Dear Church: Please Don’t Cancel Mother’s Day

Dear Church,

Mother’s Day is approaching again and I know you are deciding how much to acknowledge it during your service. I understand the sentiment. You know how much our moms mean to us, so you know when we have mother wounds, they run deep. There are those who lost a mother, are facing infertility, miscarriages, failed adoptions, or bad relationships with their mothers. The pain can be so strong, you don’t want to bring it into your service.

I get it. Trying to maneuver the wide-range of emotions associated with motherhood can be overwhelming. Our moms were the ones who painfully labored for our existence, held us when we cried, fed us when we were hungry, listened when we needed an ear. For others, motherhood is that desire which is unattainable. You don’t want to offend those who have brokenness connected with it. You don’t want to dredge up the hurt with a celebration.

Please Don't Cancel Mother's Day

But here is the thing: when you decide to exclude the celebration of many because of the potential to hurt only exacerbates the issue. Making it a non-topic actually makes it the topic on everyone’s minds. When we see others in pain it makes us uncomfortable. We don’t know what to do, so we think silence is best. It’s not. It just causes us to continue to face the pain in isolation.

I’ve been there. I was on staff at a church that had deep discussions every year about how to “handle” the day. And when asked their opinion, mothers would sometimes say, “I wouldn’t want to offend.” These are the same moms who serve their families without acknowledgement of the toil, tears, and hard work they do every day. It’s the nature of a mother to give without expecting in return, so of course they would say that.

Mothers need their families and village to celebrate them because we need filled-up moms in this world. We need caregivers who know their value, and feel loved and appreciated, not women who feel like “the elephant in the room” on their special day.

You see, although I have two lovely daughters, I’ve had three miscarriages. I have gone through pain over and over again in my role as mom, but my losses do not negate the fact that I am a mother now: that there is something to celebrate even though there is loss in the mix.

Church, wouldn’t it be better to acknowledge the pain through a memory wall where people can remember those they have lost or what might have been, but also lavishly celebrate the beauty and necessity of motherhood? Wouldn’t it be better for our moms to feel seen and appreciated in a public way so those walking in the doors of our church buildings know the value we place on the moms in our lives?

We moms need all the encouragement we can get. We need you to celebrate us this Mother’s Day.

Sincerely,

A Celebrator of Motherhood

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