We know them via art (Whistler’s Mother), celebrity (Kate Middleton), politics (Michelle Obama), literature (Marmee) or the Bible (Mary.) Sometimes mothers are famous because of their children: Carol Brady, Karen Kempner, Katherine Jackson.
But most of the world’s mothers are not famous, and some are essentially invisible. I would like for us to consider those moms today.
They are the mothers who will not be taken out to brunch this Sunday. They will not receive a card or flowers. But they are the heroes who raise children in refugee camps, serve as the primary caregiver for a sick loved one, or parent children with special needs. They are the ones whose children have died. They are the ones who mother children as aunts and neighbors.
Especially if you are bummed out this weekend because you are not a mother but wish you were or you had a mother but she’s gone or you wish you had a different mother . . .
Seek out an invisible mom. Look for the mom who gets no respect from the culture. Notice the mom who is too exhausted to notice herself that it’s Mothers’ Day. Try to find a mom who will be forgotten by everyone but you. And do something lovely for her.
Or make a contribution to an organization that supports invisible moms – like your local women’s shelter or food bank or Dress for Success organization that supplies work clothes for women with limited income.
We who are privileged enough to celebrate a Happy Mothers’ Day have an excellent opportunity to do something that makes an uncelebrated woman visible this weekend. Let’s do it.
If you want additional reading material about invisible moms: The annual State of the World’s Mothers Report is out this week.