Your invitation to peace and gratitude this Mother’s Day

*This was an article that I wrote last year in honor of mother’s everywhere.

This Mother’s Day is an invitation to celebrate mothers, diversity, perspective and gratitude.

Mother’s Day 2020 may look very different for you, if not everyone this year, whether you’re a mom or not. Today is less about the celebration as an annual event and more about celebrating the sacrifices that moms make daily, hour by hour, minute by minute, moment to moment. It’s the reality that when we, as women transition into motherhood, we often become mom-first, person-second.

I cannot begin this message without mentioning the fact that currently, many mothers across the globe are struggling and feeling depleted — emotionally, physically and mentally — and most importantly there’s no shame in that. As a special need’s mom and small business owner, I happen to have an up-close and personal relationship with burnout syndrome. COVID-19 is heavy. As a caregiver, you may be feeling that weight in the shape of responsibilities, from supporting your children in their learning at home, to financial and food insecurities. Perhaps it’s the pervasive illusion of work-life balance, and then let’s not forget … “mom-guilt.” Perhaps you’re a single mom and are grappling with all of these pressures solo while trying your very best not to break. Or maybe, you’re a special needs mom who’s daily experience is living in constant fight or flight, and is all too familiar with isolation unrelated to COVID-19 life and the subsequent regressions that follow.

This Mother’s Day may be difficult for some, and while COVID-19 and social distancing has left us to reinvent the landscape of how and with whom we celebrate, for many it has little to do with the absence of Sunday brunch. There are women, whom on Mother’s Day more than ever, feel the painful realities of infertility, and seeing another year come and go where “Happy Mother’s Day” doesn’t apply to them. Many women on this day are struggling with substance abuse and/or mental health, especially now in given circumstances. There are families that have lost their moms and whether it be their first or one of many, every Mother’s Day is an extremely painful reminder of that void. And to really give perspective, there are those that have experienced the loss of a child. Yeah, let that one sink in. Let me just say this, if any of this has been a chapter in your life story, please know you’re on my heart and in my prayers today and every day.

So, with all of this unpacked how do we get to a place of gratitude and peace? With unbridled empathy for others and an abundance of self-love, you choose it.

Mother’s Day is so much more than pinning on that corsage and finding the best souffle in town. Being a mother, auntie, caregiver is sacrificial, selfless, multi-generational, multi-cultural, differently abled and so worthy of honoring. It’s important work. Because Mother’s Day is about celebrating and recognizing that motherhood is a different experience for all of us and a universal understanding that it takes all kinds of women to bring grace and perspective on Mother’s Day.

For me, motherhood has been my proudest responsibility. It is my favorite name. It is my greatest daily, hour-by-hour, minute-by-minute, moment-to-moment challenge and blessing. And on Mother’s Day, more than ever with peace in my heart, I am grateful for the gifts I have been given and the diverse community of women that collectively weave the fabric of motherhood.

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