Happy Mother’s Day to those of you navigating relationships with toxic mothers. To those who have had to erect boundaries that leave you ambivalent or alone today. To those who walk down the card aisle for this day and look for something humorous because the emotional cards feel phony and sad given the reality you lived with.

Happy Mother’s Day to the foster mamas in the sticky, tricky place of not knowing if the child you are mothering today will be the child you are mothering this time next year.

Happy Mother’s Day to the hopeful mamas who dread this day almost as much as each monthly confirmation that pregnancy eluded them once again. To those who skipped church this morning because the public recognition of that which you are longing for is too painful to bear. To the women who feel confusion, anger, pain, and fear about why motherhood comes so easily to some . . . even to those who don’t want it, when it has been your life dream.

Happy Mother’s Day to the mama’s whose children are being raised by others, who feel the ache of that decision (or those circumstances) more keenly on this day.

Happy Mother’s Day to the moms whose children are fighting battles with addiction or mental illness. Who say prayers for protection and safety each night for the sweet children whose adulthood looks nothing like what they would have planned.

Happy Mother’s Day to the women who have lost mothers, and would give anything for one more day.

Happy Mother’s Day to the mamas who have lost babies, who never got to see the dreams they had for their children fulfilled. Whose empty arms ache every day, but especially today.

Happy Mother’s Day to the aunts, friends, grandmas, teachers, and caregivers who mother the children in their own family and community each and every day.