Posted by Peggy Kaufman
Recently several staff members from the Center for Early Relationship Support® (CERS) were discussing Mother's Day. A clinician mentioned that one of the moms she works with decided to mark the day by sending a picture montage to her daughter's birth mother. We wondered if others had heard from new mothers about their choices for Mother's Day.
We learned that Tanji was looking forward to getting a family pass to the zoo and meeting up with her sisters and their children. Deidre was planning to hike Blue Hills in Milton with her partner. Since both were celebrating Mother's Day, one would carry the baby up the trail and the other down. Sophia, at five weeks postpartum, requested not only breakfast in bed but a day in bed.
Many mothers have an idea of how they'd like to spend the day and be celebrated. Others do not want to partake. Some Mother's Day plans meet expectations while others are so influenced by the media façade of delighted mothers, happy children, and smiling faces that disappointment is inevitable. No matter what the choice, we know that a plan is only a plan and the reality of what then transpires with babies and children and partners is another story.
In last Sunday's Boston Globe, Robin Abrahams (Miss. Conduct) reminded readers that, regardless of how the day is celebrated, "Mother's Day was made for mothers. You don't exist to celebrate the holiday appropriately. The holiday exists to celebrate you." At the Center for Early Relationship Support, we honor mothers every day. A woman does not become a mother only by giving birth, but by dealing with the complex feelings, experiences, and tasks that accompany motherhood. We celebrate all mothers, whatever their experiences, on Mother's Day and throughout the year.
Peggy H. Kaufman, MEd, LICSW is the founding director of the JF&CS Center for Early Relationship Support. With a background in perinatal emotional health and the growth and development of parents, her interests include the earliest relationships. Ms. Kaufman is the recipient of multiple awards for her groundbreaking programs and her commitment to increase awareness of postpartum depression and maternal and infant mental health.