A Mother’s Day Message for ALL Women (Even the single & child-free, and especially the longing to mother)

I love being a mom, and I love my mother, but Mother’s Day is hard for me. I had so many Mother’s Days single and longing-to-be-married-with-children. So many Mother’s Days my church (accidentally, I’m sure) reinforced a hurtful message that as a non-mother I was somehow less of a woman, less worthy of celebration. I know women who’ve chosen not to be mothers, and I know many who have lost their mothers. And I love so many women who are bearing up under the pain of infertility and pregnancy loss.

It’s hard for me to celebrate a day that is exclusively for some women and not others, and that for many, makes hard things harder.

So a few years ago, I decided to intentionally celebrate all the women in my life on this day. In that spirit, here is a Mother’s Day message for all the women in my life:

To my own sweet Mama, who transformed before my eyes from a voiceless passenger in her own life to a strong, independent overcomer (still willing to sacrifice anything for her family, though no longer willing to sacrifice herself.) She loves with no questions asked, and raised 3 kids while putting herself through college and grad school. She planted in me a willingness to see things from others’ perspectives with empathy and acceptance that serves me to this day. I love you mom!

Happy Mother’s Day!

To my Terry and all the other stepmothers I know, those who love children from a second mother place. I think it is an amazing thing to love where you may have little or no authority, to love in complicated relationships formed in blended families, to love where there is brokenness and competition and often anger and resentment. Terry is our prayer warrior and cheerleader, and I am so thankful.

Happy Mother’s Day!

To my Mother-in-Law, and all like her, who model welcome and warm embrace. The first time I met Matt’s mom she told me, “We love you already” and she has loved me well to this day. She is a home away from home to me, always offering a safe place to land. She listens and gives advice, but never makes me feel like I have to do it her way (I don’t know how she does that!) She celebrates me as a wife and mother, never criticizes, constantly encourages. If I could give everyone I know a Mother-in-Law like her, I would, and I hope to give that to any daughters-in-law I have, someday.

Happy Mother’s Day!

To the older women who have taken me under their wings through the years: From the sweet Texas women who took this rough around the edges college girl and made her part of their families, to the strong Midwestern women who have shaped me as a teacher, mother and friend. I have learned from these women that community isn’t instantaneous, and it doesn’t come through smooth waters and lack of conflict. Real connection happens over the long haul, when you commit yourself to love others through hard things, rather than in spite of them or only if they get it all together.

Happy Mother’s Day!

To the women in the mothering trenches with me now, who give me the gift of saying, “ME TOO.” I see you wanting so badly to do a good job at this parenting thing, having the courage to stick with the journey with no promise of where it will take you. I am blessed by your honesty, by your encouragement, by your willingness to trust God and seek goodness for your kids.

Happy Mother’s Day!

To my young friends who are just entering the world of adulting, full of hopes and dreams. You navigate a world that constantly asks you “What do you want to do?” rather than “Who do you want to be?” A world that tells you in many ways that the most important thing about a woman is what she looks like and what she accomplishes. You have gifts to offer, and they lie closer to who you are than what you do. Thank you for reminding me what it feels like to be young, for letting me be a part of your journey, and for giving me hope for the future. Call your mom!

Happy Mother’s Day!

To my single friends, who love fully and selflessly, even while daily negotiating your own longing to be loved. I see you. I see your willingness to give yourselves, even as you wait and wade through the deep desire to have someone and to be somebody’s someone. You use your mother hearts to love your friends, your family, your friends’ kids, your community, me. You are important, you are valuable, you are deeply loved.

Happy Mother’s Day!

To my sweet friends who long to be mothers, but are not yet: You teach me to love through pain. I watch you smile through baby showers, celebrating blessings for others while you wait to be blessed. I wish I could do something to lessen your pain this day, but all I can say is that God IS good (even when we are in barren places). You can trust Him with your hurt and your heart, and I believe deeply that He sees, He knows, He cares. Wait in hope, not despair. Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him For the help of His presence. (Psalm 42:5, NASB)

Happy Mother’s Day.

To all the women who have been made by this world (or even the church) to feel too much or too little. Who feel less-than-a-woman, less worthy of being celebrated because of their choices. Those who are shamed for not having children, or for having “too many” (by whose standard??) To the women who are told they are too feminine or not feminine enough, too emotional or not emotional enough, as if you aren’t exactly who your Creator God intends you to be. Your Creator God who says of all His creation, “IT IS GOOD.”

Happy Mother’s Day!

I hope you have people in your life celebrating YOU this Mother’s Day, where ever you are. But even if you don’t (and even if you do!), do something to celebrate yourself. You are loved with a great love.

A Mother's Day Message for all women, even the single and child-free, and especially the longing to mother


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