Disappointment is an emotion I didn’t expect to experience on my first Mother’s Day. I had set my expectations a little high: breakfast in bed, pampering, long nap in the afternoon, glory and honor showered on me for my accomplishments in the first nine months of being a mother. Instead I woke up nauseous from morning sickness with my second (surprise!) pregnancy. I had a cranky eight-month-old baby who would not allow anyone other than her mother to care for her. And I was not flattered by this. Instead of napping that afternoon, I had food to prepare to take to our family gathering that evening. The primary cause of my disappointment: selfishness. I chose to make the day about me instead of focusing on the blessing of being a mother and honoring the other women in my life who influenced me. After a few years of wallowing in self-pity every Mother’s Day, I finally realized that I was robbing myself of joy, not those around me.
Since then, I have found great joy in focusing on other women in my life. I appreciate my mother-in-law who nurtured my amazing man. My grandmothers who spoiled me, told me Bible stories, and made cookies. My aunts who had me visit for sleepovers, threw great birthday parties for me, and took me shopping. And I spend time remembering my mom and allow myself to grieve and miss her.
There are many other women surrounding me who are deserving of honor. My friend Kathy who has never given birth or adopted but selflessly fosters children in need as a single mom. I have friends who are expected to be both the mother and father to their children while juggling a career and household. My neighbor, Mrs. Moody, may be finished with the active role of mothering with her children grown, but she still yearns for the attention and affection of children. The military family in my children’s school whose mom is serving overseas may need a little mothering from me. The new mother in church could use a nap and someone to rock the baby for an hour or two.
When I focus on others, I realize how blessed I am to be a mother and how many other women deserve thanks for teaching me how! Who can you bless this Mother’s Day?
Find suggestions for blessing other moms around you here.