A Complicated Mother’s Day Prayer

Teach us to pray a more complicated Mother’s Day prayer we pray. 

Lord, we pray to you today because there’s no such thing as perfect motherhood. The role that has traditionally been given to every woman ever–is a hard one to fill. I pray for all those for whom motherhood is a box that is hard to fill.

I have friends who deal with infertility, single parenthood, the need to find a partner to do the work. I have friends who have adopted and fostered with all the magnification of joy and sorrow that creates. I have friends who have two moms, I have friends who have no moms.

I have friends who have somehow or another lost their children. I have friends who have lost their mothers. I know too much about those whose moms were abusive or neglectful.

I have even more friends whose relationship with motherhood might not be just good or bad but is super-complicated. I have many friends who are special needs mothers, like me, which means childhood may, on some level, last forever. I have friends who don’t want children, and have to deal with that reality in a society that expects differently.

But I know that you, God are not only a father, but also a mother to us. I know that this holiday was brought into church as one of the few moments when women were honored for their sphere.

Lord, God who inspired my friend to give her single father a mother’s day card every year, God who gave my single Aunt her first Women’s Day (as opposed to mother’s day) in Armenia, God who let me peer over a colleague’s shoulder who is brilliantly mothering her foster-to-adopt child.

God who gave my mother not one, nor two, but in fact three daughters (though it took us in the cis-world too long to figure it out), God who gave us the special older ladies at every church I’ve ever attended to mother and grandmother me and my children. I give you thanks and praise.

And I look forward, God, for us to find a way to celebrate womanhood and femininity in a way that honors the complexity that is the human experience of being a female, and one who lives relationships. Teach us to pray a more complicated Mother’s Day prayer we pray.


Author: katyandtheword

Pastor Katy has enjoyed ministry at New Covenant since 2010, where the church has solidified its community focus. Prior to that she studied both Theology and Christian Formation at Princeton Theological Seminary. She also served as an Assistant Chaplain at Trenton Psychiatric Hospital and as the Christian Educational Coordinator at Bethany Presbyterian at Bloomfield, NJ. She is an writer and is published in Enfleshed, Sermonsuite, Presbyterian's today and Outlook. She writes prayers, liturgy, poems and public theology and is pursuing her doctorate in ministry in Creative Write and Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. She enjoys working within and connecting to the community, is known to laugh a lot during service, and tells as many stories as possible. Pastor Katy loves reading Science Fiction and Fantasy, theater, arts and crafts, music, playing with children and sunshine, and continues to try to be as (w)holistically Christian as possible. "Publisher after publisher turned down A Wrinkle in Time," L'Engle wrote, "because it deals overtly with the problem of evil, and it was too difficult for children, and was it a children's or an adult's book, anyhow?" The next year it won the prestigious John Newbery Medal. Tolkien states in the foreword to The Lord of the Rings that he disliked allegories and that the story was not one.[66] Instead he preferred what he termed "applicability", the freedom of the reader to interpret the work in the light of his or her own life and times.

2 thoughts on “A Complicated Mother’s Day Prayer”

  1. Thank you for sharing this! This is such a complicated holiday for many people in the church and in our culture. This prayer captures so many of the various experiences of the people we are trying to serve.

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