As a woman with both the children that I wanted and a solid relationship with my own mom, Mother's day is easy. But not so for everyone. For some Mother's Day is woven with pain, regret, or grief. And so today I offer the thought that perhaps mothering is not only for those who have children.
Mothering, I believe, can also mean healing ourselves and the pain that we carried with us from our own childhood; mothering the frightened or grieving or broken child within us. Mothering is the tender nurturing that we offer to all who are smaller and more vulnerable than ourselves. Mothering means standing with humility and grace beside our own shadow selves, knowing that we are often not as we wish we might be. It is being brought to our knees by the day-to-day struggles of this life, then finding the strength to stand up and begin anew. And yes, mothering is also the rewarding but sisyphean task tending of the children (birthed or adopted or chosen) who encircle our lives.
To those who struggle with fertility, depression, or loss; to those whose relationships with their own mother is painful or wrought with grief; to those who grieve the loss of a parent or a child, know that you are seen. And Mother's Day (like everyday) is likely not easy.
Take this day to nourish and nurture the child within you, to heal a bit of what is broken, and to simply acknowledge where it hurts. Wherever you stand today, and whether you stand there alone or surrounded by those you love, I wish each of you love and peace, today and onward.
Happy Mother's Day, my friends.