It's Mothering Sunday this weekend and I'm blessed to have a mother (in the U.S.) a mother-in-law (in the U.K) and be a mother of incredibly beautiful little girls, two of which will shower me with cards and kisses this upcoming Sunday.
While I usually relish writing more tongue-in-cheek posts about my industry and social observations, I'd like to consider a slightly more somber and meaningful topic this week focused on the 'other', and sometimes forgotten, mothers that we should reach out to this Sunday.
My first daughter, Zoe, was truly the mostly beautiful little girl I had ever set eyes on. Not the least of which was because at 12 weeks pregnant we were told she would have to have surgery at birth to correct an abdominal defect. When Zoe reached full term her statistical prospects were bright. But statistics can work for or against you and our sweet girl lost her battle after surgery when she was just five days old in December 2008.
That Mother's Day that followed, a family member innocently extolled via email the incredible mothering virtues of my sister (mother to two) and mother (mother to four). They are incredible mums, but my exclusion left me in a pool of tears on the floor. Despite not having my daughter with me that Sunday, had I not sacrificed the most any mother would in having to say good-bye to my child? That innocent exclusion left me feeling the most incredible sense of pain.
So, with all the kisses, lunches and love that comes of this Sunday, I'd suggest looking around you and seeing if there are mums who need our extra support. Here are a few you might want to give extra love to:
Mother's to be. Both those who are expecting and those desperate to become mums. I have friends who have silently gone through IVF and other methods of becoming a mum rather stoically. If you know one of these mothers-to-be, know they need your love too. It's not about exposing their travails, but instead if they have shared with you their struggles, give them a little more love on Sunday.
Mothers who have lost babies. Again, an often overlooked group of mums, especially those who haven't gone on to have more children. Just because you were a mother for a short amount of time does not minimise the responsibility that you bore. The sadness of Mothering Sunday for a mum who has lost her baby can be overwhelming. Often we innocently don't give them the credit due for having been a mum and being entitled to our respect on this day along with those mothers of grown children.
Children having lost or losing mothers. Again, it goes without saying, that certain days can cause an enormous amount of pain for those going through loss. Sometimes we feel a bit sheepish in reaching out, but the impact can be enormous. A wonderfully brave and eloquent friend-of-a-friend, Kate Gross, has shared her feelings about leaving her children to cancer. And her mum wrote beautifully this week about losing her child. It's worth a read.
Certainly not to dampen the spirit of the day! But instead a reason to spread the love further and not forget that the day is more than chocolates, flowers and cards, but about the power of maternal love that sits within us all.