I’ve always viewed Mother’s Day as a commercialized holiday meant to guilt people into purchasing expensive flowers and gifts for mother figures. I was surprised to learn that the holiday that we have today is far removed from the holiday it was intended to be. For some interesting information about the origins of this holiday take a look at this article on American Live Wire. Regardless of its commercialized taint, Mother’s Day is a difficult day for many. There are those who no longer have a mother to celebrate with, or those who have been trying unsuccessfully to become mothers themselves. For better or worse, this holiday puts motherhood and mothers at the forefront of our minds. It can be a sad day and I think this sadness should be acknowledged.
To me, Mother’s Day should be about celebrating motherhood in all its forms. You needn’t have ever been pregnant to be a mother, and you needn’t have carried a baby to term either. Motherhood is a state of being that transcends biology. There are women who will never have a child of their own (either by choice or circumstance) and they are mothers, too. If you’ve ever loved a child as if he/she were your own then you are a mother. Being a mother is not made up of the single act of adopting, or becoming pregnant. Being a mother is a verb, it is something you do with your whole being, with your whole heart.
Being a mother, to me, is nurturing the caretaker side of our humanity. By this definition being a mother isn’t limited to women. Men can be mothers as well.
When I think back to my own childhood I fear that I am not living up to the standard my mother set. I don’t feel as organized as she seemed to be. To this day I often feel incapable of stocking up my pantry, and planning dinners consistently still eludes me. But don’t feel sorry for me, because I don’t. This sort of thing amuses me because whenever I talk to other women I usually find that at some point we all feel this way. Mothers tend to be very critical of themselves. I believe it means that we care.
For all the mothers out there, in all their forms, ages, and stages, and for those who look down on us from above: Happy Mother’s Day!