there are lots of ways to mother (and the world sure needs it right now)

It’s Mother’s Day in the USA today, the time where a bunch of women feel special and extra-loved, and another group of women often don’t. Like so many other holidays, many who feel great about it  sometimes forget that there are others who are aching. Church is extra sucky if they make all the mothers stand up and get a flower and you’re the one still sitting. In divorced families, the reality of what’s been lost creeps up.  Others have lost their mothers or significant women in their life or the dreams they’ve had for biological babies are still elusive, and it’s another year of grief.

I promise, I’m not trying to ruin the holiday for anyone, really! As a mom of 5, it’s not a half bad day for me, plus this year it’s my 50th birthday, too. We had an amazing dance party celebration at The Refuge on Friday night, and oh, it filled my heart to the brim.

I love all the spoilage of Mother’s Day. But I feel really passionate about making sure we don’t equate Mother’s Day with only birthing babies.

Having children often becomes the ultimate pinnacle of womanhood, especially in certain religious circles. This pushes a lot of women to the margins and dishonors all we were created to be as women beyond making babies.

All women are mothers.

All women are mothers.

It’s how God made us.

It looks different for each of us and we have to break down the crazy stereotypes and ways we’ve been boxed in, fenced in, and limited in order to get to the essence of our awesomeness as women.

Just like there are lots of ways to love God, there are lots of ways to mother, to bring things to life, to create, to nurture, to build, to protect (and oh, the world needs more mothering right now). 

Women mother when we: 

Call out God’s image in someone.

Cultivate art & words & beauty. 

Advocate for another. 

Build friendships and life-giving relationships.

Midwife spiritual shifts.

Make new families who come from our wombs & orphanages & foster care.

Influence change.

Hug someone who needs it.

Listen to a friend. 

Weep with those who weep.

Rejoice with those who rejoice.

Start something, build something, create something. 

Protect what’s good. 

Feed the hungry, tend to the sick, give rest to the weary. 

Lend hope to someone who needs to borrow it.  

Inspire dreams & new ideas.

Nurture pockets of justice & love & freedom & peace in small or big ways. 

Lead teams.

Care for our coworkers, our neighbors, someone else’s child

Care for parents.

Care for ourselves.

Stand firmly against injustice. 

Sacrifice our comfort for the sake of another. 

Persist for the greater good. 

Yeah, women are awesome–strong, tender, wise, beautiful, compassionate, creative, powerful, passionate, brave, messy.  Kids, no kids, single, married, gay, straight, rich, poor, educated, uneducated, divorced, widowed, young, old–it makes no difference.

The one thing we have in common is that we all somehow mother.

Now, more than ever, that is what the world needs.
















and overall Doing-it-a-lot-better-than-many-of-the-omg-they’re-our-leaders!?-in-power.

Yeah, I’m really glad there are lots of ways to do that.  

Today, I’m so grateful for all you amazing women out here who are mothering in so many different ways and for all you awesome men who value and respect this gift-to-the-world.

Oh, the world sure does need it right now.

Kathy Escobar

Kathy Escobar is dedicated to creating safe and brave spaces for transformation and healing in real life, online, and outside. She co-pastors at The Refuge, a hub for healing community, social action, and creative collaboration in North Denver, co-directs #communityheals, a non-profit organization dedicated to making spaces for transformation accessible for all, and is the author of Practicing: Changing Yourself to Change the World, Faith Shift: Finding Your Way Forward When Everything You Believe is Coming Apart and several other books.

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