Mother's Day is misunderstood and undercelebrated

The title is misleading. Mother's Day isn't about getting some flowers for your mom. Or having your kids wake you up with breakfast. Or mow your lawn. Or take you out to eat. And it's certainly not about an egg. More on that later.

For those who have experienced the joys and absolute heartache of being a mother it can be a very painful day. What happens when children don't call and send cards. When there are families divided. When there are motherless children and childless mothers. When Mother's Day for some is someone else's holiday. When as a newlywed, I miscarried, I had my very first bout of Mother's Day grief. I should have been entering my third trimester. I should have been planning a nursery. A baby shower. I hated Mother's Day that year.

Mother's Day doesn't need to be a day of resentment or grief though. And it shouldn't be. First, as I get older, facing health issues that I as an invincible youth never thought would happen to me, I realize every day is a day to celebrate something. That said, Mother's Day isn't really about owning the moniker. It's about the essence of being human. Of caring for another.

Everyone who has ever mothered someone. Nurtured. Given of themselves. Shared their wisdom. Fought their battles. Dried their tears. Boosted their self esteem. If you have ever done this for anyone for any reason, today is your day. Take it and celebrate it. Celebrate all you have done and every life you have touched. Throw out the labels and start valuing your own gift to the world. The lessons you've taught. The gardens you've sown. The life you've lived and shared.

Hubby used to say "hey, you're not my mother" when I asked "so where's my card? Seems he was missing the point. Which was not that I needed a card. It was that this was a day to honor all those in his life who represented what motherhood is.

So today I want to ask you to seek out those who have impacted your life in a positive way and wish them a happy Mother's Day. Change the name if you feel it necessary. Allow them to share in the glory of being a positive influence on your life. Allow them to understand that one can be a mother by way of actions, not circumstance.

The tireless volunteers at the Humane Society. The big brother or sister who stepped in to protect and nurture a sibling. The teacher who saw potential where others saw trouble. The aunt who steps in and parents when distance becomes just too great.

I personally want to thank my sister... and wish her a very happy mother's day. For many years she has been a huge influence not only on my daughters, but all her nieces and nephews. We don't have an "Aunt's Day". Or a Daughter's Day. We should. My sister was there for my father as well. And my Grandfather. She is the go-to one in our extended spread out family. The one who keeps everyone else grounded and in touch. So today, on what some call Mother's Day, I say Happy Sister's Day to you Wendy. Happy Daughter's Day. And Happy Granddaughter's Day.

And to my friends who took on the role of mother, or grandmother, because it was given to them. And they saw what a gift that was. To my friends who have lost a child. Or a sibling. Or a parent. Their own mother. Remember to celebrate today. Celebrate who they were and their place on this earth.

Mother's Day was created to honor the remarkable character, and influence, of women. Today, in our crazy mixed up society, that translates into honoring those who personify the true essence of being a mother... regardless of gender, regardless of age, and most importantly, regardless of whether the egg was theirs or not.

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