Taking Mom Out of Mother's Day - Have We Gone Too Far?

In a desire to be sensitive toward women who are unable to have children I'm concerned that, perhaps on Mother's Day we may be going a bit too far. Not that we can ever be too compassionate in acknowledging the pain that surely accompanies the inability to have children but at the same time we shouldn't need to pull back in giving the much needed praise, encouragement and recognition to mothers who are actually raising, or have raised, children and all that that entails.



Concern for the feelings of women who have made career choices that cause them to delay motherhood, limit the number of children they have, or choose to not have children at all are among other reasons that motherhood, in general, has become a hot button issue even within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

In order to be politically sensitive in all circumstances where the issue of how women fulfill their role as mothers comes into play, it is my observation that we are becoming increasingly comfortable with relegating actual moms to the back of the bus even on Mother's Day. And frankly, that kind of bothers me. Said President Hinckley on the awesome responsibility of mothers:

You have nothing in this world more precious than your children. When you grow old, when your hair turns white and your body grows weary, when you are prone to sit in a rocker and meditate on the things of your life, nothing will be so important as the question of how your children have turned out. It will not be the money you have made. It will not be the cars you have owned. It will not be the large house in which you live. The searing question that will cross your mind again and again will be, How well have my children done?

For those who know my history as a mother you might find this concern somewhat surprising. I've wrestled not only with my own Mother's mothering but also with my own ability to mother ideally. It took me a while to put it all into proper perspective. Now that I have, I'm an even stronger advocate for moms with all our weakness and insecurities.  We have a huge task as mothers in Zion and understanding this role is one of our great lessons as sisters in Christ.

Here in the United States Mother's Day was originally established to provide a special day for children to pay tribute to their mothers for their good deeds. It was encouraged that children hand write special messages of gratitude to their mothers. In fact, Anna Jarvis, founder of Mother's Day, was so upset by the almost immediate commercialization of Mother's Day that she actually turned against the memorial and wanted it rescinded.

The simple purity of Mother's Day is being recruited to the larger war on women, of women, and, perhaps even between women. Mormon moms, and Mormon women, are among those who, above all, should not allow this to happen. We, more than any other women on the planet understand the divine call of all women to ultimately become a Mom and I would think would not be comfortable in, no matter personal circumstances, wanting to see motherhood diminished just to be made to feel comfortable.

As I sat in my own church meeting on a past Mother's Day, I sensed that a conscience effort had been made to focus more on womanhood, in general, rather than on being a Mom -- a mother with children. I have no critique of the remarks given. Thankfully no one read off a list of what makes a perfect mother. You know the kind of list I'm talking about, right? The one that leaves every mother in the congregation, except for maybe one (the speaker's perfect wife or mother) feeling like scum on the bottom of a shoe. No, my ward pulled off this new twist quite flawlessly.

And yet, as a Mom myself, knowing well the sacrifices of so many others who have followed the commandments of God, counsel of living prophets, and promptings of the Spirit in making the choice to give birth and become a Mom in the face of so much opposition in today's world, I wished with all my heart, on Mother's Day, at the very least, someone would have given such Moms' recognition for this choice, sacrifice and life's work -- praise that it so well deserves.

Again, not that there's anything wrong, at all, in recognizing all women as mothers as part of their divine nature. Sheri Dew's great talk, "Are We Not All Mothers?" has had a profound impact on this discussion in the Church and rightfully so. I quote it often.

However, we can't shy away from moving forward once we've established this doctrine and acknowledge our gratitude for those women who are able, and willing, to make the bearing and nurturing of children their first priority and the impact for good this has on the lives of the children they nurture.

Even though, as Sheri Dew taught, Eve was called "the mother of all living," in the garden, before she ever bore a child, nonetheless, her full stature was not complete until after the Fall where she was able to finally have children in mortality. Let us never forget that although we have a prescribed divine destiny that it is in the fruits of becoming, or doing, that the promised blessings are ultimately manifest.

