Motherhood Comes in Many Shapes and Sizes - Salt 106.5

Motherhood Comes in Many Shapes and Sizes

We've spoken to many different women, from all walks of life, who deserve to be celebrated this Mother's Day.

By Salt 106.5 Network Thursday 9 May 2024RelationshipsReading Time: 16 minutes

Mother’s Day can be amazing – or it can be amazingly difficult.
Key points
  • Sarah: “As a single parent, holidays come with a tinge of sadness.”
  • Kate: “After being told I was infertile, three boys was beyond what I ever imagined.”
  • Tania: “My inability to have a child is because the right man never came along.”

Like all relationships, motherhood can take on different shapes and forms.

Because of this, sometimes there can be pain attached to Mother’s Day. We want every woman to feel celebrated this week – so we’ve chatted with some of the women in the Hope 103.2 family, to hear what Mother’s Day means to them – and how they find hope, when holidays bring up painful memories and emotions.

Women around us are fulfilling the world’s need for mothering. It may not always look the same, but that’s the beauty of the diversity of womanhood!

We’ve spoken to mums, women who missed out on being a mum, mothers in law, step mums, grandmothers, aunties and daughters, all of whom make a significant contribution to the world around them, and who deserve being celebrated this Mother’s Day.


Sarah: “As a single parent, holidays come with a tinge of sadness.”

Sarah Wiedersehn with her two sons, all photos supplied

Sarah Wiedersehn with her two sons, all photos supplied.

Hope News journalist Sarah Wiedersehn is raising two boys on her own.

“As a single parent, holidays and Mother’s Day do come with a tinge of sadness,” she said.

“It’s a type of grief that kind of just creeps up on you.

“However, I have been blessed to have a loving mum and sister who always made me feel spoilt when my two boys were very young.

“I find hope in just enjoying the time I have with my children and watching them grow into the amazing young men they are.”

Motherhood is something Sarah treasures, despite its challenges.

“I love being a mum,” she said.

“It brings me so much joy.

“It can be challenging – however it is such an honour to walk alongside your children as they grow and mature.

“I view motherhood as a calling and a blessing.

“It also teaches you a lot about yourself.”

“I find hope in watching them grow into the amazing young men they are.”

What’s the best advice you’ve received from a mum?

Do not let them see your shock, outrage or disappointment when they first come to you in a moment of vulnerability and share with you a mistake or poor choice they have made.

The discipline, if needed, will eventually follow but its critical they can feel they can come to you no matter what.

It’s important to keep the lines of communication always open.


Kate: “After being told I was infertile, three boys was beyond what I ever imagined.”

Kate Ryan with her family, all photos supplied

Kate Ryan with her family, all photos supplied.

For Kate Ryan from Focus on the Family, Mother’s Day is a beautiful reminder that though life’s journey isn’t always easy, she has been blessed.

“After being told early on that I was infertile, having three healthy boys was beyond all that I could have imagined,” she said.

“Being a mum is the greatest gift God has ever given me, apart from Jesus and [husband] Brett, of course.

“None of us are immune to disappointment or relationship breakdown.

“Across the landscape of a family’s life span we are all likely to face some kind of angst, ranging from differences of opinion to alienation – but there is complete hope in Jesus.

“He is near to the broken-hearted and His mercies are new every morning.

“I hold on to the fact that God loves my children more than I ever will and He holds them in His hand.

“My job is to pray, love unconditionally, and trust that He has a plan and a purpose.”

“We are all likely to face some kind of angst, but there is complete hope in Jesus.”

What’s the best advice you’ve received from a mum?

I have watched my mum live a life that is totally devoted to knowing and growing in God.

I have seen her stand firm in storms that would have absolutely destroyed others, and when asked how she could forgive, in the face of such pain, she said, ‘Jesus revealed to me that my sin was just as reviling to the Father and that he has forgiven me.

