If you live in North America, you are most probably well aware of the significance of the Mother’s Day holiday, which falls on the second Sunday of May (May 8 2022). To be honest, despite living in the US since 1986, I wasn’t much aware of this holiday until about 2010. My awareness probably coincided with my becoming a parent myself!
Over the years of hosting Spiritchat on Mother’s Day, my awareness of the role of Mothers, and the range of emotions that this holiday evokes, has grown tremendously. I used to wear magenta-colored glasses (my birth Mom’s favorite color!) about the all-loving role of Mothers towards their children, and about children towards their mothers. The people of Spiritchat have taught me that there can be a lot more to the Mother-child relationship than the predominance of love and joy.
I am grateful for the education. The truth is that there are many who have never felt the love of a birth mother, and had to find the ‘Mother’ role in another female, or sometimes, male figure in their lives. I have learn that, yes, the ‘Mother’ and mothering role can extend to aunts, sisters, grandmothers, teachers, and sometimes even to neighbors, nannies and maids.
I have also learnt that all too often, there is very little education and training of ‘how to be a mother’, particularly in a society where the majority of households are a ‘nuclear family’. Where does a new birth-mother find good role-models, particularly if their own experiences with their birth-mothers have been filled with pain, anxiety, lack of warmth, and more? How do we break this cycle of ‘mother-child dysfunction’ if we want to have a good chance to raise thriving future generations?
We often jest that there is no ‘guidebook’ to parenting – you are supposed to learn as you go! While that may have some truth to it, we can do better. What if we were to raise the value of the role of the ‘Mothers’ significantly higher than what we currently assess it at? We can debate about the ‘how’ of doing this, but unless we know the ‘why’ to do it, we won’t get out of the starting gate, will we? One small thing we all can do, and it doesn’t incur much cost, is to educate ourselves about the current contributions of those in Mother roles in our societies.
Here are some numbers for the USA. There are an estimated 85 million mothers in the US. In 40% of households, Moms are the sole or primary income earners. 80% of single parents in the US are mothers. 56% of working mothers have children under the age of 18. Hopefully, these statistics give us an idea of the extent of the contribution of Mothers to US society. What do the numbers in your country look like?
I know that I am far out in left-field from what I had initially intended for this post to be about. But, as often happens, the heart’s current is driving my fingers as I type, and so, here it is. Mothers Day. A day for remembrance, for healing and forgiveness, for awareness, for empathy that will create compassion which will translate into action. What will we do and/or be as individuals, as societies, as the world, between this Mothers Day and the next one? That is the question I am considering. How about you?
Will we be inclusive and have loving understanding of those who aren’t Mothers, and may choose not to be one? Will we pause for a moment and send love to the Mothers of the disappeared and the ones who lost their Mother figures over the last year, so that they can heal and hope? Will we give thanks to the Universal Mother whose grace and abundance flows to us constantly, whose kind gaze soothes us like the coolness of the moon, and whose loving light warms us in every sunrise and sunset? What else can we celebrate about those without whom love and life itself would not be possible, in this, our temporary home of a physical body, as we walk our path towards our permanent abode?
Thank you, to all my Moms. I am fortunate to have had many who filled that role, and continue to do so. My gratitude for all of them knows no bounds. Namaste.
P.S. This was supposed to be a short post. Oh well! Do join us for our weekly twitter chat with the #Spiritchat community, Sunday May 8 at 9amET / 1pmGMT / 630pm India. If you would, bring a memory of your Mom (or your kids if you are a Mom :)) to share. I will bring some tea and cookies, and maybe a question or few 🙂 – @AjmaniK