Monday, May 6, 2013

The Bittersweet Sting of Mother's Day

I'd love some cookies like this for Mom's Day!
Each May, the world stops to honor moms. In Spain it is the first Sunday of May while in Mexico, Mother's Day is May 10 whatever day that lands. In the US and many other countries, moms are honored the second Sunday in May.

For most people this is a joyous occasion, either as a mom themselves or honoring their own beloved moms. There is, however, a fraction of the population that has a bittersweet sting each Mother's Day. Motherless daughters like myself know what I speak of.

I hadn't really thought much about it until I was asked last week to reflect on motherhood. The 40 minute interview was really the first time anyone had asked me in depth about my feelings on motherhood.  It was enlightening.

The question that triggered the most tender response was asking me to describe motherhood in three words. One of my words was "loss". We kept talking for a minute but then the interviewer circled back to that word and asked me to describe why I used it. Never before that moment, had I truly felt the deep and profound loss that I feel related to motherhood. It was telling. I could barely speak. And while my feelings take nothing away from all the mother figures in my life over the years - it was only in that moment that I made the connection of my motherhood to that of the lack of my mom in the journey.

So for all the joy that is being a mom to my two kids, I realized the sting of motherhood for me last week. And then I thought of countless other women; others whose moms have passed away - regardless of when it happened. Women who may have "lost" their moms to abandonment. Women who have moms that they do not have a relationship with or with whom they have a very poor relationship. Women who had children but lost them. Women who long to have children but cannot for whatever reason. Mother's Day has a bittersweet sting for these women.

Please take a moment this Mother's Day to be on the lookout for hurting people who are not quite celebrating. Look for them in your life this week as you cut through the clutter to buy gifts and take moms out to eat - notice people who may need an encouraging word. Take a moment to proactively reach out to women you know that possibly fall into the categories listed in the previous paragraph.

I'm certain they will appreciate the extra love this weekend.

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