Mother’s Day – perhaps yet another “hallmark holiday” but at it’s core, I think the idea of taking a day to celebrate the mothers in our lives is a wonderful one. A day to think about motherhood in general, and if you are the type that likes to over-analyze (guilty hand raised), to reflect on what it all means. What does being a mother mean?
For me, being a mother is the greatest role I’ve ever had in my life. I hesitate saying that because it seems to be such a cliche – that all women are born to be mothers, that it’s supposed to be the single biggest joy-filled satisfaction piece any of us with lady-parts will ever receive. I call that malarkey. It is for some people, it’s not for others and everything is right in that picture. Some women don’t feel the draw to being a mother – some don’t soak it up like the proverbial sponge and relish in it. I wish we supported those women more in their non-desire.
And some women were perhaps interested in mothering, drawn to it in a way but the stars didn’t align on a course that set it in motion. So they’ve become mothers in other ways: by nurturing people who need it. By loving and supporting those they sense need it. I have been mothered myself by many, many women who did not physically bear children yet are in every way to me true mothers. I wish we supported these women more in honoring that they are, indeed mothers: whether a child came from their body is beside the point.
Just as we support those that are like me – the ones that are culturally on-target. The ones that always wanted to be a mother and wanted it more than anything.
Being a part of that process that allows them to grow into the brilliant people they are is more satisfying to me than anything I’ve ever done.
Nurturing their love for one another
Encouraging them in all the fair-play bits that I know will serve them well in life.
There is so much I”m learning and trying to understand in this process of ‘mothering’ – like finding that balance between myself, me and Mikey, and the children. Like learning to take housework in bite-sized digestible pieces and also learning to not sweat the small stuff as much. Believing in my instinct, acting on intuition.
It’s never ending, this learning.
And how much I actually love.
“Mother” – a role that literally shapes humanity. Mothers are the first teachers of their children – if you have an educated mother, you have an educated child. A mother with courage, integrity and humor will teach her children to value and imbue the same. A compassionate mother teaches her children to show compassion, just as a mother that loves light will show her children that dancing rays of reflective sun-bits can make a spirit bright.
The Shape of a Mother - a movement meant to encourage us to look at what our bodies – or a mother’s body – have been through, accomplished and to love that more than we love we airbrushed celebrity gloss.As do laugh lines, our bodies earn their sag and it’s everything to be proud of. My body did this, I think sometimes as I look at my kids – my body grew these people! And I look different than I once did. My stretch marks, my extra flesh, my moles and what-have-you are tokens of the love I have for my children.
We all have those tokens. I’d like us to be gentler with ourselves about them, to honor less the physical form of a teenaged girl and honor more the body that bears tokens of love.
Being a mother means a love greater than a life. And too many instances, it literally means a life. Tune into Every Mother Counts: No Mother’s Day to increase and raise awareness:
- Approximately 358,000 women die each year due to complications in pregnancy and childbirth. That’s one woman every 90 seconds.
- For every woman who dies each year in childbirth, 20-30 more suffer from lifelong debilitating disabilities.
- Pregnancy is the number one cause of death in women, ages 15-19, in the developing world. Nearly 70,000 young women die every year because their bodies are not ready for parenthood.
- Over 200 million women who would like to choose when they get pregnant don’t have access to family planning.
- The United States ranks 50th globally in maternal mortality, even though it spends more on health care per capita than any other nation in the world. African American women are four times more likely to die in childbirth than Caucasian women.
But what is “special”? According to the dictionary, it’s: distinguished, distinctive; important in own way. Synonyms of “special” include uncommon, out of the ordinary, unique, significant, extraordinary.
The things a mother of a child without a disability may do that might seem uncommon or distinguished to a mother of a child with a disability. The presence of a disability may mean less in the overall picture than the personality of the child/mother and the circumstances and environment in which they live.
|Tomorrow is Mother’s Day – and to all of you Nurturing Spirits out there, I hope you have a great one!|
|And an extra-special one for my own Ma. She who is the bestest of the restest! The Mama with the mostest! I love you, Ma. xoxo|