A Different Kind of Mother
I love to celebrate anything and everything. I love parties and holidays and everything in between. Except Mother’s Day. I dislike it…a lot…obviously. I’ve been giving it a lot of though this year and trying to figure out how I’m going to survive yet another childless Mother’s Day. If you’re like me, you either stay home in your pajamas and cry your eyes out, or you go to church and usually end up trying to find the quickest escape route so that people don’t see you cry. Many of the childless women that I know don’t love going to church on Mother’s Day. It just seems like a day that reminds us of our trial, our failure, our flaw, our lack of womanhood and that we are different than every other woman in that chapel. I am not a big fan of the obligatory flower or chocolate or whatever. If I’m being honest, I usually throw the flower in the trash can the minute that I get home. It’s perfect little petals remind me that I don’t really deserve to have a flower and that I’m a square peg trying to fit in a round hole. And really? I don’t have a green thumb. It’s going to die anyways. Sigh.
One year, my superhero husband surprised me with a mini vacation over the “weekend” so that I didn’t have to feel bad about myself or guilty about skipping church. We went to a nearby national park and spent the weekend hiking, exploring, chasing bears, taking pictures, eating yummy food, relaxing and just enjoying each other’s company. It was so so so fun. I spent a Mother’s Day weekend feeling awesome. Then, I got a calling that changed my life. When I was called as the primary president, the bishop told me that my job was to guide and to love the kids in my ward. So, I made up my mind to love them like no one else could.
So, last year, I went to church on Mother’s Day. I thought it was going to be terrible. I made it through sacrament meeting and then went to primary. I sent all the teachers to Relief Society or Priesthood and spent the day with my kids. By myself. It was one of the best days of my life. It was the day I realized my potential and influence as a “Primary Mom”. I didn’t feel horrible. I didn’t feel worthless. I felt uplifted and inspired and loved. I realized the impact that a Primary Mom can have. I am there to support, guide, teach, help and most importantly, to love them.
It made me think about what a Mother really is. To me, my mom is a person who loves me unconditionally. She’s a guide. She’s a teacher. She’s my light in the darkness. She’s a friend. Yes, she gave birth to me, but to me, that’s not what defines a mother. A mother is all those things and a woman who nurtures and loves us. She is a woman who helps us succeed and wishes for our happiness. When I think of the relationship with me and “my kids”, I fulfill those requirements. I may not have given birth to them, but I’m an important part of their lives. I’m not your traditional mother, but I’m so proud to say that I’m a Primary Mom…and a darn good one at that.
I’m not saying that Mother’s Day is going to be easy. In fact, I’m still kind of dreading it. But, I’ve made the decision to delight in the children that my Heavenly Father has entrusted to me. I’ve decided to find joy in their smiles and their love. I might come home and cry because I had to send them home, but I’m still going to be brave and go to church.
So, Happy Mother’s Day to all the fur mamas, primary moms, aunties, daughters, sisters, friends and women who make a difference in the world. That means you..whether you believe it or not. You are making a difference to someone, somewhere. You are important. You are loved. You deserve to feel special, even though you’re not traditional. Go buy yourself a present, eat cookies (or pie) for dinner, skip church if you need to, wear something gorgeous, take some time for yourself, sleep a little later and take care of you. You deserve it.