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Mother’s Day tribute: Honoring the complexity of motherhood


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Mother’s Day tribute: Honoring the complexity of motherhood

Commentary by Maimoona Harrington | FāVS News

When I sat down to write about Mother’s Day, I wondered what mother I write about.

The mother who gave birth to me.

The mother who brought me up.

The mother that I am.

The significant mothers of the Abrahamic faith.

The sisters or the aunts who play the role of a mother, who often opted to never marry, who just to took care of their nieces, nephews and siblings.

The grandmothers who first took care of their own children and then the children of their children.

The mothers who first take care of their children and then take care of those who gave birth to them.

The stepmothers.

The mothers-in-law.

The mothers who suffer the loss of their children through miscarriages.

The mothers who have lost their children in conflicts and wars. 

The mothers who are fighting to get back their children. 

The mothers who are desperate to have children but are infertile.

The mothers who bring up someone else’s child, like their own child.

The teen mothers.

The unwanted mothers.

The mother-like figures that come in our lives to protect, rescue and guide us.

The women who do not want to be a mother as they do not feel the need to procreate! 

The word “mother” or “the essence of this word” attached with any another relationship multiplies the significance and value of that relationship. There is so much to write about women as mothers that my column will not be able to do justice to it.

Motherhood is boundless

Motherhood is an honor, an inspiration, a blessing, a fantasy, a commitment, a force, a struggle, a gamble, a privilege, a fear, a loss, a gain, a sacrifice, nurturing, strength, weakness, happiness, love, contentment, is sacred, is gentle, is overwhelming and so on.

Mothers have unlimited, countless attributes, and they are the real unsung superheroes. Their many attributes might not be liked by all or by their children, but these attributes make them the mothers they are. They give up their sleep, their hunger, their comfort, their joy, their careers, their successes, their experiences, their peace just for a tiny bundle of joy, called a child. Or they might not give up any of these for a child.

An adult skeleton has 206 bones, and a fetus skeleton has approximately 300 bones. So a pregnant woman carrying a fetus technically has two skeletons. Making a total of approximately 506 bones.

Giving birth is not easy. From the time a woman conceives, she goes through many psychological and physical changes. She tolerates and faces many challenges during and post pregnancy. For some psychological changes are more than physical and for some physical changes are more than psychological. And for some both are at their extremes.

As humans, we are not perfect, yet we claim of being perfect solely based on our own subjective notions of perfection. There are mothers who struggle to be one of these above-mentioned mothers, they might find themselves challenged and unfit for the role. But we must remind ourselves that some of our personality traits might not let us be the role model of a mother, but it should not lessen our worth.

My two mothers

“But behind all your stories
is always your mother’s story,
because hers is where yours begins.”

Mitch Albom

I was not brought up by my biological mother. I might not have strong feelings of love towards her, but I respect her immensely. She felt the pains and carried me in her womb for nine months. She is a strong and independent woman. She is entitled to my respect because of the respect and esteemed place given to her by my Almighty Creator, Allah. I am obligated to take care of her and respect her.

Being an adopted child, I do have very strong feelings of love and admiration for the mother who brought me up. She might not have felt pains and did not carry me in her womb. But whenever I was sick, sad, in grief, happy, excited, had failed or won, I found her by my side. She felt more pain than my pain and more happiness than mine. She was the source of strength and comfort in my good and bad times. She taught me the unconditional art of loving others.

Now that I have come to an age of maturity and understanding, I can relate to both of my mothers and understand their individual place in my life. I am grateful to both for making me the mother that I am.

To all women

I appreciate and salute all the women, who are mothers, trying to become mothers, cannot become mothers, do not want to become mothers, mothers in grief, mothers by accident or mothers who are fulfilling the role of lost or missing mothers.

Our world would come to a halt if it was not for the women we call mothers.

Happy Mother’s Day.

The views expressed in this opinion column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of FāVS News. FāVS News values diverse perspectives and thoughtful analysis on matters of faith and spirituality.

Maimoona Harrington
Maimoona Harrington
Maimoona Harrington was born and raised in Pakistan. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Middle Eastern Studies. As a practicing Muslim with extensive world travel and living in the West, she has devoted herself to spread awareness of Islam as a goodwill gesture. In an effort to do this, she started writing from her own personal experiences with religion, beliefs and life in a different culture. She also has special interest in all the religions and how and why they are all important to its followers. Her primary focus is on the co-existence and harmony between all human beings. Her message is to spread peace not division. She strongly believes that if you want to be closer to your creator then love His creation unconditionally and expect nothing in return for He loves us unconditionally and forgives us no matter how sinful we are!

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