For a lot of people, Mother’s Day is an amazing occasion to just get together with one’s family, celebrating their mother and pampering her all day long with gifts, flowers and doing the dishes for once. It’s gotten pretty commercialised in the recent decades, sure; but don’t pretend you don’t at least like the Mother’s Day discounts you get at the spa. And while I’m not a mother myself, I’m pretty certain any mom would love it if their kids cleaned up after themselves for once (my mom would definitely love that, and she’d be incredibly ecstatic if it happened more than just once a year).

But there are some people who actually feel undeserving of this title and furthermore, this celebration; feelings of failure and inadequacy may cloud their thoughts and so this day that’s supposed to be filled with joy and happiness becomes one that’s of anxiety and dread. And it’s upsetting, and possibly unwarranted as well. Just because these people don’t fit in the conventional form of picture-perfect normative mothers, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be cherished and loved all the same. And it’s to these people that I’d like to wish a very happy Mother’s Day to, and I hope that every mother that’s reading this is having a grand time right now, reveling in the joys of motherhood.

The one that’s visibly struggling.

Whether you’re new at the job, constantly having to adjust your schedule to your newborn, or you’ve been in the game for a decade or so and you’re still unable to find your footing, I hope you know that for what it’s worth, I know you’re doing the best that you can right now. I see you in so many others and even if you can’t see it, you are changing the world, bit by bit, even if sometimes you get annoyed at your kid for losing his pants or you just need a minute alone in the closet to mindlessly scroll through your Facebook feed.

The one without a child.

You didn’t have to give birth to your own flesh and blood to have young people looking up to you like you’re their own mother. You were a living testimony for me in the way you thought and spoke and acted, and I am constantly grateful for your advice.

There’s another group of people that falls in this category, and I want you to know, meager as this thought may be, that your infertility doesn’t define your self-worth as a woman. I hope you’ll come to believe, if you haven’t, that motherhood takes all sorts of forms, and none of them best one another. Whether you’re thinking of adopting or fighting the battle with your body, or you’ve already adopted, you are a mom, through and through.

The one that gave up her child for adoption.

I don’t know how it feels, but I hope, if there’s a pang in your heart whenever this day comes around every year, that your sacrifice has brought a light in another mother’s life. You are no less of a mother because of your actions, and the gratitude of those who have brought your child into their families can’t possibly be fully expressed on this day.

The one that’s waiting to reunite with her children.

There is nothing I can say to alleviate this kind of pain, not just because I’m emotionally immature, but also because whatever your feelings are, they are perfectly valid. Whether you feel like talking about them as you wait for the seconds, days, years, to pass before that beautiful reunion, or keeping the memories locked up in your thoughts, I hope you find a semblance of peace in your heart today.

The one that’s both Mum and Dad for his child.

We often forget about this kind of family, no less whole than any other. To you, Dad, who had to learn how to braid mermaid hair, and bake the best darn cake ever, and wipe your boy’s tears after he’s scraped both his knees, and praying you don’t have to explain why there’s no Mommy and inevitably facing that situation: you are only strong enough for your kid if you choose to be. Look at the support system that surrounds you and hold tight to it, and know that you are no less of a parent for being both Mum and Dad for your child.