Note from Misty: I wrote this a few years ago for a Relief Society newsletter. I like to read it at the beginning of Mother’s Day week to encourage and remind myself that, while it is a day that celebrates mothers, and I am one–it isn’t necessarily about me.
The subject of motherhood is a very tender one, for it evokes some of our greatest joys and heartaches. –Sheri Dew
Sheri Dew put into words why, in times past, I have had a difficult time with Mother’s Day. I think back to many of those Sundays in May, wherein nervous sons, fathers and husbands get up in church to speak about “mother.” According to all of those talks, these men had perfect mothers, wives, sisters and daughters. It always left me feeling a bit un-amazing.
I will not comment on the many plants that have met their doom as they have been bequeathed upon me on each of these Sundays. And there are many. I have much preferred chocolate bars or donations in my behalf to the Humanitarian Fund, thank you.
In the end, it was not the unfair comparisons I heaped on myself, whispering under my breath, “I am a terrible mother! I don’t make cupcakes and I have yelled!” or the sad remains of petunias, or even the lack of enthusiasm on the part of my family to remember this day that made me have a difficult time with it. In the end, it was something else.
Mother’s Day is a celebration of the ideal, and the ideal rarely exists in this mortality. That bothered me. I wanted everyone to have the ideal. I wanted to be and have the ideal, too.
There are many who struggle through this day and grieve for the loss of their own mothers, or a mother they never knew. Still more face the remembrance of a mother who was not a mother at all—an abusive, neglectful person whose memory brings up painful wounds of the heart.
A few years ago, a woman in our neighborhood was driving with her five children to visit her mother on Mother’s Day. There was a car accident and three of her five children died. I always take a moment to remember her looking at those three small caskets on this day.
I think of the May I had a miscarriage. I think of my first Mother’s Day after I lost my Joy. I think of all the women who are unable to carry children. I think of mothers with wayward children. I think of so much of the heartaches Mother’s Day can bring to the surface.
Understanding what a mother is has helped me to find joy on this day.
While we tend to equate motherhood solely with maternity, in the Lord’s language, the words they could have chosen to define her role and her essence, both God the Father and Adam called Eve “the mother of all living”—and they did so before she ever bore a child. (Sheri Dew)
Mother’s Day is not merely a time to remember those who bear children, but a celebration of the essence of who we are as women. Matthew Cowley taught that women “are born with an inherent right, an inherent authority to be the saviors of human souls.”
As I have pondered this, I have come to think of Mother’s Day as a call to arms. We are fighting for the true meaning of womanhood and motherhood in these last days—we are fighting for our families and to heal the souls of men. We can do it, because it is the essence of who we are. When I put aside my own feelings of grief and inadequacy, what is left is this amazing revelation:
As mothers in Israel, we are the Lord’s secret weapon. (Sheri Dew)
Now, each Mother’s Day, I do not worry about whether or not my kids will remember, I don’t consider all I have lost, I do not dwell on not having a mother involved in my life, and I don’t think about my inadequacies. I think about standing straight and tall and polishing my armor, and fighting for the divine in all women. I think about saving and healing souls.
And I think about being the Lord’s secret weapon. What could be better than that? Let us all take a moment this week to say a prayer in our hearts for all women, everywhere, and take up the call to fight!
Also, if you need a pick me up for the week, my post titled What Is Real is a good celebration of motherhood!
Other Posts In This Series
- celebrating motherhood (This post)
- are we not all mothers? celebrating mothers of all ages
- thoughts on motherhood: faith and fertility
- defining motherhood, part 1
- defining motherhood, part 2
- thoughts on motherhood: how i figured out how i could change the world
- happy mother's day!
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