right time to have a baby, then lost their first baby to a miscarriage that rocked their world. These sweet and lovable people had pretty much everybody that knows them cheering them on as they finally did have a precious baby boy.  I know I am not the only person at church that has cried a little while seeing this couple snuggle and love their little son.  Other than myself, I can't think of a couple I was more excited to see have a baby. This woman deserves the fullness of her Mother's Day, not to have it quietly swept under the rug because someone else might be reminded of their pain.

Motherhood is part pain for all of us.
It may be a struggle to get or stay pregnant.
Many of us have lost babies to miscarriage and stillbirth and illnesses and accidents.
We all have pain to bring our children into the world, whether through our bodies or through even more difficult channels, such as adoption.
Many suffer to breastfeed, or to not, the sleepless nights, the broken hearts (both ours and our children's), the injuries, the hospitalizations, the difficult choices about their educational paths and their futures.
We. All. Have. Pain. related to our journey as women and mothers.  Life is beautiful and life is painful. They go hand-in-hand.

Can we not celebrate and honor those that have something to celebrate and honor?  Do those that have emerged from some pain to have children to show for it also have to give up having some special treatment because someone else is sad?  Can we mothers not even have one stinking day a year where society says, "Way to go!  We could not do it without you!  You are so important to us!"without having someone else make us feel like we have to give something up for someone else?

Yes, I do think that there is a way to both honor mothers as well as not hurt those for whom motherhood is a painful subject.  I'm just tired of seeing so much about Mother's Day turned into a focus that leaves out all the women who do have children.

Completely politically incorrect, I'm sure.  For better or worse.

No comments: