Embracing the Complexity of Mother’s Day
Aya Fubara Eneli, M.A., J.D.
Mother’s Day always elicits mixed emotions in me. On one hand, I am so grateful for the amazing gift my five children are to me. But on the other hand, I also remember the pain and anguish I felt for many years as I experienced one miscarriage after another, and with that remembrance comes a deep-seated empathy for my sisters all over the world for whom Mother’s Day feels like a day of torture.
According to the National Survey of Family Growth, infertility affects 7.3 million people in the U.S. This figure represents 12% of women of childbearing age, or 1 in 8 couples. This number does not include the millions of women who would love to be mothers, but have chosen not to because they are unmarried. Then there is yet another category of mothers who are grieving and have had to bury their own children. There are mothers whose children are missing. Other mothers are dealing with the pain of loving children who are living out the consequences of poor choices like drug and alcohol addictions, incarceration, etc.
Some mothers are weighed down by the guilt of their past choices and its impact on their children. Some mothers are estranged from their children and seeking ways to re-connect emotionally and physically and are unsure of what else to do to bridge the chasm. Many others are nursing regrets over their relationships with mothers now dead and buried. Some are still grieving their own mothers, and then there are the millions of mothers who chose to abort their babies. There are single mothers, married mothers, stay-at-home mother, mothers who work outside the home, battered mothers, mothers living in shelters, grandmothers raising their grandbabies, foster mothers, adoptee mothers, and mothers who are military wives.
Sitting next to you in your church pew or at the restaurant, or in the check-out line is a woman with a story that you may not know. Be sensitive as you interact with people. Choose to celebrate with those who are celebrating and mourn with and comfort those who are grieving. Don’t make this day just about you. Make it a day to celebrate the beauty and miracle of motherhood which can and does transcend being a biological mother. Make it a day of hope that all women can look up and believe that though things may not be perfect, they have life and that is worth celebrating.
Make it a day to lend assistance to mothers who are struggling to provide for the physical needs of their children. Make it a day of healing for hurting women. Make it a day to help educate mothers who may be making some serious parenting mistakes, but don’t know any better. Make it a day of love, a day to nurture hope in yourself and others.
Whatever your state of mind this Mother’s Day, I pray that you will receive God’s peace which exceeds our intellectual capabilities. I pray that out of your joy or your pain, your contentment or frustration will emerge a clearer vision of your purpose and a stronger determination to fulfill that vision. Happy Mother’s Day! I wish you your abundant life.
Aya Fubara Eneli is a best-selling author, Christian Life Coach, Motivational Speaker and Attorney. Her life’s purpose is to empower and equip people to live up to their highest potential. She and her husband live in Central Texas with their five miraculous children. For more information, visit www.ayaeneli.com, follow her on twitter @ayaeneli or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.