Women today, who make the choice to become mothers through giving birth or adoption (and those who desire to do so) are fulfilling their divine nature and destiny as commanded by God -- to multiply and replenish the earth. These particular women, in my opinion, standout among all women as lights to be honored and revered for their sacrifice in setting aside their own desires, and as the Savior, Himself, willingly follow God's Plan in the face of much adversity.

This is the perfect Mother: the one, with all her weakness, chooses to follow God's Plan and teaches her children to do the same although for the majority of us, incredibly imperfectly.

Howard W. Hunter on the Motherhood:
A man who holds the priesthood has reverence for motherhood. Mothers are given a sacred privilege to “bear the souls of men; for herein is the work of [the] Father continued, that he may be glorified” ( D&C 132:63). 
The First Presidency has said: “Motherhood is near to divinity. It is the highest, holiest service to be assumed by mankind” (in James R. Clark, comp., Messages of the First Presidency, 6 vols., Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1965–75, 6:178). The priesthood cannot work out its destiny, nor can God’s purposes be fulfilled, without our helpmates. Mothers perform a labor the priesthood cannot do. For this gift of life, the priesthood should have love unbounded for the mothers of their children. 
Honor your wife’s unique and divinely appointed role as a mother in Israel and her special capacity to bear and nurture children. We are under divine commandment to multiply and replenish the earth and to bring up our children and grandchildren in light and truth (Moses 2:28; D&C 93:40). You share, as a loving partner, the care of the children. Help her to manage and keep up your home. Help teach, train, and discipline your children. 
You should express regularly to your wife and children your reverence and respect for her. Indeed, one of the greatest things a father can do for his children is to love their mother. 
A man who holds the priesthood regards the family as ordained of God. Your leadership of the family is your most important and sacred responsibility. The family is the most important unit in time and in eternity and, as such, transcends every other interest in life. 
We reiterate what was stated by President David O. McKay: “No other success [in life] can compensate for failure in the home” (David O. McKay quoting J. E. McCulloch, “Home: the Savior of Civilization,” in Conference Report, Apr. 1935, p. 116) and President Harold B. Lee: 
“The most important of the Lord’s work you and I will ever do will be within the walls of our own homes” (Harold B. Lee, Stand Ye in Holy Places, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1974, p. 255). Effective family leadership, brethren, requires both quantity and quality time. The teaching and governance of the family must not be left to your wife alone, to society, to school, or even the Church. Howard W. Hunter, “Being a Righteous Husband and Father,” Ensign, Nov 1994, 49


tDMg
Kathryn Skaggs

Photo: Taken on my iPhone, of me and my Mom, on Mother's Day.

From WBMW:

Like Mary, the Mother of Jesus...

Woman: "The Crowning Creation and Glory of the Human Experience"

A Survivor of Mother's Day Depression

LDS.org: Motherhood

44 comments:

  1. As a woman who struggles with infertility, I found it a great comfort to finally spend a Mother's Day without having to leave a sacrament meeting in painful tears.

    Yes, Mother's should be celebrated, but in doing so specifically (even on a day called Mother's Day) rubs salt into the wounds of those who wish to bear children, but cannot. Or have had children taken from their arms too soon.

    I was grateful to many who concentrated their efforts on speaking about the blessings of Motherhood with added emphasis for those who also struggle on Mother's Day.

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    1. I'm happy to hear, that in your ward, the right balance was achieved. : )

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    2. I agree that we need to recognize mothers on mothers day. I do my best to struggle through Mothers day every year. Some years are harder then others, this year was harder then most. Back in February we were contacted about possibly adopting a baby. By the beginning of April she had decided to raise the baby herself. We have been through a "adoption miscarriage" before so you would think I would have been prepared. I wasn't. I had let myself daydream about taking our baby to my first "legit" mothers day. I seriously considered skipping church entirely, but felt that I needed to continue to extend my faith that a adoption would happen eventually. Some how skipping church would only confirm those feelings of being a failure. I was lucky enough to have understanding friends and family who looked out for me that day. I also received a confirmation that Adoption is a Eternal principal as well. We are all adopted into the tribe of Israel, and many children will be raised by worthy members during the Millinium, and not by their unworthy parents. Some how this gives me hope.
      We need to honor mom's but we also need to recognize those who live with empty arms every day. The women who nurture your children in Primary, In YW and in your community. I know many remarkable women who have given birth who are incredible mothers, but I also know women who take that role very lightly.
      So I guess I agree with some of what you shared, but I also understand how painful Mothers day can be for women who are unmarried or who struggle with infertility. I am grateful that the role of motherhood is a eternal one. In the lords due time, some one will call me mommy, and that will be "mothers day" for me.