To not forgive would be folly, when I have been forgiven much.’ And so she made the choice to forgive even when her emotions cried out to do otherwise.


Shammah: “This is the first time I’ll be away from my mum.”

Shammah Mufanechiya with her mum and nephew, all photos supplied

Shammah Mufanechiya with her mum and nephew, all photos supplied.

As the producer for Hope Breakfast, Shammah Mufanechiya recently moved to Australia, so is missing her mum this Mother’s Day. As a daughter and auntie, she is feeling the weight of the beauty of the mothers around her.

“This Mother’s Day is a bit strange for me as it is the first time I’ll be away from my mum,” she said.

“I think I now fully understand how she feels, being away from my grandma.

“For the first time I’ve sort of had to be introspective about what Mother’s Day means and I understand the gravity of it and why it is celebrated.

“My view on motherhood has shifted within the last year.

“I became an aunty and, while I know that’s not exactly the same as being a mum, there was an instinct that kicked in the second my nephew was born.

“I want to be the best version of myself for him, because he sees the best in me.

“I don’t know how to explain it, but I was immediately overcome with the sense of responsibility that comes with having someone who looks up to you.”

“I want to be the best version of myself for him.”

What’s the best advice you’ve received from a mum?

One thing my mum has taught me, it is to be strong and unshakable in my faith.

My mum is such a prayerful woman; she is diligent in actively pursuing her relationship with God.

There is no half effort with her, and she reminds me everyday that I should be praying, reading my bible, spending time with God and just overall living my life in a way that is reflective of my relationship with God.


Janet: “Being a mum is incredibly complex and challenging.”

Janet Evans with her family, all photos supplied

Janet Evans with her family, all photos supplied.

As co-host of the She Wasn’t Born Yesterday podcast, Janet Evans hears many peoples’ stories.

“This year I’ve heard from several friends that they were treated very badly by their mums as kids, which came as a shock to me,” she said.

“But then as I write this, we’ve heard about the heroic act of the mum stabbed in the Bondi Junction murders, who handed her baby to someone, to help save that baby’s life.

“So I feel that being a mum is incredibly complex, challenging, all-encompassing and sometimes, brings out the very worst and the very best in women!”

And on holidays which may be difficult, Janet says she turns to the Scriptures “which show God’s unconditional love for us in sending his son Jesus.”

“At its very best, a mum’s unconditional love for her children is a reflection of that great love,” she said.

For Janet, being a mother means “Nurturing children to know the immense love God has for them and encouraging them to take all of life’s opportunities and be the best people they can be.”

“At its very best, a mum’s unconditional love for her children is a reflection of [God’s] great love,”

What’s the best advice you’ve received from a mum?

Don’t wash your hair in hot water – and always wear nice undies in case you get run over by a bus!


Tania: “My inability to have a child is because the right man never came along.”

Tania Harris, all photos supplied

Tania Harris, all photos supplied.

Rev. Dr Tania Harris of God Conversations is an author, minister and speaker. As someone who grew up planning her childrens’ names (four – maybe five kids) and had no ‘back up plan’, other than getting married and being a mother, Tania grapples with her ‘social infertility’ and the fact that, in her words, “Now I will never have a child of my own.”

“When what seems the most natural thing in the world is denied us, it’s shocking,” she said.

“It feels deeply unjust – almost deviant.

“My inability to have a child comes under a different label.

“The type of barrenness I’ve experienced came because the right man never came along at the right time.”

Tania says that the moment she first heard the phrase ‘social infertility’, it filled her with a profound sense of relief.

“There may not have been an easy cure for the condition I was suffering, but at least there was a label – something that gave it the gravitas it deserved,” she said.

“Some of my friends are childless and perfectly okay with it – I’m not one of them.

“Don’t get me wrong; I love my life.

“God has blessed me incredibly and I don’t regret any one of my choices – but the pain is real and it never goes away.

“I know I will carry it with me for the rest of my life.”

