Happy Mother’s Day

My friend Jaye hates Mother’s Day.

It’s because she isn’t one. Not that she doesn’t like kids or couldn’t get pregnant. No, it’s because Jaye never married and refused to have a child without having a husband first. Now that she’s over fifty years old, she knows there is little chance of her becoming a mother in the usual way.

What Jaye doesn’t realize is that she has acted like a mom many times in her life. She has poured herself into the lives of her nieces and nephews and helped others in so many motherly ways. And I bet a lot of other women have as well.

In fact, here are a few ways we can show a mother’s love to someone who needs it:

  • Listen. Too often, someone just needs to talk without the other person trying to “fix” them.
  • Smile. We’ve had smiles covered up with masks for over a year, and sometimes we just need someone to smile at us.
  • Ask questions to let them talk about what interests them. A good conversationalist encourages others to talk about themselves.
  • Share your time. We’ve spent too much time alone in the past year, and someone may just need to be around people for a change.
  • Offer a hug when it’s needed (and allowed!). My love language is physical touch, and I flourish when someone gives me a hug. So do many others.
  • Give when you can. This is more than money. Sometimes God puts things in our reach for us to hand them to someone else.

There are more mothers around than just biological ones. There are stepmothers, grandmothers, foster mothers, stand-in mothers, surrogate mothers, stage mothers, class mothers, dorm mothers, and many others. Very few of those are biological, but all of them involve loving someone, listening, and giving their time.

So, you see, a mother is more than a person who gave birth. It’s a person who loves others and does for them, often when it’s inconvenient.

Maybe that’s you. If not, maybe it could be you next Mother’s Day. Or maybe it is, but you didn’t realize it.

Either way, Happy Mother’s Day.