The Women I'm Keeping in Mind this Mother's Day

I am not a mother. I'm probably years and years from ever becoming a mother, if I even go down that path at all. I have a mother who I love deeply, and I've had many motherly figures help raise me up over the years, and I'm grateful for each of them as we celebrate this day every year. But, I have mixed feelings about all that motherhood means too, to be totally honest, and I've been thinking a lot as Mother's Day approaches that this holiday surely brings up mixed feelings for many.

I don't claim to know anything about motherhood, and only really know what it's like to have a mother, but I do think this holiday is one we should approach consciously and cautiously. We shouldn't hold back our celebrations out of fear of offending (and don't think any mother would want that, or any other woman to want that either), but we should be aware that it isn't always a lovely day full of bouquets and breakfasts in bed and carnations handed out at church for all women. It can be messy. It can be so much more than we realize.

Mother's Day can be an emotionally draining day, a deeply painful day, a day that reminds women of all the unmet longings and desires of their hearts, or a day that brings up old wounds and reminds women of broken relationships and crushed dreams and great loss.

Goodness, these things can feel heavy, can't they?

Mother's Day should be a day of celebrating, of acknowledging, of recognizing, of affirming.

This Mother's Day, perhaps more than any other, I am aware this day isn't just about all of that. I'm aware of more stories, more struggles, and more sweet reasons to celebrate too, and I want to honor them all this upcoming Sunday.

This Mother's Day, may we show love to more than just our own moms. May we open our eyes and our hearts to truly see and celebrate each other well. May we notice the women Hallmark cards might overlook, and may we let them know they are welcome and wanted regardless of their story. May we look each woman in the eye and affirm her value and worth, no matter if she has kids or not. May we celebrate all the motherly figures around us, thanking them for their hearts and their presence in our lives. May it be a day not of alienating women because of their stories or experiences or seasons of life, but a day of truly recognizing and giving thanks for each woman's life and her beautifully unique and meaningful story.

May we keep these women in mind this Mother's Day:

The woman who gave birth to you.

The woman you call Mom or Mama or Madre or Mommy or something else entirely.

The women who have given birth to beautiful, precious babies.

The women who desperately want to be mothers, but cannot conceive.

The women who were motherly figures in your life, no matter what that looked like.

The women who have lost their sweet babies and have no tiny hands on earth to hold.

The women who have been abandoned by their own mothers.

The women who have opened their hearts and homes to babies for now, knowing they might not get to keep them forever.

The women who were mentors, teachers, coaches, leaders, shepherds, and friends to you over the  years.

The women grieving the loss of their children.

The women who became mothers without wanting it, and who would rather not be called "mom."

The women whose babies are not of their own blood, but have become family still through love.

The women who are in your village, coming alongside the mothers to provide a second set of hands to help and a second heart full of love to give.

The women whose children have left the nest and are no longer under the same roof.

The women whose children are prodigals, or who have cut off a relationship, or who aren't interested in being called a son or daughter.

The women who love being mothers, and the women who are struggling with the weight of motherhood.

The brand new mamas, and the seasoned ones, and the ones somewhere in between.

The grandmothers who have seen new generations of mothers and babies come after her.

The women who played the role of both mom and dad to their kiddos.

The women still fighting for a family of some kind, in some way.

To women everywhere: we see you and celebrate you this Mother's Day and every day.