The older I have become, the more complicated Mother’s Day seems for me. I grew up with an amazing mother. She made tremendous sacrifices for our family, she was incredible witness to what serving Christ and others meant, and she was a caring and loving presence in my life. As I have become an adult, our relationship has naturally changed. We do not agree on a variety of things, but I have a deep love and admiration for her – more than I could probably ever explain or express to her or to you.
But as I have become an adult, the idea of motherhood has shifted. When I moved away from my family, other women became mothers to me too. I have become a mother myself and now see how incredibly difficult the job is. And I have watched friends and family lose beloved mothers – sometimes at a very young age, and sometimes at a much more mature age. The loss never goes away.
But I have also seen the darker side of mothers. I have come to know individuals who were abused by their mothers. I have come to know women who want to be mothers but cannot. I have come to know mothers whose relationships with their children have become estranged and irreparably damaged.
So every year, given that Mother’s Day falls on a Sunday, I find myself torn about Mother’s Day. I find myself wanting to celebrate the goodness of mothers – however we define motherhood. And I find myself wanting to acknowledge how wholly painful this day is to others. The best I can do is be honest about that tension and pray for all of us – that we somehow manage to hold our joy and our sorrow in tension this Mother’s Day. And for all of us, I offer up this prayer: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/42236079/The%20wide%20spectrum%20of%20mothering%20%28resource%29.pdf