I let go of my expectations of Mother’s Day a long time ago.
That’s not to say I never had any, I did and lots of them. There was a small wrinkle in our life that never seemed to iron itself out. Mother’s Day is always on a Sunday and that is a full-on working day for my husband. When I said I do, I married a man who had committed his life to working on Sundays forever with The Bride of Christ, the church.
He is a pastor and when our children were younger we were involved in a dynamic large church. Bless his heart, he tried really hard to meet my unspoken and of course out-loud expectations, but year after year it just didn’t really work out. One year I remember that he had put our teenage son Jeremy, in charge of finishing up the meal for us after church. It turned out pretty well until we sat around the table and saw that we were missing one of our kids. Kevin had accidentally forgot to bring our middle son home. I thought he was bringing Jordan home that day but apparently we miscommunicated. It happens when you are a two car go-to-church family. It wouldn’t be the last time that one of us thought we had all the kids. I finally decided that it was okay and I knew that I was loved and celebrated other days of the year.
I’ve been reading some really good blogs this past week on this very topic about Mother’s Day and expectations and I’ve come to a conclusion.
Sometimes Mother’s Day doesn’t work out the way it is advertised incessantly in the media of seeing every store lined with flowers, chocolate and the perfect gift to get Mom.
Hallmark kind of commercials and happy faces don’t always materialize on that day.
Sometimes, Mother’s Day just plain hurts.
I have women in my world who wish they could be mothers and aren’t. I have friends who have lost their mothers to heaven too young and others who have watched their Mom wither away in a nursing home helpless to ease those last days. I have friends whose mother’s just don’t get them and they long for approval and acceptance. I know of women who stay home from church on that day because it doesn’t seem to address all women and the vast delicate emotions that can haunt the day.
It hurts. It’s painful. It’s not a picture perfect day.
What do we do then when Mother’s Day hurts? Let’s keep it as upbeat as we can for those who actually enjoy the day and the rest of us can just tough it out for the day. NOT!! When I was younger and not very wise, I had that very opinion, why does it have to be so hard for everyone? After all, good grief, it’s only one day!
The key word in that sentence is “grief.” Mother’s Day can bring grief, incalculable grief for many. Unmet expectations and scratching off scabs that we just try to let go and forget the other 364 days of the year.
The truth is, it can feel absolutely crushing for some and others it brings great joy and elation. What do we do then?
This is a blog and of course it is my opinion, but I think the answer is simply this…
Let’s give room to all women to be who they are on that day.
Let’s each decide how to either celebrate or grieve and give a wide-open space and abundant grace to each other.
Let’s pray for the women in our world who struggle and not add to their pain by placing our own judgments and expectations.
Let’s not add to the message that gets shouted at us by commercialism and try to put all women in that narrow box.
Let it be and let’s choose to celebrate all women as they are and wherever they might find themselves in the present.
To all my sisters who find this day beyond difficult, I pray your heart will be comforted by the great comforter, the Holy Spirit and you would know that,
The Lord is close to the broken hearted and rescues those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18