Happy Mother's Day to all the moms who are reading this post!
I had a lovely Mother's Day, with some thoughtful gifts from my husband and children, flowers given to all the moms after Mass, and a pancake breakfast given by our parish men's club, a lovely tradition that all the moms enjoy, especially since our mission parish's one Mass is so early every Sunday.
I hope that you had a lovely Mother's Day too! After reading various comments, though, from moms who don't get any acknowledgment whatsoever for their priceless and irreplaceable roles in their families' lives on this day (or, in some cases, any other), and thinking about the moms I know who might be sad or a little down today, I just wanted to say a few things:
If nobody said "Happy Mother's Day!" to you today--Happy Mother's Day! You are important, and you are doing out of love and sacrifice what God has called you to do. If nobody else seems to notice, rest assured that He does.
If you are celebrating Mother's Day with infants and toddlers--Happy Mother's Day! You hate it when people tell you "It goes so fast!" and "It gets easier!" so I won't tell you those things today, even though they're true. But someday those little ones will bake you a cake on Mother's Day, and somehow you won't really remember the frustrations of corralling several little ones at Mass--or at Grandma's house later.
If you are celebrating Mother's Day with a special-needs child--Happy Mother's Day! Your dedication to your child is a sign of contradiction in our broken and selfish world. You are a role model for people you've never even met--trust me on this one.
If you spent Mother's Day with people who were hypercritical of you and your mothering skills--Happy Mother's Day! Just remember that God chose you, not your critics, to be the mother of your children. Sure, we should all be aware of our faults and failings, but only to improve spiritually and grow closer to God through our vocations of motherhood, not to obsess or be beaten down by people who think "being a good mother" means "doing things my way," no exceptions.
If you wish with all your heart to be a mother, and this Mother's Day was one more anniversary of the pains and frustrations of infertility--Happy Mother's Day! God loves your mother's heart even if He hasn't yet answered your call to be a mother in some way or another. Those of us who have been blessed with children know that it was not our merits that caused God to bless us in this way--we didn't earn this great gift, and we unite ourselves in solidarity with you as you pray fervently for this blessing.
If you have suffered the loss of your mother, or if you are not close to your mother or your relationship is strained or damaged--Happy Mother's Day! Our Blessed Mother is ready for us to turn to her in these trials; she will hold closely a dear mother who has preceded us in the journey to eternal life, and she will be the dearest and best Mother for those whose earthly mothers have been sources of pain or conflict.
If you have suffered the loss of a child, either the physical loss of death, or the kind of loss that comes about when a child is himself lost, drifting, broken--Happy Mother's Day! From the foot of the Cross Mary extends her arms to embrace you; she, who suffered so greatly as her Son breathed His last upon the Cross, understands your sorrow and shares your tears. But as she saw her Son rise again from the dead, she knows that you, too, will one day be comforted.
If you are like me, and celebrated a lovely, blessed Mother's Day surrounded by a loving husband and children who cherish you (in my case, far more than I deserve it!)--Happy Mother's Day! I can't help but stop and pray a moment for those whose situations I've described above, a prayer to Our Lady to be close to all who have struggled this Mother's Day. If you have had a lovely day as I have, perhaps you would join me?
Happy Mother's Day!