Sunday, May 08, 2011

Remembering the UnMothers of Mother’s Day

Today is Mother’s Day - the one day set aside, in a calendar year, to recognize our mothers.
I have a mother, and I have “recognized” her with the customary “Happy Mother’s Day, Mom” salutation.
But, alas, nothing more - no fancy flowers, gifts or the like. 
Bad girl, Jenny!   
The “official” Mother’s Day holiday is on my calendar through someone else’s doing. I did not get up one morning and decide that on the second Sunday in May, I would acknowledge my mother - no, someone else came up with that idea.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I think some of us need to be reminded that at least once a year we pull out all the stops and let mom know that she’s special.
But, there are some of us that don’t limit ourselves to one day. 
I would rather take one day off of remembering “mother” in light of the fact I have her on my radar the other three hundred and sixty-four days.
Small acts of kindness, practiced all year long, suit me, also a mother, much better than one big “bang for your buck” day and then cast under the bus for the rest of the year.
I will be spending the day with my daughter - yes, she does celebrate Mother’s Day! 

And, I confess, I love it!

I also love the random “remembering mother” moments that happen when I least expect them because they aren’t on a calendar.
BUT...this post is really about some other women...the Unmothers of Mother’s Day.
It’s about the women in our lives, not biologically connected to us or anyone else, that have mothered us with such love and kindness that they have earned the title “mother” and are worthy of inclusion on this very special day.
Today, I acknowledge the unmothers of Mother’s Day!
Let me start with Linda, my daughter’s godmother.
Linda has no biological children - but what a mother she is! My daughter is blessed to have this amazing, gracious and wise woman as a “mother” figure in her life. 
Linda’s reliable, consistent, unfailing and steadfast nature has been like a beacon on a stormy night on those occasions when I have not always been the “right” person for the job of “mothering” my daughter.
Then, there’s Remy, aka Remy-Mama; a mothering-angel from heaven! 
Remy also had no biological children - but loved and raised my daughter as if she was her own. Her loving, patient and inspiring nature helped develop those same attributes in my daughter. 
I am, and will forever be, in Remy’s debt for the kindness and commitment she put into caring for my daughter as her nanny; while I, a single mother, worked myself silly to support the three of us.
These are just two examples of the unmothers of the world; amazing women that are often relegated to a back seat because they are not “real” mothers in the eyes of society and there is no singular date on the calendar recommending them for recognition.
Tsk, tsk…
Real mothers...what actually is a “real” mother?
Are you a mother just because you can produce a child from your body?
As you read this, pause, and think of the women you know - all of them, then ask yourself  how many of these amazing women, that have crossed your path, are worthy of the distinction of “mother” solely on their mothering nature, and not because of their ability to give birth to a child.
How about the woman, a single child herself with no children, caring for her ailing mother?
How about the woman that volunteers as a Big Sister, because she loves children?
How about the woman, who adopts a child, just because?
Or the woman, that really doesn’t want children, but is absolutely the best auntie on the planet and spoils her nieces and nephews silly?
Or the woman, that is unable to have her own - and suffers a lifetime because she feel incomplete - but would have been the most incredible mother ever?
In every corner, on every street, in all the cities around the globe there is a woman that is worthy of being honoured on this very special day, solely because she excels in the mothering department - without biological connections.
To all the unmothers of the world - this post is for you!
Is there an unmother that you remembered today?
Cheers, Jenny


  1. That is such a well thought out post today, Jenny . I'm afraid it puts my writing to shame! That's a lovely idea to think of all the other women that have had an influence on our lives, or on our childrens' lives. Not forgetting, as you say, the women who go through life, desperately wanting a child, and feeling that they have failed because it hasn't happened for them. Great post!

  2. What a beautiful thought! A friend of mine has been trying for many years to have a baby and she suffers terribly - she's one of the sweetest, most caring women I know.



  3. great post..

    way to do a topic justice my friend!

    so true to remember everyone more than just one greeting card day of the year!

