DR. E. CAROL WEBSTER’S
BE THOUGHTFUL OF CHILDFREE ON MOTHER’S DAY
E. Carol Webster, Ph.D.
Original Copyright © 2014
Mother’s Day can be tough for lots of folks. Men whose mothers are dead can feel the loss just as deeply as women. And both can find it painful to endure Mother’s Day celebrations when they’ve tried unsuccessfully to have a child or have lost one. But many high profilers have made a conscious decision not to have children and can be treated insensitively too on holidays honoring parenthood and family. So be mindful that childfree folks are all around you as you celebrate your special day.
Remember that Some Women Don’t Want to be Mothers
Having children is special to many, but some women don’t care to join the club. There are a wide range of reasons for this, but typically these women are very comfortable with their decision. It’s usually the people around them who have a problem with it. They deride these women for being “selfish,” uncaring, and obsessed with their careers. They assume they have “inner conflicts” and “issues,” and that “it’s not in them to be nurturing,” when nothing could be further from the truth. Often these women are more maternal to their siblings, other relatives, and mentees than are those with a passel of kids. While you never may be able to understand how they can feel this way, accept that they do and respect their right to do so.
Be Thoughtful as You Celebrate
Just as you wouldn’t intentionally ask a woman who’s lost her only child what she’s doing for Mother’s Day, take the time to know the people on your team so you don’t ask the childfree what special plans the children have made for them when they don’t have kids. And keep this in mind when you plan celebratory activities. It’s common to showcase mothers so they can be honored. But take care that the way you do this does not demean others. For example, when you ask those who are mothers to stand to be acknowledged, are those who must remain seated to be viewed as “deficient” in some way? One shouldn’t be viewed as “better” than the other – they’re just different. Sometimes there’s no good way to do these types of things, but they tend to go better when you are thoughtful about how they are handled.
Enjoy Your Special Day!
Being mindful of others doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your special day. Celebrate! Your colleagues who are childfree probably will be happier for you than you feel for yourself, and can embrace the celebrations more genuinely when they’re not being made to feel inadequate.
Mother’s Day is a great time to honor women. But be mindful of the fact that not all women make the same choices in life, and that many are consciously deciding not to have children. Also, be sensitive to the painful reality that, for others, not having children has not been a choice for them at all.
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About the Author:
Dr. E. Carol Webster is a clinical psychologist consultant in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
She is author of the book for those dealing with the stress of success ―
Success Management: How to Get to the Top and Keep Your Sanity Once You Get There,
The Fear of Success: Stop It From Stopping You! ―
the book to help you overcome fears that may be holding you back in your life and career
The Private Practice of Clinical Psychology in: Voices of Historical & Contemporary Black American Pioneers
To contact Dr. Webster visit online at http://drcarolwebster.com or call 954.797.9766.
E. Carol Webster, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychology Consulting
Mailing Address: 7027 West Broward Boulevard, #262 Fort Lauderdale, FL 33317
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