Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day: It Isn't Always Happy

My husband is amazing for many reasons. But on Mother's Day every year I am reminded so much of his compassionate spirit and his willingness to view things from all angles.

Since the first Mother's Day of our marriage, when I was already foster mom to two little boys, every service he has done has been sensitive and caring. And to me that is a huge statement of who he is as a person. Let me explain.

When I was growing up, Mother's Day was very typical at our church. The person who was the oldest mother got a flower. The mom with the most kids got a gift. The mother who had the most children and grandchildren in church that day was honored. It was a great big celebration for everyone who had a loving mother and everyone who was a mother.

But after we began to be involved in foster care and adoption another perspective started to creep in, and I have watched my mother year after year honor all kinds of different people in his services. He uses a litany that does this:

* honors women who have been mothers but were unable to raise their children;

* honors women who have not been able to bear children and comforts them;

* remembers those who have mothers who could not be mothers to them;

* helps people identify those who, though possibly not related by blood, have served as mothers for them...

and it goes on and on, but you get the idea.

Mother's Day isn't always a good day for a lot of people. It reminds people who aren't mothers of the pain of that role in society -- whether it is those who are single and wishing they were married or those who are married but haven't been able to have children -- that they have value and worth outside of the society defined roles.

It is also a difficult day for those who are part of the adoption kinship network -- the birthmoms who may be missing their birth child, children who are thinking about their birth moms while working hard to honor their adoptive moms, and adoptive parents who are confronted with the realities of raising children who have other mother's who live in their minds and hearts.

It also reminds those who have have mothers who have abandoned, neglected and abused them of all of the pain. And it has to be an especially horrible day for those who don't have a mom, like my online friend LT who writes about it so poignantly here.

I'm going to have a good mother's day because I'm going to focus on the fact that I have the privilege of being a mom.... and going to love on those kids who got stuck with me -- because I'm better than not having a mom at all.

And I'm heading to church, the winner of the lottery, because I'm married to a man who can see beyond the obvious and reach the hearts of everyone.


Suzy said...

Love this post. What a great guy Bart is. Happy Mother's Day to you

Kathleen said...

I had a great weekend, and a very pleasant and appropriate Mother's Day with kids and grandkids and other family members.

But I still don't go to church on Mother's Day, and I'm not sure when or if I ever will again.

Mom said...

We skipped church yesterday, left after Bible study, to avoid the Mother's Day stuff. We've had this tradition for over 20 years now. My husband suffered through life with a severly abusive mother and as a married couple we suffered through infertility. Now as adoptive parents... well, it is just all too hard. I wish churches would stop feeling like they need to celebrate these Hallmark holidays.