A friend recently asked if I’d tell her about Mother’s Day, so here I am telling you too.
I don’t go to church on Mother’s Day anymore. Well, to be completely honest, I don’t go to church much at all anymore. But, that’s a post for another day. A whole church service all about mothers? I just can’t do it.
I love moms
It’s not that I don’t love mothers — quite the opposite in fact. I love my mom. She helped me become the woman I am today, not just by the way she raised me, but also through the people she brought into my life. I think of her friends who are like aunts and uncles to me. I think of her colleagues who are genuinely interested in my life. She’s opened up my life to new ideas and authors and hobbies and all kinds of things that make my life good and full. I love my mom, so of course I think there should be a day to celebrate her.
There are also many other mothers in my life that are reasons to celebrate: My husband’s mother. The mothers of my nieces and nephews. My friends who are mothers. Mothers of former youth group members. Youth group volunteers who were mothers. Church mothers. The list goes on and on.
So, should there be a day to celebrate mothers? Yes. Absolutely. I just don’t want to be there in church when flowers are handed out and children and mothers sing an anthem together and pastors try to be inclusive while often missing the mark.
This year is easy. I just won’t tune into the live broadcast. Done and done.
Be easy with yourself
In past years I’ve marked off this week on my calendar with this phrase: Be easy with yourself. Every day I’d see that note when I opened my calendar. It was a gentle reminder to not overschedule myself. It’s hard to do this time of year — not overschedule myself. In addition to Mother’s Day, there’s also my dad’s birthday and our wedding anniversary all usually in the same week. One would be enough, three is too many.
I was surprised that the note wasn’t there when I looked on my calendar recently, but maybe somehow my past self knew I wouldn’t need to worry about overscheduling myself this year.
No social media
Part of being easy with myself is staying off of social media as much as I can on Mother’s Day and really the day before and after. I love that everyone gets pictures with their children. I love that they receive gifts from spouses. I love that they are loved on this special day. I just don’t want to see it.
At first I felt bad about this, that I wouldn’t be a good friend if I didn’t “like” their happy Mother’s Day pictures. But then I thought about it from their point of view. First, would they even notice if I liked their photo or not? Probably not. Second, would they want me to feel bad about not being a mom because I saw their post? I don’t think so. They get plenty of love and feedback on their posts — me taking care of myself on Mother’s Day is valid and necessary.
A good, full life
Since setting down my book earlier this year and not really having any desire to pick it up, I have felt a sense of peace about motherhood, or lack thereof. Of course I have moments when I feel sad that I’m not a mom, but generally speaking I really love my life. I appreciate being able to dig into my hobbies without interruption. I am grateful for space to think and write and read and create all on my own timeline. I’ve accepted that this is my life and I’m leaning into it with curiosity and gratitude.
I’m not bitter about my infertility. I’m not angry with my body. I’m not longing for a different life. All of this feels like a beautiful gift dropped in my lap after years of working through grief and anger and disappointment.
And, I don’t want to sit through a service celebrating moms. I don’t want to scroll through posts with cute kids. I don’t want to subject myself to that. And that’s okay.
Both are true: I love my life and I don’t want to be immersed in the day.
This Mother’s Day I will see my mom and my husband’s mom. I’ll send texts to my friends who are mothers. I will thank my sisters-in-law for being wonderful mothers to our nieces and nephews. And that will be enough.
So that’s what I have to say about Mother’s Day.