As a mom, I’ve never been too keen on Mother’s Day. Let’s just say I have a very bad attitude about the whole thing. I used to tell my kids, “If you want to do something nice for me for Mother’s Day, clean your room and don’t fight for one whole day.” Well, I’m sure you know how that turned out. Then when it didn’t work out, I’d get all upset and depressed that they didn’t love me enough to make it happen, and my husband would get mad at the kids. I obviously had unrealistic expectations for my children. They were kids being kids, pure and simple.
There are lots of women who have a bad attitude about Mother’s Day for a ton of different reasons. Single women, divorced women, widows, women who can’t carry children, empty nesters, foster moms waiting for adoptions to be final, foster moms who won’t be able to keep the child/children, women with wayward children, and women who miss their own mothers who have passed away all have reasons to dislike Mother’s Day. I’m sure there are reasons I have not listed. I might add that men have the same reasons to dislike Father’s Day. So why do we do this every year? Why do we put ourselves through the agony? It was only after writing these articles on marriage the last few months that I figured it out.
Simply put, we do this because marriage and the family unit is important. By celebrating mothers and fathers, we celebrate family. We honor the sanctity of marriage and celebrate the children who are a product of that marriage. It is important enough for us all to put aside our frustrations and grief and take a second to honor the marriage covenant. Parenthood is sacred in the eyes of God. It is worth the sacrifice.
“There is no role in life more essential and more eternal than that of motherhood. While women live in homes under many different circumstances—married, single, widowed, or divorced, some with children and some without—all are beloved of God, and He has a plan for His righteous daughters to receive the highest blessings of eternity.” Elder M. Russell Ballard, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Today’s Family: The Eternal Role of Mothers, LDS.org)
He has a plan. No matter what your frustrations are about Mother’s Day, He has a plan for you. The Grand Designer and Architect of all has a blue print specifically for you. Whether married or single, whether a mother or not, you have a part in His plan. If you truly believe that, you will be able to set aside grief, frustration, and anger to celebrate the master plan—marriage and the family. If you are not a mother, you have one—living or passed on—celebrate her. If you can’t celebrate your own mother for some reason, celebrate your Heavenly Mother. If you are a mother, learn from my mistake and set your expectations for Mother’s Day at a realistic level. Celebrate your children.
“Mothers, cherish that role that is so uniquely yours and for which heaven itself sends angels to watch over you and your little ones. Yours is the work of salvation, and therefore you will be magnified, compensated, made more than you are, better than you are, and better than you have ever been. And if, for whatever reason, you are making this courageous effort alone, without your husband at your side, then our prayers will be all the greater for you. Know that in faith things will be made right in spite of you, or more correctly, because of you. We thank all of you, and tell you there is nothing more important in this world than participating so directly in the work and glory of God.
May I say to mothers collectively, in the name of the Lord, you are magnificent. You are doing terrifically well. The very fact that you have been given such a responsibility is everlasting evidence of the trust your Father in Heaven has in you. He is blessing you and He will bless you, even—no, especially—when your days and your nights may be the most challenging. Rely on Him. Rely on Him heavily. Rely on Him forever. And ‘press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope’” (Jeffrey R. Holland, Quorum of The Twelve Apostles, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Motherhood: An Eternal Partnership with God, LDS.org).
This year I have a different perspective and a new attitude about Mother’s Day. It is enough for me to say that I’m grateful for my marriage and for the opportunity I was given to be a mother. It wasn’t always easy—okay, it was just plain hard—but it was well worth it. I’m grateful that my parents stuck out all the hard times in their marriage and made the end result a joyful, safe, and loving home for me and my siblings. This Mother’s Day, I will celebrate my marriage and my children.
Tudie Rose is a mother of four and grandmother of ten in Sacramento, California. You can find her on Twitter as @TudieRose. She blogs as Tudie Rose at http://potrackrose.wordpress.com. She has written articles for Familius. You will find a Tudie Rose essay in Lessons from My Parents, Michele Robbins, Familius 2013, at http://www.familius.com/lessons-from-my-parents.