Mother’s Day is coming up. It’s a weekend that I simultaneously love and hate. There’s a sense of celebration, yet a sense of grief. There’s joyfulness, while sadness also looms in the shadows.
I love that everyone that has a mother they could celebrate, but I hate that some are unable to this weekend because of broken relationships with their mothers.
I love that Mom’s get special recognition for a job they do so unselfishly, but hate that many mother’s don’t appreciate how their family chooses to honor them.
I love that I have the honor of being a mom after years of infertility, while hating the pain of each Mother’s Day we remained unable to be parents.
I love that people sent a sweet note recognizing Mother’s Day had to be one of the most difficult days of the year for me during infertility, yet hate that more people don’t realize the emotions going through many women’s hearts on Mother’s Day weekend.
I love the fact that I have a wonderful mom (and mother-in-law), who has always been supportive and loving in my life, but I hate that we are hundreds of miles away from each other.
I love that my paternal grandmother is a relatively healthy 93 year old woman who still knits my babies blankets, yet hate that my maternal grandmother is no longer living (and that my mom grieves her passing each holiday as well).
I love this stage of life where so many of my friends can celebrate being new moms, but hate that many of them will avoid church and Facebook this weekend because their heart longs to be a mom and have children and all the reminders are just too painful.
So as this weekend approaches I find myself in a quandary. How do I balance the joy of celebrating Mother’s Day, while being sensitive to those who struggle with the holiday? Do we avoid celebrating Mother’s Day? No. Do we stand paralyzed not knowing what to say, how to say it, or what to post on social media this weekend? I think there are a few solutions to this predicament.
Celebrate the mom’s in your life and allow yourself to be celebrated if you are a mom. If you have a rough relationship with your biological mother or mother-in-law, remember the mother figures in your life…and celebrate them.
2. Don’t feel guilty.
Many of us are blessed to have good relationships with our moms, while some are not. You may celebrate with your mom in person, while others are separated by distance (or death). Are you a mom, while many of your friends aren’t? Don’t feel guilty for celebrating, but DO remember to be sensitive this weekend as many women’s hearts are hurting.
3. Be sensitive.
Words are extremely powerful and can build someone up or tear someone down. Use your words (and your social media posts) wisely this weekend and consider how you can be sensitive to those dealing with a recent loss of a mom, the absence of a mom, the inability to be a mom, or relational strains with a mom. There are many forgotten faces of Mother’s Day and you don’t know who may be hurting on the inside. Use caution with your words, while exercising the freedom to celebrate the ways the Lord has blessed the relationships in your life.
4. Be intentional.
Be a blessing to someone this weekend who may be hurting. Celebrating a new mom, your own mom, or a friend might be easy, but think about how you can bless someone with a simple act this weekend. Need ideas?
- Send a text to a friend going through infertility letting them know you are thinking about them especially this weekend. (Recognize their pain.)
- Send a bouquet of flowers to an older woman without children or who’s children have passed away. (Show them they are loved.)
- Call a friend who has lost their mom. This can be a recent loss or past loss…no matter the time frame they will still be thinking of their mom this weekend. (Allow them to grieve.)
- Ask someone what their favorite thing was about their mom. (Celebrate their legacy.)
- Don’t avoid difficult conversations about Mother’s Day, but don’t force someone to talk about it either. (Be vulnerable.)
- Remember that some “moms” aren’t biological and intentionally thank someone for being a mother-figure in your life can make all the difference. (Show appreciation.)
5. Be grateful.
There are so many things to be thankful for on Mother’s Day weekend — regardless of your circumstances. When I was going through infertility, I intentionally tried to focus on how many of my friends had such beautiful children and was grateful that they got to experience that joy. (Was I simultaneously grieving on the inside? Most definitely. But looking at how I could be thankful for infertility truly helped me survive the day.) Because of the sacrificial hearts of so many mothers around the world, our children, our families, and ourselves, receive profound amounts of love, caring, and support.
As you go into this weekend, look at how you can be a blessing as well as being blessed by those around you. Allow some to grieve. Allow some to experience love. Surprise yourself and look at how many different blessings can come out of Mother’s Day weekend as you impact and love the women around you.