Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Sting of Mother's Day

I can remember when I was growing up Mom used to talk about the church she grew up in.  On Mother's Day every woman got a flower.  (Bravo!   Do you know how many women  hate Mother's Day because they want children and can't have them?  That church was doing something right to celebrate ALL women on Mother's Day.)  Except -- if your mother was alive you got a flower of one color.  If she was deceased you got a flower of another.  Can you imagine the first year you had to choose a flower of the "deceased" color?   That would bring the pain of her death right back to you.

photo courtesy of

Then there are the churches who give a gift to a mother.  I visited a church a few years ago on Mother's Day and was handed a Mother's Day gift.  I hung my head and said I wasn't a mother.   (I have always wanted to wait until marriage for children.  Because I am not married -- in a huge part because I was taking care of my mother as her health failed -- I am dismissed on Mother's Day.)  The greeter smiled at me and said, "Take it anyway."  Know how happy that made me?  It wasn't the trinket he pressed into my hand, but it felt like he was saying, "It's okay.  You're valuable, too.  And I don't want to make you remember the pain of a loss you never have had."

What about the gifts of "Oldest mother present" (Who likes to tell their age), "Youngest mother present" (often times a baby herself), "Mother with the most children"  (remember there are those who have lost children either by miscarriage or by childhood disease or accident -- please don't bring up that pain).  

Another time I was in church on Mother's Day and the pastor was giving a sermon about how mothers are so important and they can influence their children.  He was emphasizing this just a little too strongly, I thought.  Yes, mothers have influence, but sometimes the best mothers can have a wayward son.  During the sermon -- until she left because she was sobbing -- was the mother of a child who wasn't in church.  The sermon made her feel like a failure.

Is it important to honor mothers?  YES!  It it important to honor women?   YES!  Are there women who want to be mothers who aren't?  YES! 

So, please, as you are thinking of Mother's Day celebrations at church, remember those who might be feeling pain on this day and plan your celebration accordingly.  Why not give a small gift to all women and talk about the mothering spirit?  Or even not mention earthly mothers and make the focus on Mary, the Mother of Jesus.  Even if we don't have children, she is someone all women could aspire to be more like her. 

Just please remember those who might find pain in this holiday.


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  2. I agree Jenn. I think there should be a celebration for all woman. I guess many of us get caught up in Mother's Day that we forget to to acknowledge women who don't have kids or lost a mother or child. Just because you are not a mom doesn't mean you are any less valuable. I am glad the one greeter told you to keep the gift. I am very sorry that you lost your mother, but I am sure she is watching over you. I would go ahead and take a break from sweepstakes until Monday if seeing all these contests are getting you down. *hugs*

  3. Jenn, I went through all that the first 17 years of my marriage. I always hated when they gifted moms only and those who had the most, etc. Some women are lucky to even be able to birth children. Imagine being the mother of adopted children and having "friends" ask, are they your "real" children? Of course they are real! You see them standing there, don't you???

  4. That was supposed to read 7 years, not 17. (not button to edit.)