It’s a little crazy that I’m even writing this post. Should we celebrate Mother’s Day? That’s a debate?!?
But it’s 2017 and everything now is a heated debated. Have you noticed that? There are no calm discussions, only people screaming about their point of view. I did not realize Mother’s Day was a debate until my Facebook feed filled up with posts about it.
I was a little surprised and in case you are too, I’ll break it down. The debate goes like this, essentially:
YES we should celebrate Mother’s Day because mothers deserve a celebration and no one is upset about Father’s Day and people are just too sensitive.
NO we should not celebrate Mother’s Day because it excludes those who wish to be mothers and cannot or who have lost their children. Plus there are women who choose NOT to have kids and also it’s so commercial and about 50 other reasons.
Normally, I read a few posts on either side and move on. But I wanted to speak into this because I have some strong feelings about that I think are missing in the debate.
So, whether you think we should or should NOT celebrate Mother’s Day, will you please keep reading? Great. Let’s get into it.
Should We Celebrate Mother’s Day?
In some ways Mother’s Day has gone the way of commercial everything. Here in Texas, giant white tents start popping up in grocery store parking lots selling flowers and candy and other things. There are commercials and aisles dedicated to it and all kinds of hoopla. Like all holidays here in the US, it’s a little out of control.
Personally, I feel about Mother’s Day a little bit like I do about Valentines Day: Aren’t these holidays celebrating things we should really be doing EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR???
Yes, we should be showing people we love them and respecting and honoring our moms every day of the year. Still, it’s nice to have a day set aside for the honoring of moms. I can tell you honestly that most days DO NOT feel like a holiday otherwise. It is nice to have just ONE.
Give me Mother’s Day please, and give all the moms a day to be celebrated a honored and maybe even to get to sleep in and have a few hours “off” or getting pampered or having a nice meal or getting a sweet, handmade card from your kids. Let’s do that.
The Other Side of Mother’s Day
But a few years back I remember seeing Mother’s Day from another perspective. A friend who had been struggling for a long time with infertility remarked that she always skipped church on Mother’s Day because it was too hard. I had NEVER thought of this, yet never stopped thinking about it afterward. (I even wrote this post about it.)
Rob and I tried for nine months to have our first son (and had another period of four or so months trying in the middle of our now-five kids). While this seems so short compared to so many people waiting and longing, when you’re trying to get pregnant, nine months is like a lifetime.
Every MONTH is actually a lifetime. You’re waiting and waiting and waiting and timing and then when it’s a no, the clock resets. Everyone who knows you are trying asks you about it and then you have to tell them. Other people get pregnant in that time and you have to think nice thoughts about that. It’s pretty terrible.
I can hardly begin to understand what it’s like to wait for years and deal with doctors and pills and invasive options, but I have some very small sense of how hard it can be while you wait. (Read more about our story HERE.)
So when I heard that Mother’s Day is now a debate, I GET it.
I have a small understanding of what it would be like to totally DREAD this day.
Whether you’ve lost a child through miscarriage OR lost a child after birth OR are struggling with infertility OR have lost your mom OR had a really horrible and damaging mother, Mother’s Day probably feels a lot like a slap in the face. A day you very much wish did NOT exist.
I can’t imagine any of the moms I know who struggle with this day actually making a fuss about it. They’d rather be invisible. Stay home. Try not to think of the deep, deep longing. They aren’t starting heated debates on Facebook about it.
No matter how the conversation got started, I’m glad it did. Because while my short answer is YES, we should still celebrate Mother’s Day, I think we should ADD something to it.
What We Should Add to Mother’s Day
I think we should add a huge dose of compassion and understanding that this is a really difficult day for many. I recently read this post from Lindsay Ostrom of Pinch of Yum. While putting Piper to sleep, I wept reading the post while she nursed.
This post is a MUST-READ. It’s all about what to do when your friend loses a baby. It’s raw and real and vulnerable and gives some real suggestions for those of us who have had the good fortune NOT to have lost a baby.
While the post isn’t about all the other struggles and issues that people deal with on Mother’s Day, it peels back the curtain on the layer of grief. It gives you a sense, if you didn’t have one before, of how incredibly gut-wrenching this day can be for so many.
I would like to suggest that we all do something on Mother’s Day beyond honoring our own moms and (for those moms out there) enjoying (hopefully) the celebration.
I want to suggest that we all consider any women we know personally who may be suffering and consider how we can bring some light into HER day. Even if that’s a simple call or text to acknowledge that it’s hard.
Again, please read Lindsay’s post. It is so practical yet heartfelt and applies to more than just the situation of women who have lost their babies. I think that some of those suggestions would be amazing for the moms who maybe even just found out THIS WEEK that they aren’t pregnant. AGAIN. Or who lost their babies this week. Or lost their daughter two weeks ago. Or lost their mom last month.
Should we celebrate Mother’s Day? YES. But we can also extend kindness and consideration to the people in our lives who may struggle with this day.
What do YOU think? Should we celebrate Mother’s Day? Is it too commercial? Too difficult? Would YOU want someone reaching out to you if it’s a hard day? Share in the comments.