This holiday is packed with mixed feelings! That word mother is loaded with emotion and so is this holiday! Based on each one’s experience and memories of mom, or your own mothering experience, each person will feel something different. Our common understanding of the word mother as an ideal is about expanding love. Mothers are to take in love and are asked to put that love back out into the world.
If your mother has passed you may be reflecting on good memories, but still you are feeling a bit sad. If your upbringing wasn’t all that loving, then it’s likely that you still long for mom to have been more loving. Perhaps your mother wasn’t a responsible mother, and you have feelings of resentment. When you didn’t get the mothering you deserve, you may find it more difficult to be a caring, nurturing person, a loving mother yourself.
For you as mom, you might be the happiest, proudest mother on earth at this time! On the other hand without knowing why, you might be struggling with your mothering job right now, trying to understand your child. You might be the mother who wasn’t expecting to be expecting, and you have experienced some fear or guilt. Remember that there are no mistakes in God! What you didn’t expect, God fully expected. God’s love is not conditional!
There are mothers whose children are alive and well; mothers who have visited their children in jail and even mothers who have faced the death of their child. There are adoptive mothers and single mothers. And yet on Mother’s Day we remember that moms do the best they know how to do in the moment, and we respect and honor the vocation of motherhood! As mothers have we not at some time said, “Had I known better I would have done better!” Of course! God’s love is never less.
We all have memories as mothers! I remember getting up early, going to daily 6:30 mass, and then rushing home for breakfast, getting four kids off to school. I remember the doctor and dentist appointments and all the arguments with them. (I argued with them more than I did with my kids!) I remember the braces! I remember getting kids ready for school pictures each year! And I would think of Mona Lisa’s Mother who must have said, “Mona, after all that money we spent on your braces is that the biggest smile could give us?” I remember cuts, scrapes and casts, calls from the police and the school! I remember drums, piano, friends, car pools, parties, football games and band! I remember PTA’s, grades, teachers, bikes, skate boards, driver’s licenses and lots of fun along the way! I remember night prayers and think of Thomas Edison's Mother who must have said, "Of course I'm proud that you invented the electric light bulb, Thomas. Now turn off that light and get to bed!" That’s one thing - I was always ready for bed even if they weren’t!
Happy Mother’s Day Moms!