For some motherhood comes by surprise, rather unexpectedly. For others a hope, a dream and a plan result in the joy (and for some, the difficulties alongside) of carrying a child. Still others come to motherhood through adoption, fostering and marriage.
It’s first mama, mommy, mom, and then ‘bruh’ as the journey through motherhood progresses.
We start out nursing babies, changing diapers, wiping bottoms and rocking them to sleep. Sleepless nights giveaway to busy days.
As our children grow it’s potty training, singing the ABC’s, bathtime fun, and playing with toys.
This gives way to sporting events, parent-teacher conferences, birthday parties, kissing skinned knees, teaching our little ones to read, ride bikes, tell the truth and say ‘please.’
Then Comes The Teenage Years….
We survive, somehow, the trials of raising teenagers with their crazy hormones. One minute they love us the next we’re ruining their life. Instead of mom they may call us dude, bro, bruh or whatever the cool term of the moment is. They’re learning to drive as we hold on for dear life, (sometimes literally). We hope they’ll be safe and use their head as they navigate different situations with their peers.
Through it all we laugh, we cry, we hope, we hold our breath and we pray that we’re doing enough and that we’re doing an okay job.
It’s the hardest job you’ll ever love.
We often don’t fully appreciate or understand our own mothers until we’re a mother ourselves. And it continues with our kids. Until they’re parents, they don’t understand the constant worrying we do, even when they’re adults.
The role of the mother is one of immeasurable impact. We literally create life and perpetuate the human race. And then we raise that life. More often than not, we’re the primary caregiver raising those little people into adults. And if we’re lucky, as adults we get to be their close friend, but we’re still their parent. That never changes no matter how old they grow.
The Blessed Mother
Having been raised Catholic, my upbringing placed significant emphasis on the Blessed Mother. The Virgin Mary is venerated, cherished and adored. What must she have gone through to travel hundreds of miles on a donkey’s back late in pregnancy and then to give birth in a dirty barn placing her precious baby in a dirty manger? With what we know in today’s healthcare, she was lucky to go through the process of childbirth healthy!
And imagine being Mary and watching your beloved only child do massive miracles. Heal the blind, care for the sick, cast out demons, and the unbelievable pain and anguish of seeing your child beaten and crucified. Then finally, raised from the dead.
Jesus gave Mary to us, to be our mother.
To comfort and care for us. To cherish and to turn to. The significance of Mary and her role is the reason as Catholics, we celebrate the Blessed Virgin every May in a Marian Processional.
As a child, dressed in white I and the other children would parade together through the parish ending at the statue of The Virgin. One lucky girl was chosen as May Queen, and she would get to place a beautiful crown of flowers on Mary. We’d finish up by singing Marian songs and reciting the Hail Mary Prayer asking for Mary’s intercession in the years to come.
As times change, not all Catholic churches do this anymore. Yet one thing remains constant, and that is the care and respect for the Blessed Mother.
So this Mother’s Day, whether you’re Catholic, belong to another Christian denomination, another religion, or no religion at all, take a moment to acknowledge, respect and cherish your mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, friend, wife or special woman in your life who may have done some mothering for you or are the mother to your children.
Give them your time, love and effort. Pick up the phone and call rather than sending a text, write a heartfelt letter, or card, send her flowers, get her a gift, give her a break by getting her a house cleaner, and recognize that special woman in your life this Mother’s Day.