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Reflections on Mother's Day

For many, Mother’s Day brings with it a lot of varied emotions.

As humans, we have complicated emotions. We are often times expected to feel only love, nurture, trust, care, and adoration on Mother’s Day, but we’re also allowed to feel under-appreciated, unseen, lonely, disappointed, detached, and mournful. Feeling one emotion does not negate the other emotions we may be feeling simultaneously. It’s important to allow yourself the time and space to feel and process everything.

And as you do, I encourage this: Mother’s Day is not a day about just mothers.

Mother’s Day, at its core, is a day to value and appreciate nurturing figures in our lives.

Yes, this includes our mothers.

But this also includes our step parents, our grandparents, our in-laws, our aunts, our sisters, our dog mom friends, our foster parents, our friends struggling to conceive, our loved ones whose own mothers have passed, our friends and family with strained relationships, our neighbors. As humans, we all nurture each other to grow and thrive.

As a little girl, every Mother’s Day morning, I would sneak to the neighbor’s side yard, plucking roses from their garden. I would then secretly attempt to make breakfast – throwing eggs in a blender to scramble them. Looking back, I have to imagine this was no secret. What is quiet to a seven-year-old most certainly is not quiet to a mother trying to sleep in. But none-the-less, every Mother’s Day morning, my mom would pretend to be surprised as I woke her up with eggs and roses. Mother’s Day was always about one thing: celebrating my mom, my nurturer, and all she’s done for me.

I used to think Mother’s Day meant showering her with gifts. I mean, truly, if I could buy my mom an island – I would. But for now, she’ll have to settle for a tropical candle. This time of year, it’s to be expected. I look around and see advertisements galore encouraging us to “spoil her” with the “one thing she wants” referring to expensive jewelry, or clothes, or make up, or flowers. It wasn’t until recently that I realized Mother’s Day is not about “spoiling her.” My mom didn’t care about being showered in gifts. She cared about being seen, being valued, and spending quality time with others.

As a first-time mom, Mother’s Day this year holds a special place in my heart. Celebrating with my three-month-old, I feel like I have a new understanding of my own mother. I don’t want gifts. I don’t want flowers. I want words of affirmation so I can feel valued for the work I put in every day. I want quality time, because time never seemed to fly by so quickly until my son came into the world. I want to feel the unconditional love that comes with being a nurturer.

And while I will be celebrating with my little one this year, feeling seen for the first time in my life as one who nurtures, I will also be celebrating others while I allow myself to feel every emotion that comes with Mother’s Day and the various relationships I have with moms throughout the world, myself included.

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