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    3. I'm so sorry for your struggles and for the "adoption miscarriage". I can only imagine the void you must feel from such an experience, but I'm also thankful that you have shared your beautiful testimony here. I also have a testimony that adoption is an eternal principle. I am very sensitive to women who desire to have children, but are unable and have difficulty with the adoption process. In this post I stated that, in my opinion, these faithful desires make such sisters just as much a mother as those with children. I sincerely believe that.

      There are so many reasons that we sisters often struggle with Mother's Day. I've written about my own stuggles that were attached to issues of emotional abandonment, by my own mother -- very painful. It took me years to find peace. For many years, as a young mother, I prayed that I could just sleep through MD and wake up on Monday as if it never happened.

      Thank Heaven, literally, for the Atonement that has the power to heal all of our sorrows and pains. And how grateful we are to understand, as you said, that motherhood is Eternal. : )

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  2. If I may, I'd like to tell you about my Mother's Day. Mine was wonderful! Flowers, cards and angel snow globes and a hand made ceramic tile.. It was beautiful.. but just spending time with my family and my three boys would have been more than enough.. All the riches in the world could never replace the love I feel for them.. but I felt so wonderfully blessed.

    My sister can not have children and my best friend can not have children.. I was afraid to say Happy Mother's day to them.. or even get them a card to let them know I was thinking of them.. My fear of upsetting them by my own happiness really put a damper on things.. Until I talked to my friend about it.

    She said that while it did hurt not being able to have children, she is very blessed to have a step daughter, one that calls her mom.. and while she would love to have a child someday, she understands and accepts Heavenly Father's will. She knows that God has a very special plan for her, one that she might not understand at this time.. but he makes no mistakes. He has a reason for everything and that has helped her accept the fact that she may never get to experience the joys of being a mom, carrying a child in her wound for 9 months..

    I admire her greatly for her belief and understanding and faith in God and though it makes me very sad to think about those that may not be able to conceive.. carry or deliver a child.. and possibly never be able to adopt due to what ever reasons.. I still have to find a way to be thankful for what I have and to be truly grateful for what I have.. All I can do is pray for those less fortunate..

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    1. Thank you for sharing, Crystal. That was so beautiful.

      You bring out a very important point, that is, that we are very mindful of our sisters who must deal with not being able to have children, for various reasons, and the great faith, on their part, of finding peace in their journey.

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  3. I agree that there needs to be balance and distinction between women who choose not to have children and those who desire to have them but cannot - either because they are unmarried or struggling with infertility. Honestly, as an adoptive parent and someone who has been through many childless Mother's Days, emphasizing "womanhood" certainly never made me feel any better about the fact that my desperate desire to have children was unfulfilled. I enjoy Mother's Day now, but not because my husband makes me breakfast or gives me a card. It's because motherhood is its own reward. For me, it is a day to cherish the blessing it is to be a mom rather than a day to recieve accolades or a pat on the back. My job as a mom fills me with far greater joy than any Sacrament meeting talk or gift ever could.

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    1. Good points, akidd. What a blessing to have such a clear understanding of your roles as a mother, with no need of outside encouragement.

      It took me years to reach that point. Perhaps this was because, in my case, I became a mother at a very young age -- and lacked the necessary understanding and confidence required to feel so self-assured.

      This is probably what, now, causes me to feel so concerned for the many moms, that I believe are among us, who may be where I was, as a young mother.

      I feel that we can never hear too much of what our prophets counsel is important about choosing to have children and putting family first -- and its importance and priority in the Lord's plan. Especially when so much of the world, today, would have us feel otherwise.

