The country is one of the world's toughest places to be a mom.
I pray to God that I gave to you even a fraction of what you've given me. But now I will give you the most difficult thing I will ever have to give.
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Polar bear with cubs (Photo by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Wikimedia Commons) Every day, millions of mothers around the world work tirelessly to protect and provide for their young. This Mother's D...
You have probably noticed the Mother's Day advertisements plastered on every available sign and window-front for the last month. However, these ads can provoke a painful reaction in some women and couples, which is one important reason why International Bereaved Mother's Day is so important.
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My daughter once said to me, "even if you were not my mom, you would still be my role model." Beyond a doubt, this was the best compliment I could ever receive. Throughout my life, I have been asked many times if I personally have a role model. My answer to this is simple: my mother.
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These are the moms who have outlived their children. They are mothers without official titles and have concocted clever ways to answer, "how many children do you have?" when asked by well meaning folk. These mothers cling to old memories, photo albums and painful frequent visits to cemeteries.
Wherever they are, mothers will do anything for their children. At UNICEF, we witness it every day while we work to help children and their families survive and thrive. For Mother's Day, be inspired by some of those mothers who do everything they can to keep their children safe, healthy and happy.
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In the quiet of your room I felt myself fighting back tears. In the quiet of your room I realized how quickly you are growing. In the quiet of your room I felt the incredible pressure. In the quiet of your room I felt the weight of being your mom. Being a mom, being your mom, is my greatest joy. But it is also my biggest responsibility.
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Allegedly, we are denying our son the right to a mother. Does Milo have a mom? No he doesn't. Does he have two loving parents that will do anything in their power to make sure he is loved, safe, happy, healthy, accepting, tolerant, kind (OK, this list can go on, but I'll stop there)? Will he grow up being less of a person because he doesn't have a mother? No he won't.
I want so much to stop arguing with my daughter. I want to quiet the constant worry and stop second-guessing her decisions. It is my job as a mother to ensure she is equipped with all of the knowledge I can bestow upon her, to safeguard her from all that can go wrong in this world.
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Workforce participation rates of Canadian mothers varied considerably depending on the province.
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As I watched you with your sweet babies, realizing how difficult this stage of life is for mamas like you, I felt a twinge of sadness come over me. Your children are still at that stage of life where they want YOU and you alone. You have the monopoly on their attention and love.
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It is historic -- the benefit provides targeted support to low and moderate income families across Canada. According to the minister of families, children and social development, it is projected to slash child poverty rates in this country by a record 40 per cent.
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During my pregnancy and right after birth there were a lot of "warnings" about the havoc my little monster would create. How I wouldn't be able to function without sleep. How I would have to recalibrate. How I'd need to discipline. Heaps upon loads of advice on how to keep the baby from inconveniencing my routine, at any cost.
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I've experienced different kinds of neediness in my life: My professional contacts have reminded me since you were 6 months old how badly I'm wanted back at work. Your father has patiently waited for me to become a friend and a wife to him again. Your grandparents have always missed spending time with their only child. But nothing like this.
This Mother's Day, make her day extra special by taking the time to tell her how much you care. For all that moms do day in and day out and how much they have done over the years, they deserve to know how much you appreciate them.
Wherever in the world UNICEF works, we see the same thing from moms time and time again -- they'd do anything for their children. Meet some of the mothers who overcame obstacles, battled distressing situations and made phenomenal sacrifices for their children.
Mother's Day is this Sunday. In amongst all the details of working, living, and being a mother myself, I'm determined to take time to think about what my mother would really like this year. Thinking about my mother's interests -- and about the memories we share together -- has given me a lot of inspiration for this Mother's Day.
There is a national crisis when it comes to the proper prevention, diagnosis and treatment of postpartum depression and Canada needs a prenatal and postpartum depression strategy now before more mothers (and their families) are left to suffer unnecessarily.
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I ponder how much kinder our world would be if we were able to maintain our own child-like innocence and act more on instinct rather than learned conventions. If we responded from a place of authenticity rather than politeness. If we were wholeheartedly dedicated to the ones we're with, tending to their needs honestly, rather than worrying how others may judge us.
I had a life growing inside me that is no longer, a life that didn't get to meet his or her parents or big sister. This happens to so many women, EVERY SINGLE DAY and now it happened to me, to us, to our family, and I want to share, I have the right to share.
What normal parent would be insanely jealous of their own child?! I never expected it and I certainly didn't want it. But there it was: jealousy. As plain as the nose on my face. It all started just after puberty. I was fourteen when Mom first accused me of trying to "be cute" for my own father. Need I add that it wasn't true? But your Mommy is always right, isn't she?
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"Bravo, sister. I honour you. I would do anything to take away some of the pain that you've experienced. And I know that I'll never understand what you carry around inside. But your children -- they're so beautiful. And you've used all of your resources -- your love, your patience, and your creativity -- to keep them alive and healthy. You've taught them when there was no school and comforted them when there was nothing comforting to say. You've made 'home' in camps, tents, and on the side of the road. I will do whatever I can, through my donations, through my prayers and through my writing, to help carry your children to safety and happiness."
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I know that feeling of saying goodnight to your little one and just wanting to collapse on the couch... As parents we are so busy taking care of everyone else that we let our own health slide. That needs to change.
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Last night, my husband spoke the three most terrifying words in the English language. "Take a break." I was horrified. My blood ran cold. "But, but..." "No buts about it. Take the day off. Why don't you have some fun?" he suggested, smiling. Fun? Fun!? I drew a blank. And that's when I knew I had a problem.
Some are geographically distant from those they hold dear and raise a solitary glass to absent friends. Others have lost loved ones to the grave. But for many of us, "no contact" is a choice we consciously made. Loneliness is simply less painful than the agony of spending time with our toxic families.
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If you are a working mother who is struggling for the perfect gift, rest assured that you are giving your children gifts every day. Not only are you an invaluable role model for them, you are teaching them talents that will last their lifetimes.
You know the bum I'm talking about, right? A little saggy, a little flat, a little wider than what it used to be. Mom bum. The fact is the body changes, often permanently, during pregnancy. With each subsequent pregnancy, it can change more and more.
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Parenting is, of course, the most consuming, challenging and exhausting task that I have ever involved myself in. Some days I ask: "What were we thinking???" And on the other days, I just don't ask. Speaking of "we," I readily admit that marriage is a very close second in this listing of difficult things known to humankind.
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Three weeks after my third C-section, I decided to take off my bandage and I was truly horrified. I saw a 2nd incision above my previous C-section scar. What on earth was this OBGYN thinking? I was shocked and angry and really felt violated. I was exhausted and excited to meet my baby, and it really didn't occur to me to remind the doctor on call to cut over my previous C-section. You would think this was common practice and that there were notes in my file about my discussions and expectations for this procedure. Was he careless? Was he disrespectful? Was he in a rush? Was it just easier for him to make a new incision?
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There will be lies, false claims and misrepresentations. There will be promises made that might not endure the test of time. Words spoken that will prove to be short-lived and disappointing. Arrangements agreed upon that will not necessarily be followed through. This is the reality of the passage of time and growing up.
Blink my eyes, and you are five years old. Blink again and now you're a fine young man waiting to start the final chapter of your last three years at home. Do you know how proud we are of who you are? Proud of who you have been and proud of who you are becoming?