Happy Mother’s Day – to Mothers
Earlier this week, I received an email that said:
“This weekend is special. Motherhood is universal – and I include as mothers not only those who raise kids, but ones whose children are flowers, pets, crafts, and art. One way or another, we women are nurturers. So, this Sunday, let’s celebrate us!”
What?? I stopped reading after the second sentence. I think Mother’s Day is only for mothers…mothers who raise children.
There is more than one path to motherhood – you can give birth, you can adopt, you can foster, you can marry and then become a mother instantly (I’m not talking about being a stepmother in the background or on the sidelines…) – but mothers are mothers. I’m not a mother, I don’t have children, and Mother’s Day is not for me.
And that’s okay.
Elizabeth Gilbert says there are three types of women in the world: “There are women who are born to be mothers. There are women who are born to be aunties. And there are women who should not be allowed to be within ten feet of a child.” (You can watch her talking about this here.) I am definitely in the second category (and already this morning, I was kindly recognized twice for being Auntie Nicki, which was so generous of the moms who were thinking of me on their special day).
The message I quoted at the beginning was sent by a fiction author I like. I suspect she sent that note to her email list in an effort to be inclusive. I’m guessing she did not want any of her readers to feel separate from her books or her writing. I understand that, to a point. I am all about being inclusive when it makes sense, but I don’t think it makes sense in this way on Mother’s Day.
And I think the least we can do for all of the mothers out there – especially the good ones, the ones who really do nurture their children’s growth – is to give them this day. They don’t need to share it. It’s theirs. They earned it.
Many women are nurturing – I do think that’s true – but not all women, and not all women are mothers. The paradox is that not all mothers are nurturing either, and some women who are nurturers are not mothers.
Today’s message is simple though: Mother’s Day is for mothers…mothers of children.
So, Happy Mother’s Day to mothers – with special acknowledgement to my mother, my godmother, my grandmothers in heaven, the mothers whose very special children call me Auntie Nicki and to my other friends who are mothers or soon-to-be mothers (especially those who are selling it – you know who you are). xo