“God has blessed me incredibly and I don’t regret any one of my choices – but the pain is real and it never goes away.”

When it comes to social infertility, what advice can you give?

As the church we’re called to carry each other’s burdens and, in this way, fulfil the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2).

To bear them of course, we must first recognise them.

For many, the pain of being unable to bear a child due to the absence of a partner is felt just as deeply as those who are physically unable to bear them.

Like the physically infertile woman, the socially infertile woman needs to feel the love and grace of those who care enough to understand.

She needs others to stand with her as she takes her grief to God.

Read more about Tania’s journey with social infertility here.


Gayle: “I can now think of my mum and not be in grief.”

Gayle Hardiman with her mum at a Hope 103.2 event, all photos supplied

Gayle Hardiman with her mum Betty at a Hope 103.2 event, all photos supplied.

For Gayle Hardiman, Account Manager at Hope Media, Mother’s Day reminds her of her mother Betty, lost six years ago. And the fact that over time, she is healing.

“Time has a great way of healing and I can now think of my dear Mum and see Mother’s Day Cards with beautiful messages in them and not be in grief,” Gayle said.

“I can recall over the years the many gorgeous cards with carefully selected verses and my added words of appreciation for her… which she treasured.

“Right now, I am in The Sydney Adventist Hospital having had surgery and whilst here I have been in a very reflective mood, as six years ago my beautiful mother, Betty Victoria Tyas at the age of 96 was at this same hospital, fighting to come home to us.”

Gayle has many fond memories of her mother.

“I recount her constant love, prayers for each of us, her daily living example of a woman with a heart for God and her family,” she recalled.

“Mum was my greatest friend and I miss her presence in my life every day.”

As well as a loving daughter, Gayle is a mother and grandmother.

“I dearly love my grandchildren and as I interact with them, I share many of the precious truths for living life that my own mum showed, plus of course my own.”

“I recount her daily living example of a woman with a heart for God and her family.”

What’s the best advice you’ve received from a mum?

What is important in life is not where you have come from but where you are going to.

In making a choice or a decision – Pray and ask God to show you the way!


Kim: “After 15 years I didn’t put the connection of ‘mother’ to what I’d been doing.”

Kim Wilkinson with step daughter Kate, all photos supplied

Kim Wilkinson with step daughter Kate, all photos supplied.

Kim Wilkinson from CMAA has been a step mum for 16 years, but it wasn’t until last year that she allowed herself to think she might be included in Mother’s Day.

“I had never had the desire for motherhood,” she said.

“I can’t explain it, it was just never something that was important to me, and I remained happily single until meeting and marrying Stephen at age 37.”

With two girls from a previous marriage aged nine and five, Kim was aware that their time spent together was precious.

“They desperately wanted and needed time with their father, and so any thoughts of me being a ‘mother’ or even a ‘parent’ in the situation were very distant,” she said of the early years.

“I was the ‘support adult’ to the three of them in those limited and precious moments.”

When Stephen’s youngest daughter Kate came to live with them at age 14, Kim experienced another side to her role, diving deep into learning what was needed.

“I went to the school enrolling her in year nine saying, “Pretend like I’m a Kindergarten parent and tell me everything!”” she says.

And when Stephen’s oldest daughter Megan presented Kim with a bunch of flowers a year later on Mother’s Day, she was, in her own words, like a deer in headlights.

“I can’t even remember what I said, but I hope it was “thank you”.

“I was stunned all day, but still didn’t put the connection of ‘mother’ to what I had been doing.”

Kim says she has learned to lean on prayer heavily, especially in the lead up to events like Mother’s Day.

“Not just for myself, but for the girls and especially their Mum who must also find these celebration days bittersweet.”

Kim leans heavily on prayer, especially in the lead up to events like Mother’s Day.

What’s the best advice you’ve received from a mum?

You’ve been created with purpose and to be in relationship with others, like a family.

God will bring those ‘family members’ into your life for a reason, and you are to give them the best of you, without seeking anything in return.

