A version of this essay originally appeared on The Huffington Post
Mother’s Day can be…complicated.
(Cue the flood of expectations, unspoken dreams, grief, unwanted memories, and all the feelings.)
It can be wonderful to some, lonely to others, disappointing for many, and excruciating for more people than we could possibly know.
But no matter what part of the spectrum you find yourself on this Mother’s Day, know this: all women are life-givers, and if you identify as a woman, Mother’s Day is for you.
Mother’s Day has far less to do with womb-fruit than it does with the fruit of your soul.
Whether you’ve given life to biological babies, adopted littles, a parade of precious foster kids, the family who raised you, your chosen family, your friends, your pets, your significant other, or the people you show love & kindness to on a daily basis, you are a giver of life.
When you say a kind word to a stranger, you are giving life.
When you rock a colicky baby to sleep, you are giving life.
When you speak encouragement rather than criticism to your partner, you are giving life.
When you give money or a meal to a person experiencing homelessness, you are giving life.
When you change the 87th poopy diaper of the day, you are giving life.
When you bring your sick cat to the vet, you are giving life.
When you pour a cup of coffee for a co-worker, you are giving life.
And when you hold a friend as they cry, you are giving life.
You have the unique and profound ability to sustain, to rescue, and to nurture those around you, which has absolutely nothing to do with the status of your uterus.
You are a superhero. You are a life-giver. And whether you are greeted this Mother’s Day with sloppy baby kisses, sloppy dog kisses, a long day of work, or a soft bed all to yourself, pat yourself on the back and raise a glass, because this Mother’s Day is for you.
Kimberly Poovey is the founder of The Exvangelical Parent. She is a liberal misfit Enneagram 9 INFP who likes long walks on the beach, honey-habanero lattes, and Zoloft. After spending over a decade in the ministry world, she now writes and creates full time. She lives with her partner of 15 years and their 5-year-old son in the mountains of North Carolina.