Tuesday, May 8, 2012

mother's day: something for everybody

i (vickey) so appreciated my husband’s take on mother’s day.  i too, have given a lot of thought to the day.  it has, as gunther pointed out, evoked a lot of emotion over the years.  in listening to other women, i have found that for many it brings feelings of warm fuzzy, yet for others, it can be the most painful day of the year.

when a woman’s children, or her husband, do not acknowledge her care and sacrifices on behalf of her family, the truth is, it can cut deep.  the day can also be difficult for those women who do not have children of their own, or who have lost children. i personally know a number of women who hide themselves away on the day, because the reminder of their loss overwhelms them.

one of my dearest friends, who for the sake of privacy, i will refer to as beth, lost two babies.  both of her sons died in utero, and she and her husband were not able to bear children of their own.  she has shared with me the kinds of emotion that mother’s day surfaces for her, and yearly, it is a struggle.  beth has been an incredible inspiration to me, and in fact to all of the women in my family.  she has chosen to press through her own personal pain, and give herself to uplifting other women on mother’s day. 

the first year, she simply asked if the women in our family would like to come for tea on mother’s day.  if you knew beth, and her amazing skills, not just in the kitchen, but for hospitality, and design, you would grasp why all of us kriwinski gals leaped at the opportunity.  beth and her husband, who we will call steve, spent weeks planning the menu, designing the tablescape, and even selecting just the right gifts for each of the guests.  steve dressed in blacks with a red bow tie, and served as our waiter.  it was frilly, and fun, and all of us, from great grandma to great granddaughter, felt loved and lavished and spoiled.


the following year, beth invited us again, and yet again the year after that.  it was an event we all hoped for and looked forward to all year, prepared and gifted to us by a couple who chose to focus on others instead of their personal pain.  their offering, the way they decided to give rather than wallow, has inspired me to look outward at times when it would be easy to feel sorry for myself.  are there others feeling the way i do . . .  who have suffered the loss i have (whatever that might be).  what can i do to bring them a smile?

ma·ter·ni·ty (m -tûr n -t )

1. The state of being a mother; motherhood.

2. The feelings or characteristics associated with being a mother; motherliness.

motherhood is not restricted to those who have children.  motherhood = maternity = motherliness, in whatever ways that is demonstrated.

i do not have a mother to celebrate with.  since those days of mother’s day tea, she has gone on ahead.  perhaps there is a woman, without children of her own, who i can love on.  or a single mom who may be struggling and could use some support.  what about the woman who always longed to be a mother, but has never realized that dream? 

for whatever reason, is mother’s day especially difficult for you?  look around. see who you can invest yourself into, and make someone’s mother’s day brighter because you care. 

mother’s day is this next sunday.  there’s still time. 


Marlene said...

Great posts for Mothers Day! I've had a question that maybe you can comment on. I find it hard to balance honoring my mom on mother's day, my husband honoring his mom, and now that I'm a mom wanting to be celebrated myself (not to mention our mom's wanting to honor their mom!). When do you get switch from making it about your own mom, to letting my husband and kids make it about me? :-) Does that make sense?

Married for Keeps said...

Hi Marlene - great question. I don't know if I have the "right" answer, but I can offer my personal opinion. I'm not sure about "switching" from the Moms to you, for us it was more about "both/and". Both Gunther and I feel that our parents deserve all the honor and respect and "celebration" we can afford them. The day will come when Mom won't be with you anymore, so affording her a place of honor as matriarch in the family is important. To address the logistics, we switched it up a lot. Sometimes Gunther would celebrate with his Mom and I would celebrate with mine. Sometimes we'd do it all together. Sometimes we would celebrate on a day around Mother's Day, maybe not on the actual day. In retrospect, we didn't always get it right. And to be honest, I wish we would've done more. Take the pressure off if you can (I know with some Moms that's easier said than done), and just seek to love them each lavishly - whatever that may look like. You will be loved in return.