When the Card Aisle Falls Short
There are many lenses through which to view Mother’s Day and they don’t all look like what is expressed in the card aisle.
You won’t find a card for a mom on the first Mother’s Day after losing her child.
You won’t find a card for a child who has lost their mom.
You won’t find a card for someone experiencing grief related to infertility or childlessness on Mother’s Day.
You won’t find a card for a mother who has lost custody of her child or made the decision to place her child for adoption.
You won’t find a card to give to a mother with whom you’ve had a strained or complicated relationship, where the love didn’t always feel unconditional.
The Other Side of Mother’s Day
Mother’s Day can be many things depending on the mother, the child, and their story.
I had a dear friend tell me that she attends church every Sunday except for Mother’s Day. She said it was too painful to see the mothers in the congregation recognized when she had never had the opportunity to be one. This caused me to open my eyes to unacknowledged backstories of Mother’s Day and recognize that this holiday is not as straightforward for many as a nice dinner or spa day.
Mother’s Day may not always come with gratitude and a sense of blessing, but it does always come with an opportunity. It’s a chance to reflect on the role of motherhood in our lives, and to honor the people who have fulfilled that role for us. It is a day to speak of a person you may not have mentioned in years. It is a day to count the ways you fill a mothering role, regardless of whether you have a child. It is a day to remember the story of motherhood in your own life, no matter how messy that story may be.
There is space for all of these stories on Mother’s Day, even if they don’t fit well onto a pastel card.
Making Mother’s Day Meaningful in Your Own Way
Mother’s Day is a reminder that motherhood takes many forms, and that we can honor and celebrate those forms in whatever way feels most meaningful to us.
If Mother’s Day is a difficult day for you, it can be helpful to think about ways to honor and celebrate the spirit of motherhood in your own unique way:
Get outside! Take a nature walk or go on a hike, and reflect on the complexities of motherhood
Cook a special meal that honors a maternal figure in your life, or just something that brings you comfort
Have a self-care day, with activities like taking a long bath or getting a massage
Plant flowers or a tree in memory of a loved one
Spend time doing something that brings you joy, whether it’s reading a book, painting, or listening to music
Reach out to a friend who may also be finding Mother’s Day difficult and offer support or companionship
At Blue Ridge Hospice, we see you and we are thinking of you — all of you.