05/01/2015 04:31 pm ET Updated May 01, 2016

Thinking More Broadly About Mothering This Mother's Day

Sam Edwards via Getty Images

Wasn't it just Mother's Day? A year passes so quickly. And so does a childhood.

My Mother's Days these days are quiet, adult-oriented affairs. Nice brunches. Deliveries of flowers from my young adult children. The celebrations are lovely, but I must say that I miss those years when Mother's Day meant homemade cards drawn in crayon, sloppy kisses and breakfast in bed ordered from a "room service" menu featuring "bay-gulls and creem cheese." Yes, Mother's Day in my house plays out differently these days.

But one Mother's Day custom hasn't changed for me -- and that's paying tribute to women who would be mothers if only they could. This year, I invite you to join me in thinking more broadly about mothering, and in passing along these Mother's Day sentiments.

To all the women grieving their unborn children, we're holding good thoughts for you. For years, the newly-married me struggled with infertility. My daily routine involved hormone drugs and shots and monthly visits to the fertility specialist. Mother's Day back then was mostly a reminder of what I thought I might never have, and I have not forgotten. This year, let's remember the women struggling with infertility. Let's urge them to stay hopeful, and to remember that there are several ways to build a family, and countless ways to nurture children, whether they are your own biological children or not.

To birth mothers everywhere, Happy Mother's Day, and thanks for being so selfless. After we adopted a beautiful baby boy, Mother's Day also meant remembering his birth mother, who desperately wanted to keep him, but understood that although she was prepared to love him, she was not prepared to care for him. When we picked up our son at the hospital nine days after his birth, we found, tucked among the new-mom freebies, hospital pictures ordered by his birth mother on our behalf. One 3 x 5 was missing, and I'll bet she has it still. Happy Mother's Day to my son's birth mom, wherever she is, and to all the other strong, loving birth mothers who made adoption plans for their children. Thank you. Thank. You.

Finally, to all women who nurture children, thank you. It really does "take a village." Whether you are aunts, grandmothers, neighbors, teachers -- our children and we ourselves are better for having experienced your loving kindness.

Who has influenced your life, or your child's, in maternal ways?

This post originally appeared on the Highlights for Children Aha! Blog