Sunday, May 10, 2009

Recasting Mother's Day

Mother’s Day has simple and good intentions, but for many it is a difficult day. Many feel unworthy of it, and many wonder why there’s no day for them. Indeed, the cards and commercials can make it seem like a day for none of us—for who could be so perfect as these sanitized, sparkling, fake families?


In the midst of the myth of Hallmark perfection, let us also remember those often hurt or forgotten on Mother’s Day:


The women who have lost a child--born or unborn, young or old, an only or one of many, recent or long ago but not forgotten . . .

The women and men who have lost or never known their mother . . .

The women who want a child but are still waiting, and those who will never be able . . .

The women who want to adopt but are still waiting, and those who will never be able . . .

The women whose family members don't recognize their motherhood or children as "real" because they came via adoption or marriage or they don't look the same . . .

The mothers who placed their children for adoption and struggle to find their place in their lives, and the mothers who did so secretly and silently endure the condemnation of "I don't understand how any woman could do that" from those who have never even tried to understand . . .

The mothers unknown around the world whose children have journeyed to America without them, their identities lost and too often forgotten . . .

The single mother who feels blamed for society's ills . . .

The lesbian woman whose motherhood is scorned as second class . . .

The woman who regrets her abortion . . .

The woman in the depths of postpartum depression who despite her best efforts, at this moment regrets her baby . . .

The women whose daughters endure abuse and whose sons rot in jail . . .

The women and children and orphans who live on $1 a day while we spend $1.5 billion on throwaway cards . . .

The women who are not called mom but take the time to bake her brownies, go to his games, staff the nursery, take her underwear shopping, vote in school board elections, send birthday cards, attend graduations, chaperone trips, walk to the well, and work for peace . . .

Women who feel they don’t fit, women of complex stories, women of the real world . . .


This day may not be easy for you, but you are remembered, and you too are worthy of honor.


To all the women who have loved me and those I love—thank you for blessing my life and our world with your love.




Partly inspired by this blog post: "For the Childless Woman on Mother's Day" by author Vinita Hampton Wright

3 comments:

Amy said...

Well said.

Julie said...

Wow, do you ever ROCK! Thanks for the post.

Kelli said...

Amen