Every may we celebrate the women that raise and support us, and Mother’s Day looks different for every person. Here’s what some Bears in non-nuclear families have to say about the holiday.

Senior Clarissa Maltez grew up in Florida with her mother but moved here to California in high school to live with her grandmother.

According to Maltez, mother’s day is not limited to her mother; she commented, “on Mother’s Day I celebrate all the amazing women in my life. Especially my grandmother and mother, but there are so many other women who have helped raise me and influenced me so much,” she continued, “When I was in Miami my mom was a single mother and we had no family around, so we made our own little family.”

Maltez cited many women who shaped her childhood including friends, teachers, and her babysitter, all of whom loved and nurtured her. She added, “when I moved here my Grandma and aunts did the same thing… Especially when I wouldn’t be able to see my mother every day… I can never repay them for it or thank them enough.”

According to Maltez, Mother’s Day is “a day to tell any women or really any person who has helped you and loved you ‘thank you for everything you have done for me’ and that they are an important person in your life.”

“I like to call them or send them a text and say thank you and tell them how much they mean to me… For my grandmother I make sure to say happy Mother’s Day on May 10 as that’s Mexican Mother’s Day. If I can’t do anything super special then I just try extra hard and make sure that I’ve told every single one of them that I love them.” -Maltez

Junior Sara Madsen lives with her father, and consequently she and her brother celebrate him on Mother’s Day.
“He does the work of both a mom and a dad,” Madsen added, “my dad is my role model. He raised me and my brother practically on his own and we are infinitely grateful for everything he does for us.”

“On Mother’s Day my brother and I try to think of what our dad would want us to do for him, which is usually to clean the house so that he can relax. We also wake up an hour or two early so that we can cook him a big breakfast and have it ready on the table.” -Madsen

Madsen does not think celebrating her father on Mother’s Day should be strange. She believes, “making Mother’s Day just for mothers is a very limiting perspective. Mother’s Day to me is about gratitude. It’s a day to thank any parental figure in your life, whether it be your mom, dad, grandma, sister, or anyone else who takes care of you.”

Both Maltez and Madsen show how Mother’s Day is not only for celebrating biological mothers but for the many people that are role models and mentors. Though we will continue to honor our mothers on Mother’s Day for the invaluable role they play in our lives, by redefining the term to reflect the wide array of people who fill that role, we make it easier to acknowledge and express gratitude for our loved ones. A mother can be any figure that helps, encourages, supports, and loves, so remember to be grateful to all those who have helped you along the way.

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