Saturday, May 11, 2013

My new view of Mothers' Day

This is only my 3rd Mothers' Day as a mom with kids, but I have been celebrating Mothers' Day for much longer than that.  

It began with the years my siblings and I would wake up early to make my mom breakfast in bed.  She would eat the soggy eggs and watery orange juice while opening homemade presents we made at school.  We were so excited to show her how much we loved her and cared for her. 

As I got older, Mothers' Day became a day when I would ponder my future role as a mother.  It was something I wanted desperately.  This idea became even more defining once I was married and we started talking about our future family.  Having my other half share my desire for children made me want to be a mother even more.  Yes...Mothers' Day was special then, as well. Then, my first year with little Logan was wonderful.  I was finally a Mother.  I thought I had reached my full understanding of what Mothers' Day was going to mean to me. 

Then...we have this year.  Now, I am a mother who has lost a child.  Suddenly, I find myself pondering this divine role of motherhood and what it means to all women in the world. My eyes have been opened to the plethora of situations that come with the role "motherhood":
  • Women who have one or more children
  • Women who have lost one (or more) children
  • Women who have had miscarriages or stillborns
  • Women who are empty nesters
  • Women who struggle with infertility
  • Women who are raising their grandkids
  • Women who see their children making poor choices
  • Women who have children with special needs
  • Women who have children with chronic health issues
  • Etc, Etc, Etc
As I went through this list in my head, I made a realization: Motherhood brings the greatest joy and also some of the most difficult pain in all of life.   Why, I wondered, do the pains that come with motherhood hurt so darn bad?  Why does losing a child hurt forever?  Why does it hurt so bad when you want children and can't get pregnant?  Why does the pain of losing a pregnancy have to be so consuming? 

I found the answer when I was reading a talk by the wonderful Sheri Dew.  She was one of the leaders of the women's organization of the LDS church and was never married or had any children.  In one of her talks to the women of the church, she made this statement: 

Motherhood is more than bearing children, though it is certainly that. It is the essence of who we are as women. It defines our very identity, our divine stature and nature, and the unique traits our Father gave us.

 Motherhood DEFINES our very identity as women.  It is our role in mortality to be mothers.  That is why the pains of motherhood hurt so much...because motherhood is the very nature of women. 

So, this Mothers' Day, I hope you will take a few moments to think about each and every woman in your life.  Whether they are mothers to their own children or not, we are all mothers by our very nature as women. I think that is why Mothers' Day always seemed like more to me than a day to love my mom (although, it definitely was!).  It was a day to celebrate the very nature of all women. 

I am extremely grateful for my dear mother and all she has done. I am grateful that she went through the pains and heartaches that come with motherhood so she could be my mom. This past year, especially, has been so hard for me...a refiners fire to say the least, and my mom has been instrumental in helping me grow through it all. 


I am also grateful to be called "mommy" by two of the most beautiful boys in the world.  One who helps me recognize the beauties of each moment of every day in mortality and one that keeps me looking forward to the eternities.  I love you, sweet boys. You are my life and I can't wait to be with all of you and any future siblings together in our eternal life.  Even though I have experienced some of the deepest pains a person can feel through my journey of motherhood, being your mother is my greatest joy

6 comments:

  1. Oh so beautifully said... sending all my love this mother's day...

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  2. This is beautiful, Steph! Thank you!

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  3. A beautiful post. thank you, and Happy Mothers Day!!

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  4. I love your comments. They are always so heart felt and inspiring! Thank you (as always) for sharing!

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  5. I think that it is because of some of those deepest pains of motherhood that most of us can look at our children and know that they are our greatest joys. It wouldn't be that way if things were always ok. Your sweet boys are so beautiful. I'm hoping this day and every Mother's Day is more good than bad for you. I loved reading this-your words tend to help me put things into perspective, especially after a hard day (or two). Thank you.

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    Replies
    1. Wait, this is Wendy, not Brad. I forgot to sign out and sign back in as myself!

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Joshua Kent Ipson was born December 1, 2012 with a very complicated combination of congenital heart defects. After 2 1/2 months of fighting for his life, he passed away on February 13, 2013. We invite you to share our experiences as we grieve his loss, rejoice in God's plan, & keep Joshua's message of hope alive.
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