Inclusive Mothering.

Sometimes, Mother’s Day is a little painful for me. I loved my mothers. My mom (or “mum” from my British colonized roots) passed away a few years ago and my “adopted” African American mother also made her transition shortly thereafter. I swing on extremes on Mother’s Day: I go from a bereft feeling of being an adult “orphan” to feeling nostalgia and grief about the fact that I always wanted to be a mom and it turns out, I did not get to birth my own kids. And then, I feel awful for folks that have awful relationships with their moms and do not even want to think of Mother’s Day. Then I feel jealous of those that still have their moms and have wonderful relationships for them (like Leanne.) And in recent years, I even wondered about trans women and their process Mother’s Day. And what about surrogate moms? And even those that gave up a child for adoption and it is still on their minds?

This I know: This wide gamut of feelings and reactions point to something basic and true – our common humanity. We all crave the love and sweetness of good mothering. Great mothering is something that we all need in our lives as we feel a void when we do not have it and we instinctively know that it is necessary to our wholeness.

And yet, every single mother I have ever met has guilt about not being a better mother.


It’s complicated.

However, you choose to celebrate to honor “The Great Spirit and Soul of Mothering,” my unsolicited advice is to be gentle with yourself as well as your mother and even your memories and thoughts about her. And do something that recognizes her and uplifts the world.

I invite you to honor your mother by making a donationto us at Compassionate Atlanta in her name and we will send her a thank you note telling her that you did that. Be sure to provide her name and address. She will be so proud of you!

Iyabo Onipede
Compassionate Atlanta

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