As Mother’s Day approaches, I face it with my usual dread. Though there are so many mothers that we can and should honor (I love you, Mom!!), there are so many people for whom this is a hard day. I am at the stage in life when many of my friends are having children. There are the sonogram picture announcements about the pregnancies, the gender-reveal parties, the showers, and, of course, the onslaught of beautiful baby pictures. It is a time of great joy and most of the time it feels like a gift, especially to be a part of it all when friends live far away.
But then I remember all of those friends who want to be pregnant, but struggle with infertility. Each pregnancy announcement is bittersweet. And I remember all of those friends who have lost a pregnancy. Those sonogram pictures bring up fresh rounds of grief. And I remember those friends who have lost children after birth. Those pictures of swaddled babies bring back the muscle memory of empty arms.
Of course, that does not even include all the other ways that Mother’s Day can be difficult: the mothers we have lost, the mothers who have been abusive, the mothers who are estranged from their children. The list goes on and on. And so, each year, my Mother’s Day tradition has been to reread this wonderful ode to “The Wide Spectrum of Mothering,” by Amy Young. May you bless and be blessed this Mother’s Day, affirming all the women in your life.