The Happiness Connection  

Mother's Day should be for all who take on a mothering role

Marking Mother's Day

This year, Mother’s Day is a little strange as it’s the first time my mom isn’t here for me to celebrate with. On the positive side, I’m with my kids. It’s been a few years since we’ve been on the same continent in May.

It isn’t Mother’s Day in the U.K., but that doesn’t matter. I like to tell my children that every day is Mother’s Day because they love me 365 days of the year, not just on a designated Sunday.

I had a close relationship with my mother, who lived into her 90s and I have amazing connections with my own children. I’m lucky. It isn’t such an easy day for everyone.

The first time I stopped to really consider Mother’s Day might be a challenge for some was a few years ago when a friend mentioned how hard the day was for his wife. They wanted, and tried, to have children but were not successful. All the Mother’s Day hype was an annual reminder they were childless.

If we’re trying to create a more inclusive world, perhaps we should expand who deserves to be honoured on Mother’s Day. There are many people who nurture and care for other living beings who aren’t mothers in the traditional sense.

If you have a mom, or are a mom, enjoy celebrating and being celebrated, but I believe mom’s come in different guises. They can be parents of “fur babies,” they can be single fathers and caregivers, to name but a few.

Of course, it’s also a difficult day for anyone who has strained or estranged relationships with their mothers. All the advertising about honouring the woman who bore and/or raised you is likely to bring more hurt than happiness when that is the case.

It would also be impossible to ignore what I consider to be the worst-case scenario on this day. Imagine what Mother’s Day must be like for anyone who’s lost a child. It can’t help but bring yet another painful reminder of the beautiful soul who disappeared from this world too soon.

I’m sure most parents imagine the horror of losing their offspring, but fortunately most of us never have to suffer through the experience.

About two years ago I was asked to speak at a retreat hosted by The Compassionate Friends in Vernon. It’s a nonprofit organization that offers support to bereaved parents and families.

At first, I was at a loss to think of what I could say that might help people in this unimaginable situation. Creating a presentation that would be both respectful and meaningful felt daunting. It forced me to imagine what their pain must be like. It was a humbling experience.

I’m excited and honoured to have been asked once again to help the group. This time I have been asked to speak at a fund-raising event on June 21. The theme is “Your Life is Now.” It’s a topic that applies to everyone, as living in the moment has been proven to boost your sense of wellbeing.

The event will run from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Wings Restaurant on Anderson Way in Vernon. If, like me, you feel moved to support such an important cause, consider buying a ticket, sponsoring the event or donating to the silent auction. Tickets are $40 each for the gala dinner featuring amazing keynote speakers, a silent auction, a goodie bag and unlimited fun.

Consider being a sponsor for the event. The Corporate Sponsor Package is $500 and includes four tickets. Contact Sherman Dahl at 250-558-8340 for details.

The minimum value for silent auction items should be $50, but the sky’s the limit. Please contact Kelli at [email protected] or by phoning 250-308-8489 if you have something to donate, want more information or to buy tickets.

For some people Mother’s Day is about far more than cards, presents and special meals. Let’s try to be mindful of the different memories and feelings that surface.

The Hallmark commercials present only one perspective of the reality of Mother’s Day.

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

More The Happiness Connection articles

About the Author

Reen Rose is an experienced, informative, and engaging speaker, author, and educator. She has worked for over three decades in the world of education, teaching children and adults in Canada and England.

Research shows that happy people are better leaders, more successful, and healthier than their unhappy counterparts, and yet so many people still believe that happiness is a result of their circumstances.

Happiness is a choice. Reen’s presentations and workshops are designed to help you become robustly happy. This is her term for happiness that can withstand challenge and change.

Reen blends research-based expertise, storytelling, humour, and practical strategies to both inform and inspire. She is a Myers Briggs certified practitioner, a Microsoft Office certified trainer and a qualified and experienced teacher.

Email Reen at [email protected]

Check out her websites at www.ReenRose.com, or www.ModellingHappiness.com

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

Previous Stories