May 8, 2009

For the childless mother on Mother's Day


Vinita Wright has these powerful words that remind us that giving life can take many different paths.

I will not be attending church this Sunday, because it’s Mother’s Day, and I choose not to be present at that inevitable moment when all the mothers of the congregation are recognized. I have nothing against mothers; this is about my life. At many churches, there comes a point in the service where the pastor says, “I’d like all you mothers to stand” and everyone applauds as women of all ages rise and smile. In some congregations, prizes are given for those with the most children, those who are oldest, those who are the most recent mothers, and so forth. I don’t think we do anything like this at my church, but there is always the Mother’s Day Brunch after the service, and during the meal kids from the youth group scatter throughout the crowd and hand a carnation to every woman. At that point I must decide whether to be pissy about it and refuse to take the flower, or to be gracious and carry around the bloom while feeling completely fraudulent in doing so.

For this reason, I don’t attend church on Mother’s Day. I was able to stand up one year, long ago, in another church, the one and only time I was pregnant. But I lost that baby just a couple of weeks later. Today I am past the age of childbearing, and I am happy with my life. I accept it as a gift from God, and I do practice gratitude and recognize the many graces of my days. But I would have preferred motherhood, and so this single boycotted day of the year is my simple protest against the imperfection of life.

Enough of my story. This article is for you, the woman who is childless. I have decided what I would say if I were the pastor on Mother’s Day. I would ask the mothers to stand, because they deserve applause, by all means. But after they were seated, I would ask all those women to stand who were not mothers. And I would say something like this:


Check out the rest here and say a prayer to St. Gerard Majella (pictured above) who is the patron saint of childless couples.

5 comments:

Mary Jansen said...

Mike - As a childless woman, thank you for the post. It's a lovely read and a good acknowledgment of the gifts everyone brings to the world.

god googler said...

Your welcome, Mary. As someone without kids I have to remind myself of this also. We'll keep praying for each other and reminding one another where life is truly being given to others with our efforts.

TheWizard said...

Can someone please explain to me how a priest got to be the patron saint of mothers?

1maccabees said...

Vinita! Happy Mother's Day!! You ARE a Mother. The babe that was in your womb has life and IS living. Please, don't boycott the day by not formally worshiping God as He designed at Holy Mass. For, this is where we offer up sacrifice. Personally, I don't think it is necessary for individual parishes to do this "standing recognition". For crying out loud, women ARE Mothers by their nature! :- ) STAND, Vinita. You are a Mother. Ask your babe to pray for you on this matter. Thank you for your life in the Resurrected Lord doing work in His Church. I'm sure you Mother a lot of God's children in your life. Again, Happy Mother's Day Mother Vinita.

deus caritas est,
Joe

ceci37 said...

Thank You for you words- I know the hurt !!
I just found out my husband of 10 years NOW refuses to have children. I am 37 and in great shape to have children.
Here's the question, if you had it to do over again, would you go back and have IVF and have a child alone?
I always though I would be a mother (especially with my husband) ...ends -up he's just been using me all these years for a free ride !!! He doesn't love me at all.
He won't do counselling...I just have to face that I wasted my time here.he broke promises, not me.
Also, I have enough love, money and creativity to raise a child alone.
What would you do?

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