Mother’s Day ain’t all it’s cracked up to be.
Let’s be honest- the dreamy “breakfast-in-bed delivered with roses by perfectly groomed children followed by a day of relaxation, pampering and an abundance of chocolate” mother’s day is rare. Actually, I’m of the opinion that it frankly doesn’t even exist. It’s got to be a marketing ploy by those stinking Hallmark execs. We’re supposed to feel all warm and gushy about how wonderful motherhood is and what blessings our minions are as we go frolic in a field of daisies or something.
Well, let’s cut to the chase. Mother’s Day is just another day. It’s another day of life and responsibility and craziness and laughter and exhaustion and doingallthechoresnooneelsewantstodo and taking care of our people and usually coming to the end of the day feeling overwhelmed and under-appreciated. Oh, I hope your people swarm you with affection and smother you with gifts. I truly do. But odds are, despite the best efforts of the ones we love, Mother’s Day is a day where we can still lay our heads on our pillow at night feeling tired and lonely and invisible.
Well, I have an idea that might turn that frown upside down.
I want to take the focus off of self today. (Cause let’s face it, if I’m all in this day for me, I’m bound to be disappointed.) Instead, I want to take time to extend honor to others. There are a couple of groups of mamas that I want to acknowledge in this post. While some of us look forward to Mother’s Day and celebrating the gift of motherhood, others are squeezing their eyes shut and hoping the day will pass quickly. Mother’s Day can be painfully difficult. And to those who may be struggling to keep your head up today, I want you to know that I honor you.
To the moms who have lost a child- whether through miscarriage, still birth, or untimely death, I honor you. No one can truly understand the courage you possess. You have walked through the valley and have experienced the greatest loss. Your heart is worn with suffering. You have grieved in the deepest imaginable way, and this day can be one of great sorrow instead of great joy. Although I don’t have words to ease your pain, I want you to know today that I acknowledge your strength and the beauty you possess that only comes through difficulty, just as gold is refined in the fire. Know today that your Heavenly Father understands your deep pain. He, too, has experienced the grief of loss. And I pray that He would remind you that though you may not hold your precious child in your arms today, God is holding you in His.
To those who long to be a mother- perhaps you have “tried everything” and with each negative pregnancy test the wound goes a little deeper. You have waited anxiously each month to see if you would finally be able to make the exciting call to your family…but each month your heart breaks a little more. Despair and discouragement have become your constant companion, and a day like today only pushes you further into that isolated place of “why me.” Sweet, sweet friend, be encouraged. God knows your heart. He sees your tears and He has a plan. The heart of a mother that He has placed inside of you will not be in vain. Your family may be different than you had imagined. Your children may be greater miracles than you had ever dreamed. They may come to you in ways that will surprise you. But know this- whether biological, adoptive or spiritual- one day your children will celebrate you on this day. And the tears will be a distant memory.
To adoptive mamas waiting for their children- oh, how I know your pain! I, too have walked that road of thelongestwaitever and I know how hard it is to be excited about Mother’s Day when you have a child who isn’t yet in your arms. Perhaps your sweet baby is in the womb of another incredible woman, still growing and developing. Maybe your child is across oceans and miles and in a world that is completely foreign to you. You may have a picture to hold and celebrate today, or you may still be waiting on pins and needles for that phone call that seems like it will never come. Wherever you are in the process, I pray that today you will know that your job as a mom has already begun and that all the paperwork and tears and fundraising and questioning and struggle and waiting will be SO worth it when your child looks into your eyes and calls you “mama”.
To the moms who feel like they’ve failed- I want you to know today that your value as a woman is not determined by what you do, but rather by who you are. Maybe your marriage has fallen apart. Maybe your children have strayed away and hurt you in the deepest way. Maybe your spouse complains and tells you that you’re a bad mom and wife. Maybe you’ve made choices that have hurt the ones you love most. Maybe you just wake up every day feeling like you’re just not good enough. If that’s you today, I wish I could hug you tight, look into your tear-filled eyes and tell you that you are enough. When you’re at your worst or when you’re at your best, God’s love for you is unchanging. No one is perfect. Stop expecting yourself to be. You are not a failure- you are human. Hold your head up today, mama. You are an amazing treasure and when no one else seems to recognize your worth, God does, and He chooses to call you daughter.
To the moms in ministry- I am walking in your shoes. Mother’s Day for us is less than glamorous. It’s Sunday morning madness at it’s best. There is no time for relaxing, gourmet breakfasts when you have a brood of littles to get dressed and ready and to church on time. You’re likely leading and serving and giving and teaching and loving others today. You give of yourself, not just to your own children, but to all the spiritual sons and daughters you have. And on this day when we all reflect on mothers and their roles, you are scrutinized and sized-up and judged and sometimes it just doesn’t seem fair. I see that look in your eyes, and I recognize it because it’s in mine too. We get weary of the spotlight. We get tired of living under a microscope. We know we aren’t perfect, but it seems like when others realize that, they treat us differently. Well today, ministry mom, I honor you. You are doing an incredible job. Others will never know what you sacrifice, but God sees, and He will honor you too. Hug your babies tight today. Breathe in grace and exhale mercy. What you are doing may never be truly appreciated here on earth, but your eternal reward will make it all more than worth it.
To all the others- the single moms, those who have lost their mother, ones who gave their child up for adoption, ones who are estranged from their own mothers, those who are spiritual mothers and everyone else in between- I pray that today wouldn’t be a day of hurt or struggle or sorrow, but a day when we take time to realize the profound impact we have the opportunity to make as women in this world. May we remember and celebrate those women who have set an example for us of grace, truth and inner-beauty. For those of us with children at home, may we realize how short life is and how valuable and precious each moment with our treasures can be if we will be present.
Today on Mother’s Day, whether you feel spoiled or neglected, loved or lonely, content or restless- remember that even if you’re struggling, we have the opportunity to be real with one another and to honor, support and encourage our sisters in this journey of motherhood. Look for ways to celebrate the wonderful women around you today. Choose to be a blessing.
Happy Mother’s Day, my mama friends. Breakfast in bed or no, you are amazing.
And really, no one wants crumbs in their bed anyway.