Mormon Channel Blog

Surviving Mother’s Day When You’re Not a Mother

May 6, 2016

By Tracy Allen from Nevada

I really enjoy Mother’s Day. I love that it’s generally a warm and sunny day. It’s a great reminder to call my mom and thank her for everything she’s done for me. But as a single woman, despite how much I like Mother’s Day, it can be hard.

Most of the time, I stay hopeful and focus on all the good things I can be a part of now, but occasionally doubt creeps in, causing a physical ache in my chest. It’s the pain of wondering why God wouldn’t help me marry and have children if He wanted it for me so badly. It’s the pain of wondering if it’ll ever happen. It’s the pain of being scared to want it too much.

If I’m not careful, Mother’s Day is a perfect opportunity to let this pain take hold.

During Sister Neill F. Marriott’s talk about the power of nurturing in the general women’s session of conference, I noticed myself emotionally detaching the way I usually do so comments about motherhood don’t hurt too much. But as she kept going, my heart softened and I began to listen more attentively, just in time to hear her say that “nurturing is not limited to bearing children;” rather, “to be a mother means to give life.”

As obvious as that seems, I think many of us subconsciously idealize motherhood to such an extent, that we devalue all other forms of love and nurturing. We think that we obviously have no idea how to truly love and truly nurture because we don’t have children of our own. I didn’t even realize that I thought this until Sister Marriott told me it was wrong.

As she described giving emotional and spiritual life to others, I thought of countless tender moments with friends and family members when we had given each other “life.” Why was I discounting these experiences?

I think we often have the tendency to look at blessings and our own identities and potential too narrowly. We only see what kind of life we think we need to have to be happy, when God has a clearer vision. There is so much more He’s waiting to give us and teach us if we’d only trust Him and open our minds to His inspiration.

As Mother’s Day approaches, I hope I can keep this truth in the back of my mind. I hope I can remember exactly what being a daughter of God means and act on Sister Marriott’s invitation to encourage growth and goodness everywhere I go. That is at the core of what we’re celebrating this weekend, and it’s something I can do right now.