Don’t Forget The Mothers Without Their Children Today

May 13, 2018  |  

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Mother’s Day is a day to honor mothers with flowers, sentimental cards, loving gestures and pampering. On this day, we show our adoration and appreciation for the women who give birth to our next leaders, activists, innovators and game-changers. We display an overwhelming outpouring of affection and respect for the sacrifices they have made and the time and commitment they have put in.

But what about the childless “mothers”?

There are many women without children who play pivotal roles in the upbringing, rearing and unwavering support of a child who is not their own. Some of these women have made decisions not to have children for various personal reasons. In addition, some women, despite their desire to be a natural mother, have unfortunately been unable to carry a child of their own. However, they have committed themselves emotionally, financially, socially, and mentally to children who are not their own.

Mother’s Day for the woman who has been a steadfast maternal influence in the life of a child who is not their own can be a difficult day to get through. Often overlooked and underappreciated, they bear the burden of playing a background position to the women who carry the stars and stripes (stretchmarks) of “real” moms. It’s as though childless mothers don’t get a voice. No matter if you’re a step-mother, auntie, “play” mom or just a woman who cares deeply for children, unless your name is on the birth certificate, you have to stand back and let the real moms shine.

The pain that a woman who has lost a child—at any phase of motherhood from pregnancy and onward, is increasingly hard on Mother’s Day. Are we no longer mothers because our child is no longer present? I’m a believer in the idea of “once a mother, always a mother,” but sometimes it seems like society demands physical proof of motherhood before a woman can be honored with the esteemed title. I’ve carried a child and lost one. I may not be naturally able to carry a child again. Has my title as a mother been revoked? Am I not worthy of celebration?

Mothers, by all means, are very deserving of a day for honor and celebration. So are the women who act as a mother without having the privilege of carrying a child in their womb, and the ones who have had the privilege but no longer have a child to hold in their arms. On this Mother’s Day, lift up and adore the mother of your children, your own mother and the mothers in your life. Then, take a moment to think about the women who play mother roles and give them a kind gesture of acknowledgment. An extra card, an extra flower and an extra hug goes a long way for the women who genuinely care for another person’s life and happiness—even if that person hasn’t come from their womb or can no longer honor them themselves.

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