Throughout adulthood, I've taken deeper notice of the various ways different families celebrate holidays. Some are more traditional, some are very informal, and others come up with a version that best suits them, inventing and implementing personal traditions as they go. I love it. After all, life is short, and it's wonderful to come together a few times a year.
But despite all the joy holidays can bring, they also have the ability to cause people stress, grief, or alienation. Mother's Day in particular, I have found, is one of those holidays. While many people look forward to the day they can shower a specific (and very important and special) person with love and attention (as they should), others dread it. For those who long to be mothers and can't, have lost their mothers, are estranged from their mothers, don't have a mother they feel supports them, lost a child, and so many other scenarios, this holiday can be extremely painful. To put it bluntly, Mother's Day f*cking sucks for a lot of people.
Instead of having it revolve around only mothers, we should celebrate the many fantastic roles all women out there have.
While these feelings of sadness and longing that accompany this day may never fade, it would be wonderful to change the perspective and understanding of what Mother's Day is about. Instead of having it revolve around only mothers, we should celebrate the many fantastic roles all women out there have. Women who have mothered, guided, supported, and loved people that they didn't give birth to (and yes, pets are absolutely included in that). Having a family isn't a right; it's a privilege. Sometimes sharing DNA with someone makes you family, and sometimes it doesn't. It's about how you treat people. You can have a mother figure in your life, a best friend that's more like a sister, or a boss who's mentored you from day one, and that woman is just as important (and for some, more so) as the one who did or didn't raise you.
Look all around you — next to you at a traffic light, behind you in line at the coffee shop, ahead of you on the running trail — and I guarantee you'll find women worth celebrating. It'll make the sadness and heartache that's attached the the holiday feel so much more manageable. And hey, if you don't feel like celebrating anyone else, celebrate YOU! Have you decided you don't want kids? Celebrate that! Have you decided to adopt on your own? Celebrate that! Are you and your partner parents to healthy kids? Celebrate that! If you're struggling with infertility, celebrate your unyielding passion to become a mother and know in your heart that it will happen. And if you lost a child, celebrate them and the unbreakable bond you will always share. There's love to remember and feel even in the darkest of situations.
So, if this holiday isn't a happy time for you, I truly believe you can turn it into one. Let every lady in your life know how amazing they are, and always give yourself credit, too. Being a mother is hard. Being a woman is hard. And we all deserve to be honored.
Editor's Note: This piece was written by a POPSUGAR contributor and does not necessarily reflect the views of POPSUGAR Inc. Interested in joining our POPSUGAR Voices network of contributors from around the globe? Click here.