Today is International Bereaved Mother’s Day.
Did you know that such a day exists? International Bereaved Mother’s Day was started by Carly Marie in 2010. This day falls on the Sunday before Mother’s Day. Mother’s Day typically focuses on women who have living children or are pregnant. Women are celebrated, meals are shared, gifts are purchased, and the scent of fresh flowers fills the air but what about mothers who do not have living children or have children who are no longer living?
The history of Mother’s Day is quite profound. Anna Jarvis was the “founder” of Mother’s Day, a day which was reserved for honoring a mother’s sacrifice for her children. Her mother was deceased at the time but Mother’s Day was meant as a celebration of between mother’s and families. A far cry from how Mother’s Day is celebrated today. Anna Jarvis succeeded in having the holiday officially recognized when President Woodrow Wilson signed a measure establishing the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.
International Bereaved Mother’s Day is different. I wish it didn’t have to be, but it is. It is a day where mothers, in the true meaning, are celebrated. This includes women struggling with infertility or who cannot become pregnant, mothers who planned adoption, and those who have experienced the loss of a child, through miscarriage, stillbirth, infant loss, child loss, and loss of adult children.
International Bereaved Mother’s Day, is for women who struggled and made sacrifices for their children. A woman experiencing infertility has certainly struggled and made sacrifices for her children. A mother who had an adoption plan made a sacrifice for her child. And mothers who became pregnant and lost that child sometime within their lifetime struggled and made sacrifices for that child.
International Bereaved Mother’s Day is a day to celebrate the heart you have as a mother or “Mother Heart” as Carly Marie states. This day is meant as a temporary movement, to drive the real Mother’s Day back to recognizing all mothers. Anna Jarvis was never married and never had children, yet she had a “Mother Heart.”
Mother’s Day became so commercialized and morphed away from the true meaning Anna Jarvis meant it to represent that she sacrificed her personal wealth to campaign against the commercialization and even lobbied to have the holiday removed from the national holiday calendar. All of this because the holiday she created, which was meant to celebrate the “Mother Heart,” turned from it’s original meaning.
More phone calls are made on Mother’s Day than any other day of the year. That is fact. Pick up the phone on International Bereaved Mother’s Day this May 1st, and celebrate a mother’s heart. It’s as simple as saying, “I heard today is International Bereaved Mother’s Day and I want to share today with you.”