Mother‘s Day, and all its homemade breakfast in bed goodness, is a perfect way to celebrate all the women who truly make the world a better place. It brings with it a sunburst of jubilant images on social media. Smiling kids serving breakfast in bed. Cute babies dressed in their Sunday frills. Women heralding, “I’m so happy to be a Mom. It’s the best gift ever.” And these moms have every single right to be proud. To post pictures. To devour that breakfast in bed and accept those heartfelt gifts. We love and celebrate all moms.
But, after facing my own two miscarriages, thinking upon my mother-in-law, who has faced the death of her toddler and her young adult child, and reflecting upon my own mother who had a stillbirth, my heart realized that Mother's Day isn't always a day of pure rejoicing. It's also a stark reminder of what doesn’t exist. While writing my devotional book for women who've experienced pregnancy loss and founding an online pregnancy loss support group, I quickly found that Mother's Day is, in fact, one of the most dreaded days of the year.
It's a day that needs a bit of an expansion. Mother's Day is an opportunity for us to lavish love on ALL the MOMS. Let’s bring these women out of the shadows and into the light of love. Let's #HonorAllMoms.
Let’s choose to love on all moms: the moms who have a precious baby they can hold in their arms, the moms whose sweet babies are in Heaven, and the women whose heart desire was to be a mom but now face infertility.
We don't want to take away Mother's Day, but to instead give a little extra love away . Love is infinite and their are infinite numbers of people who need us to be generous with our kindness.
Foster moms, adoptive moms, single moms, widowed moms, and women whose mom is no longer on this earth--there are so many who we can love on. The list goes on as well!
Who Are Some of the Moms Who Need Extra Love & Support?
The invisible moms- the women who experience pregnancy loss.
1 in 4 women experience pregnancy loss. Their babies died in the womb. The terminology used to describe that trauma: miscarriage | ectopic pregnancy |stillbirth, are deceptively simple terms that imply a slight medical procedure. But it’s not a medical procedure and it’s not slight; it’s the loss of a precious life that a woman cradled in her womb.
For some parents, this tragedy happens multiple times. And many of these women have no living children. All their babies were born straight into the arms of God. Let's pour love on these women this Mother's Day.
The dear moms who have outlived one or more of their children.
They put in the sleepless nights, tackled the pile of never-ending laundry, and miss- more than anything- the sweet, sweet embrace of their precious child. Other sweet women experienced the devastating death of an infant. We must shower them with love as they grieve for their child.
The hopeful women- those who yearn for nothing more than to be a mother.
But they battle infertility. Some are on the battlefield now, while others have lost that fight. Now people constantly question, “Why didn’t you ever have kids?” or “Are you really going to just have an only-child?” Let’s pour some love on them as we grow to realize not everyone is childless, or has a certain number of children, by choice.
On Mother’s Day these fearless females might put on a brave, happy face or they might avoid any and all social settings. But Mother’s Day doesn’t disappear. And you know what? We don’t want Mother’s Day to disappear either; motherhood should be celebrated. Life should be cherished.
On this Mother’s Day let’s choose to love on all moms: the moms who have a precious baby they can hold in their arms, the moms whose sweet babies are in Heaven, and the women whose heart desire was to be a mom.
How Can Places of Worship Can Honor All Moms?
- Offer a discrete, but extremely meaningful gesture, by lighting a candle or displaying a beautiful flower arrangement in honor of all the women whose babies are in heaven and those women who battle infertility.
- Perhaps write in the bulletin or announce, “The flowers in the sanctuary are placed in honor of all the moms whose babies are in heaven and all the women whose heart desire was to be a mother. We love you.” You might also include special wording for families that are missing their mom on Mother’s Day.
- Pray. Lead a spirit-led prayer asking to give the bereaved mama’s and the sweet women desiring a baby for peace that passes all understanding. Pray that joy can enter their hearts when anxiety seeks to steal the present.
How Can We Provide Extra Love and Support?
- If you know a woman whose baby died in the womb, a woman who has lost a living child, or a woman battling infertility recognize her this Mother’s Day. Send a text or greeting card, make a phone call, send flowers, or envelope her in a hug. Use the name of her child in your conversation. It brings women comfort when you recognize her little one. If you are at a loss for words simply write, “I want you to know I’m thinking of you this Mother’s Day. I love and cherish you.” She might not want a grand gesture, but might appreciate a loving token that shows you see her.
- If you know a family who might be missing their mom on Mother’s Day let them know you are thinking of them. Perhaps offer a sweet memory you share of their mother.
- Start praying now for all types of moms: women facing infertility, bereaved mother's, single moms, adoptive moms, foster moms, moms in prison, moms separated from their children, refugee moms, grandparents raising their grandchildren, exhausted moms, and the list goes on! Praying will help in so many ways…including helping soften your heart to notice tangible ways you can offer your assistance.
- Donate to an organization that helps women who struggle with infertility, child loss, or pregnancy loss.
Support is the Best Gift
The statistics are startling. 1 in 160 deliveries end in stillbirth. I in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage. 3.500 babies under the age of 1 die each year. Unfortunately, this is a silent grief.
So this Mother's Day...think beyond the labels in the greeting card aisle....and show love to ALL the Moms!
How else can we show love to all the moms? Tell me. Let's keep this conversation going. Our world is finally recognizing that loss happens, and it's now time for us to start making a few differences in our culture to reflect this truth.
Let’s begin a societal shift to #HonorAllMoms.
This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.