While the incredible complexities of motherhood are rarely spoken about, my plan is to change all that with Treasuring Mothers. This website and podcast are all about giving honour and value to mothers. And celebrating Mother’s Day is high on the list.
I hope you had a memorable day last Sunday, and that you had a moment to stop and reflect on some of your motherhood moments. It’s a day you can use to reflect on the challenges AND the triumphs. I hope you did.
While it’s a good thing to celebrate mothers, and the extraordinary work they do for their families and communities globally, sadly I am often greeted with a blank look when I talk about my work to value-add to mothers here.
“Why Focus on Motherhood?” they wonder.
The usual response makes me cringe. Why is there a reluctance to give mothers their due? Is it because so many women do this motherhood thing? Because it’s so normal? Or because it’s just one of those things you do without giving it much thought?
Or perhaps I get that glazed-over look because it’s the thing women do when they’re “not working”, so it’s somehow less than “real” life? Well, that’s just silly! Don’t we aim to be integrated people, who encompass and embrace all that life throws at us? The everyday, and the exceptional. The proud moments and those you would rather not talk about?
It’s good to focus on motherhood because it has to be one of the most difficult, but eternally rewarding, jobs anyone can do.
It requires strength, tenacity, resilience, tears, and lots of prayer!
Even if like me, you no longer have a mother, there are some special ways you can honour your mother’s memory. So it’s not impossible to have had a happy mother’s day, even if emotions rise for you.
Celebrating Mother’s Day? Do it with Panache!
Even if your mother is not in your day-to-day life, there are still ways you can celebrate. I know it’s a sad day for lots of women, me included. I’m not the only one to have lost her mother as a teenager.
Perhaps you are struggling after the death of your mother. If so, you could join the Facebook Group Without My Mum, where you will find much solace. Celebrating Mother’s Day is also difficult for those whose mothers are mentally unwell, or suffering diseases of old age such as dementia, or a debilitating stroke.
On the other hand, maybe you are estranged from your mother. Or unfortunately, you just plain do-not-get-on-with-her.
Let’s be real. These are all difficult scenarios. It can hurt. Even so, there are still ways you can celebrate Mother’s Day. The absolutely best suggestion I have for you is to write to all down. Put some of those thoughts onto paper. Get them out of your system. It’s an amazingly freeing thing to do.
Here is my prayer for you if you are struggling:
May God be close to you as you pour your heart out,
in your frustration, your sadness,
your grief and your disappointment.
Allow Him to show you a way out of those emotions
to contentment, joy and peace.
And if your mother is still on this earth? Mother’s Day is an important day to let her know you are thinking of her. Time with her will one day end. Who knows what tomorrow will bring?
And If you Missed Celebrating Mother’s Day?
Well, it’s still not too late!
Here are some ways I’ve celebrated Mother’s Day in the past. Maybe you can catch up with one of these ideas this week.
1. Call your mother, or children, on the phone or Skype/Facetime/Zoom
Obviously, getting in touch is the thing to do. But sending an SMS or email just doesn’t cut it, no matter where you are with your relationship.
Go on – actually have a chat. It’s soooo much better than e-communication, no matter how many emojis you use. The one-on-one connection of hearing each other’s voices, will build up and affirm, both of you.
2. If your mother is still here on earth, pray a special blessing for her
Thank you God for my mother.
She brought me into the world, and I am grateful.
I pray you will bless her today in all she does.
I know she is not perfect, and I forgive her for the times she hurt me.
Give me an opportunity to express my love for her.
Let me enjoy the days I have remaining with her in my life.
3. Write a letter to her, or to your children
Sometimes it’s good to express deep-seated emotions in a hand-written letter. A letter like this does not have to be delivered, especially if it holds difficult angst. As well, if your mother or a child have passed on, it’s a good way of expressing thoughts, ideas, love, regret and grief.
However, you may take this as a very positive opportunity to pour out your love and appreciation in a way you would not normally express. And those sorts of letters are eagerly received! These notes will be treasured possessions for years to come.
4. Remind her of her powerful effect on your life
5. Show your love with something delicious
Eating food together is the traditional way to celebrate. But why not be creative and make it extra-special? From special dress-codes (formal; black and white; silly hats), to take-away at the beach, to good ol’ home made fare. Whatever you do, treat yourselves to an experience to remember!
6. Watch a great movie
With or without your mother, watching a movie can be a soul-building experience. If you live miles apart, you could even arrange to watch it at the same time, with a phone or internet connection open so you can experience it together.
Then again, what about a mother-daughter girls-night-in some time soon? Or mother-son? Or, why not ask the whole family!
Here are some suggestions for great mother-daughter movie moments:
WONDER with Julia Roberts as Isabel: “Because I’m your Mum it counts the most because I know you the most.”
The Blind Side
THE BLIND SIDE with Sandra Bullock as Leigh Anne, “You threaten me, you threaten my son.”
Miracles from Heaven
MIRACLES FROM HEAVEN with Jennifer Garner as Christy, “I’m not leaving this hospital until I know what’s wrong with my daughter!”
Secret Life of Bees
SECRET LIFE OF BEES with Queen Latifah as August, “Some things in life, like the colour of a house, really don’t matter. But lifting someone’s heart? Now that matters.”
While Mother’s Day for this year has come and gone, it is never too late to late to say “I love you” to the ones you love. Those might just be the best three words you ever let someone hear you say.