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  4. I loved this post, and our talks in Sacrament meeting were also geared towards all women more than mothers. Interesting that you blogged about that. I have always been shocked and I guess a little naive at the number of mothers who hate going to church on Mother's Day. I assumed that everyone loved it as much as I did. I had no idea Mother's Day depressed or discouraged some mothers. I personally, don't feel like the perfect mother. I don't take the talks as I am lower than low and can never measure up. I take the validation I have earned, and look to what I can work on, but mostly bask in the joy of being a mother. There is so much to feel joy about. It is a great feeling knowing that we as mothers are apart of something great: motherhood!

    I think it is a good thing to be sensitive to those who struggle with infertility or even being married. But Mothers Day is about Mothers. There is nothing to be offended in that.

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    1. I started to see this type of conversation, online, leading up to Mother's Day, where people were teaching the principle of all women as mothers, before they even give birth. It is always intended to be a positive, as it should be. I was even a part of one. When it actually happened in my ward, and overshadowed Moms, it really stood out to me. I knew it wasn't just my ward.

      I was one of 'those' women who strongly disliked Mother's Day, in years past, especially as a young mother. I'm suspecting that those who don't struggle with MD most likely had a strong model of MD while growing up and have happy memories and feelings about motherhood in general. Something I lacked and had to develop as I matured in the gospel.

      I'm so grateful to be on the side of having joy in my own motherhood. It's a wonderful place to be. The adversaries attack on women is powerful and hitting us where we mother is one of his greatest tools.

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  5. I wish that we could regain the ability to rejoice and celebrate another's joy and success without feeling badly about the ways we don't exactly match them.

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    1. And that's really what it boils down to, isn't it? Well said.

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  6. I don't care for Mother's Day being watered down to cater to the rest of us who have not had children whether it be because some of us can't or some of us choose not to. I have come to really disdain attending Mother's Day Service simply because I know I do not deserve a rose or piece of candy or whatever token the youth hands out for the mere fact that I am a woman. I am strong enough in my standing with the Lord to know that this is a day set aside for women who have sacrificed their lives, their bodies, their careers, and so much more so that a child could enter this world. I am a nurturing, giving person but just because I have the plumbing doesn't mean I get a nod on this day. I think it's highly disrespectful and that it serves to once again be another instance where a woman who has achieved much in this regard is silently asked to endure this charade on behalf of some women who choose to take out their own insecurities and perceived failings out on those who should be celebrated if but for a measly day. Childless women in the church may feel the sting on this one day yet if they could set aside their issue(s) and celebrate that someone brought them into this world and raised them and nurtured them in whatever capacity those mothers knew how, then perhaps this wouldn't continue to be such the ridiculous event it has come to be. Relief Society and sisters in the church need to step up and take ownership of this and stop allowing priesthood holders and other men who get up to give their politically correct nod to "women in the church" on this day to continue to homogenize one simple beautiful day of acknowledgment. It's just one day ladies, suck it up and be thankful for the one who brought you here. If some sisters have strained relations with their own mothers as is the case with mine; my suggestion is to acknowledge the basic act of motherhood in your heart and perhaps shower some of the mothers in your own wards with a bit of celebration.
    I am in complete opposition to being celebrated on this day simply because I have the corresponding parts. It is undignified and insulting to those who have given so much of themselves. Eve is the Mother of all Life because of her role in Creation. She gave birth. She raised children. So what if she was dubbed as such before she committed the act. She rose to her title as it was known in her heart. I cannot speak for Eve but this only makes sense.
    I hope folks in the church will come to acknowledge this and really start to acknowledge the disparity here.
    Women in general are celebrated in the church. It's called 'Relief Society'.
    Anyway, thanks for allowing me to say my piece on your blog.

