May 12, 2019, we celebrate Mother’s Day, which became a national holiday in the United States in May 1914.  Anna Jarvis is credited with founding Mother’s Day several years earlier in 1908 as a day to honor the sacrifices mothers made for their children.

Today, celebrations vary by family and culture, but most include children honoring their mother by giving her gifts and setting aside time to spend with her.  The holiday can be challenging for those who have experienced the loss of their mother and for mothers who have lost children. Commercialization of the holiday inflates expectations and enhances feelings of stress, grief, and loss.

Parents (mothers and fathers) of children who have experienced loss of one or more mothers may find their children’s behavior changes during the holiday season.  These children may not be enthusiastic to honor the sacrifices of their current mother (be that a step-mother, an adoptive mother, a foster mother, or other) and may act out against their current mother with hurtful words or actions.

We are not all the same.  In fact, we are each very much unique and the experiences that have led each of us (from newborn babies to the most seasoned of us all) to this upcoming Mother’s Day will greatly impact how we celebrate it and how we experience it.

This episode is for parents among us who are parenting children who have experienced the loss of one or more mothers and those who need a reminder of why mothers are such a blessing.  In this episode, Ryan and Lori share from their personal and professional experiences, parenting and supporting children who have suffered the loss of their mothers.

Arguably, some mothers have behaved in ways which leave us scratching our heads and wondering why our children would want to honor or even remember them, but we must step outside of our experiences and walk in the shoes of our children.

There are as many ways to mitigate the flood of emotions during this time both for the children, their mothers, and their fathers.  One of the ways is discussed in this episode and it involves gaining awareness and setting appropriate expectations for the season.  Another idea is to set aside separate days to honor the sacrifices made by each mother in a child’s life.  In the end, we should all lean into honoring the mothers in our lives 365 days a year.

We decided to publish this bonus episode because we believe in mothers.  We know that mothering can be thankless.  But this Mother’s Day we say thank you.  Thank you for choosing to be a mother.  You are loved and we are right here walking alongside you.

You can read more about the founding and history of Mother’s Day in America here:  https://www.history.com/topics/holidays/mothers-day.

Shawn Wilson

Director of Strategy and Business Development at CK Family Services
Shawn has spent more than 23 years serving children and families.He initially worked with adjudicated youth, focusing on serious offenders and their reintegration following incarceration. Shawn began serving children in Texas Foster Care in 2000 as a Case Manager and now serves as a key member of CK Family Services leadership team.
Shawn Wilson

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