The Beauty and Pain of Mother’s Day

Mama and Me

Hello Hello!!! I hope you had a great week and your weekend is off to a great start! This week’s Life as I go update is coming earlier, as I plan to keep tomorrow light.

Tomorrow is Mother’s day (inserts dancing emoji) and this is another exciting opportunity for so many people around the world to celebrate the heroes that mothers are. The day is set aside to celebrate motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society but first, let’s address the elephant in the room 🙂

Every year, it appears there is always general societal confusion (especially in Nigeria) on which day is the ‘legit’ mother’s day and you will see questions around how many mothers day we celebrate in Nigeria. To start with, I don’t think there will ever be enough days to celebrate mothers; every day could be Mother’s Day and it still won’t be enough to celebrate the awesomeness that motherhood represents. That said, it’s important to put the official celebration dates in perspective.

There are several dates across the world for different countries when Mother’s Day is celebrated but the two below are the most popular and the ones you probably hear about the most:

  1. The Fourth Sunday in Lent : This is the official day for celebration in United Kingdom, Ireland, Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey……and *Nigeria* (for Nigeria, not official per se)
  2. Second Sunday in May: Countries which celebrate Mother’s Day on the second Sunday of May include the United States, Canada, Australia, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Switzerland, Turkey and Belgium.

Now, because Nigerians live in different parts of the world, celebration dates will differ and will be dependent largely on where you live. Most groups and corporate bodies in Nigeria have adopted the United Kingdom date (which should be the default choice considering our colonial affiliation but because of the strong influence of the United States on our country, some still join to celebrate later in May.

Whilst the day is a beautiful day for so many people, for so many other people it is a painful day; a reminder of a joy they desire, pain they have suffered or losses they have experienced.

A few days ago, when I decided this was what I would be writing on this week, I remembered an interesting event that happened on Mother’s Day last year. My baby sister and I were in the kitchen after church and I had asked her to do something for me to which she acted slowly and next thing I know, I started crying – hahaha. The conversation/situation didn’t warrant tears but I couldn’t stop the tears – it was like my emotions were waiting for a trigger.

For a lot of people, the motherhood phase happened as a natural transition in life, and there was never a reason to ask the question- Why?

For me however, I have had an interesting journey that has been filled with moments of joy, confusion, anger, faith, hope, fear, frustration, relief and now peace and a lot of times I have had to ask myself, why? Amongst the many questions , there was the big question of ‘Why do I want this?’

I needed to have an answer for myself, an answer that transcended societal expectations and one that goes beyond the joy and thrill our friends and family will experience on our behalf and it was a journey to find the answer to that question. Without an answer, I doubt I would have had the strength to face and rise above some of the experiences we have had on this journey.

Now, back to Mother’s Day, like the experience I had last mother’s day, some category of people will be hurting tomorrow for various reasons:

  • The children who have lost their mom
  • The mothers who have lost their child (or children)
  • Children of absent mothers
  • Women who have experienced miscarriages or still birth
  • Women who want to have children but cannot
  • The woman who is single and longing for someone to build a family with
  • The woman who is in the process of adopting, but while pregnant mothers are honored and recognized, she is not
  • The foster parents and adoptive who are protecting their hearts on this day

In your interactions with any of this category of people, may I kindly ask that you keep the below things in mind:

  1. Unless you have experienced the same exact loss, there is no way for you to fully grasp and understand what they are going through … but you can love!
  2. You do not have the ability to heal their broken heart, but you can be a safe person and allow them to freely share their story, their disappointments, and their pain.
  3. You can send a little love down their way – a text , a voice note, a call, flowers, a word of prayer in your closet, a gift…anything that shows you care.

…and if you are in any of the above categories, remember that you are not alone and though the journey may be different than you have envisioned, the destination will still be beautiful. Acknowledge that you are hurting but don’t wallow. I hope that you find ways to bask in the beauty of the gift of life that you have and the people who love you and that you never lose your joy.

To all the mothers reading this, I wish you a Happy Mother’s Day and I hope you have a beautiful day tomorrow (if you are celebrating tomorrow). Motherhood is the most noble of callings and those who have been blessed to be earthly mothers deserve to be honoured and celebrated.

“Wherever you are this Mother’s Day, may you give and receive love in abundance. And may you realize that your life matters.