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    1. Thanks for your straightforward thoughts and opinions on this topic. I sincerely appreciate your honesty and style in expressing them. : )

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    2. Thank you. I tend to opine quickly so if I seem harsh, it's not meant to be. I believe when women in the church take charge of this day then men will stop trying to cater to all the women they answer to. They don't know any better. Think about it: a priesthood holder is up there trying to acknowledge his mom and not anger or upset his wife. Sure he's in a pickle but the only way out is the "please everybody" way out? Uh, no ma'am.
      I believe many women are capable of nurturing, caring for, and sacrificing for others in their own way but some just don't have it. And that's okay. That's between the Lord and that woman. We don't have to judge. We don't have to participate. We can each be thankful in expressing appreciation for the women in our lives who have tended to our well being but especially those who have brought us into this world. I am not particularly close to my own mother but in my heart I love her. I am able to share an appreciation and kinship to some of the other women in my life who lend their mothering to me. God bless 'em for it. And may I say, God bless you ;-)

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  7. "Real Mothers" as you imply, get 100% approval every Sunday of the year. Mother's day should be banned from LDS services, until such time as we have a Revelation from God to "celebrate" this. Instead, let it be celebrated at home. Let mothers be honored and revered there, because as it currenlty stands, the mothers end up feeling guilty, the non-mothers end up feeling guilty, and I just don't see a scriptural precedent for allowing wordly traditions (AKA the philosphies of men) to intermingual with spiritual fellowshipping. And if all "real mothers" would stop demeaning those who don't have children (yet?), and would work to fellowship them instead, it may be possible for the saints to have Unity (no manner of ites). I also agree, that women who are pursuing education and possibly careers need to be sensitive to not put down mothers who aren't following the same path they are. That was Elder Cook's counsel in the last Fall's GC. Those "real mothers" who continue to condemn and judge other women for not following the exact same path they have, do so while directly contradicting an apostle, who in this case, was correct.

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    1. In this instance, I do not believe we are, as a Church, incorporating the "philosophies of men" when it comes to honoring mothers and motherhood, on Mother's Day.

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    2. Correct, the Church does not officially recognize mother's day in it's liturgy. However, individual churches do. Searching the Church handbook of instruction yields nothing for mother's day... Unless you'd like to point out some scripture that I have failed to see canonized, there has never been an apostolic acceptance of MOther's day. THerefore, by definition, it belongs as a Philosphy of Man. The human race is allowed to have their philosphies, but we harm everyone when we confuse them for the Gospel...

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    3. Thanks for your research, but I still have no problem with the Church recognizing motherhood on Mother's Day -- and don't see any apostate action in doing so. Stake Pres. and Bishops have keys that give them authority to direct these memorials, IMHO. ; )

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    4. To re-state and clarify:
      I did not claim that "celebrating" mother's day is apostate. Let's propose a mere modest proposal: Just like we don't devote our Sacrament Meetings to Halloween, New Years Day, or any other Secular Holiday, let's not devote a Sacrament Meeting to Mother's Day. Sure, you can say Happy Mother's day, but honestly, that's not the point of Church. Remember when they changed from having Missionary Fairwells and Homecomings ??? Yeah, the focus was on the wrong people... I'm not out of line here, the Church has not officially embraced Mother's Day in it's Liturgy, and there is nothing wrong, nothing deserving censorship, in pointing it out...

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    5. My apologies, Andrew. Using the word "apostate" was a bit facetious.

      Mother's Day is not a holiday. it is a memorial. Much different. I think. The only mandatory part of any Sacrament meeting is the administration of the Sacrament ordinance. All esle are just appendages. Certainly teaching the doctrine of motherhood, among other doctrinal topics, can point us to Christ if done properly. I'm all for that and see no conflict. Just my opinion. : )

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  8. I completely agree! As a mother who is thick in the trenches of it all, having been raised to not value mothering full time, I need to hear about the divine importance of motherhood!! It helps me to appreciate my role better. This work is hard! I need all the advice I can get! Thanks for the uplifting quotes. And, I really appreciated the link having a little to do with the struggles you had with your mother. How do you appreciate your mother when you've faced such disappointment? How have you come to love your mother and appreciate her for who she is and not who you want her to be? I'm trying to learn this now with my own mother. Thanks for any help!

