moth·er 1 (mr)
1. A woman who conceives, gives birth to, or raises and nurtures a child.
2. A female parent of an animal.
3. A female ancestor.
4. A woman who holds a position of authority or responsibility similar to that of a mother: a den mother.
5. Roman Catholic Church
a. A mother superior.
b. Used as a form of address for such a woman.
6. A woman who creates, originates, or founds something: “the discovery of radium, which made Marie Curie mother to the Atomic Age” Alden Whitman.
7. A creative source; an origin: Philosophy is the mother of the sciences.
8. Used as a title for a woman respected for her wisdom and age.
9. Maternal love and tenderness: brought out the mother in her.
10. The biggest or most significant example of its kind: the mother of all battles.
11. Vulgar Slang Something considered extraordinary, as in disagreeableness, size, or intensity.
1. Relating to or being mother.
2. Characteristic of a mother: mother love.
3. Being the source or origin: the mother church.
4. Derived from or as if from one’s mother; native: one’s mother language.
tr.v. moth·ered, moth·er·ing, moth·ers
1. To give birth to; create and produce.
2. To watch over, nourish, and protect maternally.
How does this word not, in some way or another, apply to each and every woman that has ever lived? Heck, it even seems to apply to quite a few men out there! Mothers Day has once again come and gone, and the Internet is flooded with stories, some happy, some sad, and some downright angry. Women the world over have an opinion and emotions surrounding this special day, and I figure it’s about time I put my two cents out there.
I’ve been following infertility and assisted reproduction blogs for years. Most of the infertile people I follow had stories of sadness to share. Upset that their children weren’t with them yet, Mothers Day represents longing for them and it isn’t a happy day at all. To these women I say stand up! Your children aren’t with you yet, but you are a mother still. You are a mother to your friends whom you love and support. You are a mother to your pets that you care for. You are a mother to the earth that you tend so lovingly. Mothers Day is for you. It is about you.
I’ve also read many posts by women who are childless by choice. Mothers day represents something different to these women. A fake “holiday” all about consumer purchasing that downplays the role of women in general and focuses simply on those women who play the role of the traditional mother. To these women I say look around! YOU are a mother yet. You are a mother to yourself in your creativity and productivity in society. You are a mother to those things that you care for, be it a furry friend or a houseplant.
Mothers day is so much more then honoring those women who raise our next generation. It is a day about women, and those few men who also nurture. It is day to celebrate all that is soft and loving about our society. Mothers day is about and for every person, regardless of child status. Take this time to appreciate those around you who mother. Those that mother children, those that mother friends and family, those that tend to the earth in their mothering. This should never be a day of sadness, anger or regret but rather a day to recognise the many ways that the women around you are fantastic, simply because they are women. Next Mothers day, knock on your neighbors door and compliment her on her beautiful garden. Wish her a happy Mothers Day. Write a note to your childfree-by-choice workmate and appreciate all she contributes to your workplace. Wish her a happy Mothers Day. And give a gentle hug to your infertile friend, acknowledging her longing and express your appreciation for how well she supports you in all that you do. And wish her a happy Mothers Day. Because Mothers day is about our women and how they mother. Period.
Ava and Amelia mailed me the stunning flowers pictured along with a little note; “Happy Mothers Day to the best surromom ever! Wishing you a beautiful day. ” While the flowers are gorgeous, it was the note that made my day.