Honoring Spiritual Mothers and Mentors on Mother's Day
What Is A Mother? What Is An Appropriate Honor?
Mother's Day is a longtime holiday and I enjoy hearing about families in which three or four generations celebrate the day of honor with moms to grandmoms3 all in attendance. These ladies are appreciated with gifts, poetry, good food, music recitals, skits, and a good rest from household chores. The rest from daily chores may be the best part, since some married women who are stay-at-home moms feel that they will have the same workload until the day they are buried.
They feel this is injustice, adding the fact that older wives sometimes testify that retired husbands will not help them at home. The thought of cooking three full meals seven days a week and doing laundry for two at the age of 85 is not pretty. So, perhaps it should me Mother's Week and a real vacation once a year.
A Mother Pours Herself Into Her Children
I am highlighting all this, because of one family I knew. The parents in their early 40s had three middle-school aged children that the husband insisted his wife homeschool. Family vacations consisted of traveling to vacation cabins with kitchens and laundries, where she had the same duties as at home, including homeschooling - not much of a vacation for her or the kids.
I have no idea how that story ended. In another family with similar experiences, the mom packed up and left after the last of the three children went off to college one autumn. She enrolled in college herself, a few hundred miles away.
In a different family structure, how about single dads that are both father and mother to their children, and the aunts that help the family? These men often work full-time with help of childcare, and come home to take on all the family chores, just as do single moms.
All these men and aunts can be honored on Mother's Day and I think a lot of such families celebrate in in their own ways, doing the chores and taking dads and aunts to dinner. We might even want to name an Aunts and Uncles Day.
Mothers in America
I think Mother's Day is not only for mothers, but for anyone raising and mentoring children. These people can be honored in a way that does not detract from Mom and Grandmother on their dedicated holiday.
Have any here benefited from the love and wisdom of a woman that was not his or her mother or grandmother and did you say, "Thank you" ? Many have done so in a number of ways. And how about your single Dad or single Grandad that raised some readers? The single grandfather is one parent that is not often spotlighted and Mother's Day and/or Father's Day are inviting opportunities for thanks.
So what is a mother? Some individuals act as a mother to children and youth, but are not recognized; and the kids sometimes forget to say thanks. Some women spiritual mothers of the faith community, or advocates and mentors in their states, the country, academic disciplines such as fine arts or music (Leontyne Price).
We also have historical mothers and grandmothers - direct ancestors, also the first settlers of America - Native American, Spanish, African, French, Cajun, English, Dutch, Italian, Viking, and all the rest. Next are the pioneer women helped settle the American West and the next wave of immigrants to build a life here: Italian, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Russian, Ukrainian, and more.
We have mothers of Industry, Science, and Medicine: Lillian Gilbreth, who was celebrated in Cheaper by the Dozen. Madame Curie, Sister Kenny of Australia. Teachers and college instructors and professors can mean a lot to students in terms of education, mentoring and friendship. In some towns, women pastors and Sunday School teachers are a mainstay.
Which of all these people is not our mother in some way? The more I study the world, the more of them I find.
Gifts of Mentoring
- Spiritual Mothers of Priests
Spreading the knowledge of the vocation of spiritual mother and encouraging women to consider embracing it.
- Woman on Fire: Debbie Phillips Delivers the Weekly Inspiration on Spiritual Mothers - ABC News
Woman on Fire: Debbie Phillips delivers the Weekly Inspiration on spiritual mothers just in time for the holiday on Sunday during the Weekly Inspiration for GMA's Spirituality page.
First Person Story
"Janet needed a spiritual mother, someone who would "train the younger women to love their husbands and children..."
Best Ways to Celebrate
As mentioned above, a celebration of mentors and spiritual moms and grandmas need not interfere with the attention deserved by Mom on Mothers Day. Some churches hold a celebration service that morning, providing corsages to all moms, grandmoms, aunts, stepmoms, caregivers, nannies, babysitters, the church childcare workers, female mentors, teachers, coaches, female pastors - and boutonnieres to the single dads and granddads.
It is a happy occasion to which you can invite a mentor or another woman that has enriched your life and it is a gesture most people would appreciate, even if they don't attend church. Flowers and memorial messages for deceased women that people want to recognize cover the altars.These services often present a program of musical groups, then proceed to a special recognition given to service women and servicemen, having them stand to be recognized. It makes for a good morning of warm memories for those honored.
A New Method - Singing to Mom on YouTube
This biologist, cadamole, wrote a scientific song for his mom, a bit like Jim Lear singing the Chemical Table Of Elements; but it is called More than Everything I Am Is Thanks to You and moms seem to love it.
The ultimate of being successful is the luxury of giving yourself the time to do what you want to do.— Leontyne Price
Honor: Put it in Writing
You may want to writ about how you honor your mothers, grandmothers, and any of the advocates and encouragers of your life.
I never met my grandparents and met one great grandmother only once briefly at a funeral when I was five. Here are some of the women I admire and would take to dinner if I could. The ones still living and on the grid, I follow on Twitter!
- Lady Anne of Clan MacKintosh and Clan Chatten.
- Nichelle Nichols: twitter.com/NichelleIsUhura
- Leontyne Price: I will never forget how she visited my junior high music class. She is the first African-American singer to appear in a telecast opera: NBC's production of Tosca.
- Lena Horne
- Judith Resnick: Former Electrical Engineer and Astronaut from Cleveland OH.
- Sally Ride: Former Astronaut from California (www.sallyridescience.com).
- Lilian Jackson Braun: Professional Writer from ages 17 to 98. She seamlessly worked Lady Anne, above, into her Cat Who...mystery series. Always used a pencil and legal pad.
- Elizabeth Kenny: Australian Nurse that discovered a successful treatment to prevent paralysis in polio.
- Marlee Matlin: twitter.com/MarleeMatlin
- Mary Stantz: My first and second grade teacher.
- Patricia Caston: My 6th grade teacher, with the aide of Richard Kimball, student teacher.
- Mother Teresa
© 2011 Patty Inglish