Every year I get cross with language on Mother’s Day! As a Children and Families Pastor and a woman with female friends I am acutely aware that Mother’s Day, although a wonderful time to celebrate our mothers and those who are mothers, grandmothers, godmothers etc., is an incredibly painful day for so many women.
The language of “to all you mothers, well done”, “let’s celebrate all the mothers here today”, and the token addition at the end of the list of “and let’s thank those women who have cared for us in some way” must be like a dagger to the heart of so many women. Every time I hear those words spoken from the front of church and I see daffodils handed out to ‘mothers’ I am filled with such deep sorrow. I am heartbroken to know that so many of my friends so desperately want to be mothers but are unable to conceive, have miscarried multiple times, or have not yet met a partner and now don’t feel they will get to be biological mothers.
Whilst I agree that Mother’s Day is a day to also celebrate all the women who aren’t mothers but have cared for us in some way, that’s not enough. Let’s also use the day to recognise and stand with the women for whom it is a day of great sadness. To all my friends who as yet have not become mothers, well done to you. You deserve the ‘well done’ far more than us who are mothers. It is you who should be celebrated for the incredible grace and determination you constantly show and for being so brave, particularly on days like today. I can’t even begin to imagine how you must feel.