–by Sara Borgstede [read more from Sara on her website, The Holy Mess]
There is a movement in recent years to do away with celebrating Mother’s Day.
It’s a fair argument that Mother’s Day has become too commercialized.
It’s also important to consider how Mother’s Day is achingly painful for so many of us:
- Those who have lost children.
- Those who have lost mothers.
- Those who have suffered abuse, infertility, and broken relationships.
My heart hurts for women who have lost a child and are getting through the hours of this day. My breath catches a little as I type that sentence, just thinking of their loss. It’s a wound so painful, I want to turn from thinking of it, yet they live with it every day. I can’t begin to know that type of pain and I won’t pretend I do.
While I have no experienced infertility or the loss of a child through death, I can in some small way relate to painful motherhood experiences.
I’m a foster mom who has said goodbye to over 30 foster children. Those losses crushed pieces of my heart in ways I am still trying to grasp. Like a heart bypass, I learn to adapt and continue, but the damaged areas remain and will always, with little names written on each.
As an adoptive parent, I share the title of “mom” with two birth mothers, and in the darker, lonely times of night I am forced to admit the tentacles of jealousy have wrapped around my heart. I don’t always want to share.
One of my children is currently living in a residential treatment facility due to his early childhood trauma. When I walk by his empty bedroom, it’s a daily reminder that my child needs more care than I am equipped to provide.
What’s been most true for me of Mother’s Day is simply my lack of honesty with myself and my family about the day. I say, “It’s okay, you don’t need to do anything for me,” and then feel frustrated when I get what I ask for.
Also true of me, and I suspect many women:
I’m a really good giver and a really lousy receiver.
Mother’s Day is a good chance to practice working on this. If I’m always busy as the giver, my children lose the chance to be needed. My husband misses out on serving me.
If my hands are constantly filled with the tasks of giving, when will they be open to receiving the blessings?
Why I Won’t Give Up on Mother’s Day
I’m not quite ready to give up on Mother’s Day.
Yes, it’s commercialized, but is that really so bad? If the Hallmark company is capitalizing on reminding me to thank my mother, more power to them. She deserves it and they deserve my $4.99.
I will take my nap and enjoy the meal so lovingly prepared for me. I’ll take every card and gift and exclaim over each treasure. I will ask for gifts I want, time I need for a break, and allow my family to serve me on this day. I won’t pretend it doesn’t matter and that I don’t appreciate some recognition.
I will give others the gift of being needed. I will let them serve me.
During my time of rest today, I will embrace my heart’s damaged places, jealous interweavings, and do-too-much tendencies and allow healing to come in.
I will open my hands.