Thoughts on being more Inclusive this Mother's Day

Thoughts on being more inclusive this Mother's Day

Mother's Day is a time to celebrate and appreciate the kick-ass women in our lives who have raised us, nurtured us, and supported us throughout our journeys. However, it's also important to recognise that not everyone has the same experience on Mother's Day. For some, this day can bring up feelings of grief, loss, and sadness. For others, it can be a reminder of their struggle with infertility or the complexity of their relationship with their mother. I'm learning to pause for a minute during national events like Mother's Day and take time to remember and support those who are having different experiences.

One way to celebrate Mother's Day inclusively is to broaden the definition of what it means to be a mother. Instead of only celebrating biological or adoptive mothers, we can also celebrate step-mums, grandmothers, aunts, godmothers, and any other woman who has played a significant role in our lives. This not only honours the important women in our lives, but it also acknowledges that motherhood comes in many different forms.

Another way to be inclusive is to recognise that not all mothers have the same experiences or relationships with their children. Some mothers have lost children, some have children who are estranged or incarcerated, and some have had ongoing struggles in their motherhood journey. It's important to acknowledge and support these mothers by listening to their stories, offering support, and letting them know that they are not alone.

For those who are experiencing grief or loss on Mother's Day, it's important to create space for them to process their feelings. This can be done by sending a thoughtful message, offering to spend time together, or simply being a listening ear. It's important to avoid saying things like "everything happens for a reason" or "it's time to move on," as these comments can be hurtful and dismissive. Even a simple 'I'm thinking of you today' text could make someone feel seen and understood.

Gender-specific events like Mother's Day can feel different to different families, especially for the LGBTQ+ community. Remember that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to how Rainbow families celebrate days like this. If you have an LGBTQ+ family in your life, and you're unsure about wishing them a happy Mother's Day, ask if and how they celebrate instead of making assumptions. Friends and family can be supportive of LGBTQ+ families by honouring how they choose to spend the day and putting an emphasis on all the beautiful ways people create their families.

Celebrating Mother's Day inclusively means broadening our definition of motherhood, acknowledging and supporting those who have different experiences, creating space for those who are grieving or experiencing loss, and being sensitive to those who may not have a positive experience on this day. By taking the time to recognise and support those who are having different experiences on Mother's Day, we can make this holiday a more meaningful celebration for everyone.