  4. what a beautiful post and very true thank you for this amazing and powerful post. Brilliant

  5. Happy Mother's Day!

    Since I was adopted, my "mom" could be called an unmother of sorts. But whatever the title, she's always going to be a very special person to me. That is for certain! :)

  6. Oh, I LOVED this post! As with all of your posts, it was filled with such wisdom! Thank you, Jenny! And Happy Mother's Day to YOU!

  7. Jenny, what a beautiful post!
    For several years, I have dreaded Mother's Day because I want children of my own so badly, but until I find "Mr. Right", that isn't going to happen.
    Mother's Day is often just another reminder that I don't have the children I've longed for for so long. I love my own mother and I try to show her that every day, and I honor her on Mother's Day.
    I know it will happen one day (having my own children), either naturally or through adoption, but until then, it is sometimes hard to wait.
    This year, I am putting my thoughts aside and embracing the day for my own mom!
    Happy Mother's Day to you!

  8. Happy Mother's Day, Godmother! Thanks for mentioning my mom. She is pretty awesome.

  9. Love your blogging work! Keep up the good work you make really good posts!

  10. This post went right to my heart. As someone who has no children, I've struggled a great deal with feelings of emptiness and being "incomplete." This is a beautiful post that really touched me, thank you for that.

  11. Fabulous post - I loved what you said about godmothers and those who spread the love even though they may not want their own children (here's to you Aunt Mo! - You're the best!)

  12. Nice post Jenny! Auntie Georgie never married nor had any children but she certainly loved her niece Mary-Ann and me. We had so much fun laughing and dancing on our Fridays nights out together.

  13. Thisise

    Thank you so much for your kind words. I appreciate you and your comments so very much. I hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day.


    Thanks! I’m saddened to read about your friend, I will add her to my thoughts and my chats with the universe.

    Hugs right back to you!


    I’m please that you felt I did this topic justice and I agree it is so important to have the ones we love up front and centre all year long.


    Thanks - I’m glad you liked it!

    Golden Eagle

    I thought of you when I wrote this, having read your profile - I’m so glad you see the bigger picture. Sounds like you’ve been one lucky young lady, with getting a “mom” that is so special.


    You add such a smile to my face - I’m glad you LOVED my post! I hope your day was wonderful and happy too.


    Thank you for sharing your story. I truly had so many of you lovely and wonderful ladies in mind when I wrote this post.
    So often women, that do not have their own biological offspring, are made to feel quite bad about themselves and I wanted to shed light on this injustice.
    As I wrote in my post, to be a mother is all about the “mothering” rather than the producing of a child.
    I’m so glad you and your mother are close - it’s lovely to read stories of mother’s and daughters getting along.
    I hope you both enjoyed Mother’s Day!


    My sweet little god-kitty! I think you have the best mom in the world and yes, she is awesome!


    Thank you for coming by and having a read! Seems like this post was long overdue, from the wonderful feedback I’ve received.
    Please feel free to pass this along to anyone you would like to share it with.
    I hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day!


    Welcome to Pearson Report. I’m glad you’ve liked what you read! Please feel free to look around and read some of my past posts.


    It makes me sad to hear that so many wonderful women feel empty and incomplete because of not having their own child.
    You have probably warranted receiving the honour of being recognized on this great day purely because of your loving and mothering nature to your pets - it all counts. Big Hugs to you.


    Thanks! My own excellent godmother passed away early last year and I miss her. She never had any children but I was loved beyond words - I will never, ever forget her.


    We all have wonderful women that fit in the category that I wrote about in this post - I’m glad you and your sister were blessed to have Auntie Georgie to make you laugh and give you such endearing memories of your times together.

    To all of you - I send a big, warm “mothering” hug because you are all so AWESOME!

    Cheers, Jenny

  14. Hope you had a nice Mother's Day, Jenny.
    We don't have it here in Europe, so I never know the exact date :)


Thanks for sharing your thoughts.