Mother’s Day is complicated. (Cue the flood of unrealistic expectations, stress, family drama, unwanted memories and all the feelings.)
It can be wonderful to some, lonely to others, disappointing for many, and excruciating for more women than we could possibly know. But no matter what part of the spectrum you find yourself on this Mother’s Day, know this: all women are life-givers, and if you are a woman, Mother’s Day is for you. Mother’s Day has far less to do with womb-fruit than it does with the fruit of your soul.
Whether you’ve given life to biological babies, adopted littles, the family who raised you, your chosen family, your friends, your pets, your significant other, or the people you show love & kindness to on a daily basis, you are a giver of life. It’s not about your lady parts ― it’s about your words, actions, and love. There are a million ways to be a mother, and only one of them involves a birth canal.
When you say a kind word to a stranger, you are giving life. When you rock a colicky baby to sleep, you are giving life. When you speak encouragement rather than criticism to your partner, you are giving life. When you give a dollar to a homeless person, you are giving life. When you change the 87th poopy diaper of the day, you are giving life. When you bring your sick cat to the vet, you are giving life. When you pour a cup of coffee for a co-worker, you are giving life. And when you hold a friend as she cries, you are giving life.
You, as a woman, have the unique and profound ability to sustain, to rescue, and to nurture those around you, which has absolutely nothing to do with the status of your uterus. You are a superhero. You are a life-giver. And whether you are greeted this Mother’s Day with sloppy baby kisses, sloppy dog kisses, a long day of work, or a soft bed all to yourself, pat yourself on the back and raise a glass sister, because this Mother’s Day is for you.
Kimberly Poovey is a writer, speaker, wife, and over-caffeinated new mom. She runs a teen pregnancy prevention program for a nonprofit and is a founder of Pearls, an organization that serves women in the sex industry and fights human trafficking. You can find her over on Scary Mommy, The Mighty, her blog, and on Facebook.