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    1. Thank you, Carolyn. Perhaps I will write a bit more of how I resolved my 'mother' issues. It was a long process that, of course, required the atonement. But really, doesn't just bout everything. ; )

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  9. I am not sure how I feel about this post. I have friends who have suffered infertility and not due to postponing childbearing. I have family and friends who have lost babies, or miscarried and don't have living children and I have friends who are some of the BEST mothers to children that belong to others. They magnify their calling in the primary or Youth programs and go above and beyond. They are there for those youth in the middle of the night for late night phone calls, take time out of their day to be involved in their lives, and sometimes become almost a surrogate mother. There might not be many, but I have a great friend who never married and can't have children who is a second mother to many young women. She is also a Seminary teacher, her students know that she will be there for them for any reason. I wished her a Happy Mother's Day because she mothers these youth.
    I am a mother of 7 and I don't feel at all slighted or left out when we include "womenhood" in our Mother's day.

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    1. Although I have never lost a child, myself, I am very sensitive to those who have. I consider such a woman, as much a mother as I am.

      I have been a seminary teacher, twice a YW Pres, RS Pres. etc... I am currently a primary teacher. Never would I equate such service, to those whom I have served, to that of any of their mothers.

      Recognizing these types of "mothers" on Mother's Day is something I am completely fine with and feel very appropriate. My concern is that in doing so, we don't relegate Moms to the back of the bus. That's all.

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  10. Thanks for this post Kathryn, you always get me thinking about things I have never considered before. I've had the full spectrum of life experiences, for brief times, that a woman con go through on mothers day: being single - and older 'than average' at that, losing my own mother whilst still single, and therefore, still no children, then after being married, first living with infertility, then multiple miscarriages, and now full circle to 3 perfectly wonderful children. I guess I have never noticed that mothers have been 'relegated to the back of the bus' so to speak on mothers day - my experiences in church have always been that they have been honored, and maybe all the wards I've been in have done a good job at that. I do feel that women, who through no fault of their own, who don't have children shouldn't be made to feel like second-rate women on that day, and I don't see this day as a way to elevate anyone above another or as an 'us or them' situation - that's not the way of the gospel - but to teach the doctrine of motherhood (in church), which is eternal. Even if we don't have children, we all have mothers and relationships with them to celebrate or improve upon and teaching the doctrine of motherhood is how we do that. It's a sensitive topic, with many tender hearts involved, but so long as we stick to the doctrine, and focus on what we have, and strive for what we don't - in my experience - those tender hearts can receive the joy that is always available to us through the gift of the atonement.

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    1. Thank you for this. My first thought when reading this was, "has she *been* to an LDS meeting lately??" Because I've never once felt like mothers have ever--EVER--been relegated to the back of the bus. When every meeting, even in singles' wards, is about how we'll teach the principle of the lesson to our (as yet unborn) children, um, no.

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  11. As a mother of 8 and a woman who also went through Primary Infertility, I have seen both sides of that issue. But I feel at peace with the change to Mother's Day activities at church. A mother would only feel like she is getting the backseat in the whole event IF her own children and family are not honoring her at home. That is where honoring mothers truly begin.

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  12. I have to echo some of the comments here. I'm also uncomfortable with celebrating mothers at an institutional level. It's so problematic for so many people--not just those who are struggling with infertility, but for people who experienced abuse or had completely absent mothers.

    Mother's day is a time for families to celebrate their own mother and the sacrifices she has made. The church need not spend an entire sacrament meeting devoted to mothers, because aside from it being problematic, like was said above, mothers get 100% affirmation from the church every. single. day. Not so for the single women, the women who can't have kids, or the women who chose a different path because of her own personal revelation.

    And I'm truly uncomfortable idea that we imperfect beings can divine whether a woman is a "good" woman who wanted to have kids but just can't right now vs. one of those selfish women who got education or a career. None of us can possibly know the hearts of our sisters. And if we could, why would it matter? Let's just love one another, no matter what.

    That said, I would enjoy a mother's day where the talks are about Mother in Heaven or the women in the scriptures we seldom see.

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    1. I agree. I would love to hear the church speak more of our Holy Mother.

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    2. In response to this, please see what LDS.org says on why we don't speak more of her. There are specific reasons :)

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    3. I did a search on lds.org for "heavenly mother" and I feel I didn't find specific reasons. Can you point me to this list? All I could find was that not speaking about her didn't degrade her...

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  13. I do not think I've known any woman in the church who has purposefully delayed having children by more than a few years. Any time I thought a woman was purposefully delaying children longer than a few years, I always found out otherwise. On the other hand, I have known so many women who could not have children because of being single or because of infertility. For a few years I was in the second category. I am grateful for any sensitivity being shown to those whose hearts are broken on Mother's Day.

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    1. This post is not intending to, in anyway, suggest a discontinuation of sensitivity.

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  14. I loved this blog post! As a woman who struggles with infertility, I had some tough Mother's Days (admittedly I never like it when they wish me happy Mother's Day because of guilt or not wanting me to feel left out). but honestly, this wonderful day isn't about me and my inability to have kids! It's a day to commemorate these wonderful women in our lives who are our mothers or who are mothers themselves. It was never meant to do harm or make women with bad moms or who can't have kids feel terrible :) Society has gotten too PC and thin skinned with getting offended or trying to minimize Mother's Day!

    I have a mother so on Mother's Day, I honor her and it makes the day so wonderful. It's not about me and my struggles with not being able to have children.

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    1. I love the charity you express in this comment. Thank you.

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  15. I read this blog to see what it was about. I never realized they were taking mothers out of Mother's Day, but this blog does make a good point.

    As with other commenters, I have always felt silly being recognized on Mother's Day when I am not a mother, and judging from the comments of others, I don't think recognizing all women makes infertility feel any less poignant.

    I have never had a problem with Mother's Day talks, or lack of Mother's Day talks. What I have a problem with is people who assume I have chosen not to have children for selfish reasons, and then judge me based on that assumption.

    Elizabeth Gilbert once said: Some people have children for selfish reasons, and some people don't have children for unselfish reasons.

    Creating a family is extremely personal, profound, and life changing and should not be taken lightly. When others make comments to me based on their assumptions and what they believe to be "right", that is much more hurtful than hearing sacrament talks about mothers on Mother's Day.

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    1. Thanks for your thoughts. I admire your perspective and faith.

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  16. I am just wondering if we would be discussing this if we were talking about Father's Day? I think the Proclamation on the Family (which is doctrine) discusses the eternal roles of mothers and fathers. Therefore, having talks about motherhood or fatherhood is within the scope of appropriate sacrament meeting talks. There are a few topics that are spoken about in church that don't "include" me. For example, serving a mission. Yes, I know, every member is a missionary, but that is not the same as being a set apart, full time missionary. I do not CHOOSE to be offended when someone speaks about full time missionary service. I can appreciate those talks and the doctrine shared as I feel the spirit. The same is true for talks about the Atonement. How many people sit in sacrament meetings, listening to talks about repentance, and just bristle with guilt and feelings of shame? I'm talking about the "big sins" that can change your path and affect your personality. Do we stop talking about the atonement and repentance because it might stir up some hard emotions? Just something to think about. I have always loved Mother's Day and I do not mind the talks I've heard in sacrament meetings about motherhood.

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  17. Never married and childless women such as myself get ZERO holidays for us. None. There are no cards for us. No cakes, no brunches.

    Churches never have a "recognize and celebrate mature, celibate, never married, childless women" type of service, so I have a very hard time feeling sorry for mothers who feel their churches or communities are not doing enough to honor motherhood.

    If anyone ever comes up with a nationally recognized "Adult Single and Celibate / Childless" holiday, and churches celebrate the holiday one Sunday service a year, then we can talk.

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    1. And nowhere in this post is it suggested that these sisters not be included and honored on Mother's Day for their inherent motherhood.

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  18. Never married and childless women such as myself get ZERO holidays for us. None. There are no cards for us. No cakes, no brunches.

    Churches never have a "recognize and celebrate mature, celibate, never married, childless women" type of service, so I have a very hard time feeling sorry for mothers who feel their churches or communities are not doing enough to honor motherhood.

    If anyone ever comes up with a nationally recognized "Adult Single and Celibate / Childless" holiday, and churches celebrate the holiday one Sunday service a year, then we can talk.

    (I am having problems posting to your blog. I've tried sending this three times, but each time, I get error messages. I have no idea if my posts are going through or not)

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