The reward is in seeing them being happy and whole, simply because they are loved.


Jordana: “I like to get my step-mum something lovely and call her.”

Jordana Brown with her step mum, Jordana with her sister and mum, all photos supplied

Left to right: Jordana Brown with her step mum, Jordana with her sister and mum, all photos supplied.

As the host of Salt 106.5’s The Morning Wake-up, Jordana Brown will be away from her UK based mum this Mother’s Day.

“My mum lives in England, so I won’t be able to see her!” she said.

“But my step-mum lives in Australia so I like to get her something lovely and call her to say Happy Mother’s Day!

“Also, Mother’s Day in the UK is in March, so I do make sure I give my mum some love on the UK Mother’s Day.”

And while she’s grateful to have her mum, Mother’s Day is always a sad reminder of the fact that her mum lost her own mother (Jordana’s grandmother) at a very young age.

“Mother’s Day can be painful in some ways, but we have to find hope in the small things.

“We have a group family chat where we share pictures and stories of my grandmother, so we share in the grief and the love.”

Jordana isn’t a mum but is grateful to be surrounded by them.

“From what I see, Motherhood is sacrifice, love beyond all reason, and it’s stronger than anything.

“Even the pain of stepping on Lego!”

“Motherhood is sacrifice, love beyond all reason, and it’s stronger than anything.”

What’s the best advice you’ve received from a mum?

My grandmother had such a heart for Jesus, and she would always suggest if I was annoyed or angry with someone, to write it down first and let out all my feelings.

It’s a brilliantly cathartic way to express your feelings without hurting someone else’s feelings.

Also, to always write thank you cards whenever you get a present!


Laura: “I’m grateful that I have a mum who I like as well as love.”

Laura Bennett with her mum, all photos supplied

Laura Bennett with her mum, all photos supplied.

For Hope Afternoons Host Laura Bennett, Mother’s Day is an opportunity to be grateful for her mum – and the women in her family that she admires.

“I always love Mother’s Day, because while I know it can be a tough day for some, for me it’s a day to be extra grateful for the fact that I have a mum who I like as well as love, and that the women in my family are ones to admire.”

When holidays highlight the absence of certain people, or relationships which may have changed over time, Laura sees it as an opportunity to heal.

“When I’m struck by those moments at various times throughout the year, I’m reminded of the insights of Christian psychologist Debra Fileta that “triggers are a sign that there’s more healing to be received”.

“I think it’s important to acknowledge feelings of disappointment, loss or longing as the case may be, and then consider what need for healing they’re pointing you toward.”

Laura has a great admiration for the women around her who are mothering others, whether their own children or not.

“I’m not a mum myself, but from what I’ve witnessed in others, mums are the stewards of the future,” she said.

“‘Motherhood’ is protection, care, strength, intuition and embrace.

“It’s fierceness and kindness, resilience and vulnerability all wrapped up in one big, nuanced lifelong endeavour.”

“It’s important to acknowledge feelings and then consider what need for healing they’re pointing you toward.”

What’s the best advice you’ve received from a mum?

My mum doesn’t really dish out advice, but her manner of encouragement, passion and belief in who I am as a person and what’s possible for my life is really what I take away from our time together.

She raised me with a keen awareness of God’s overall involvement in, and care, for my life and that’s been a great gift.


Heidi: “Even before I had my son, I considered myself a mother.”

Heidi Wysman with her husband and son, all photos supplied

Heidi Wysman with her husband and their son Samuel, all photos supplied.

For Heidi Wysman, host of Hopeful Reflections, this Mother’s Day brings a mixture of emotions.

“Though I love every bit of being a mum to my son Samuel, I found myself feeling a bit melancholic [this year],” she said.

“I lost my Mum to dementia back in July 2023 – and it’s not just me; I have friends yearning to embrace motherhood, while others are grappling with the loss of their own mums.”

“Mother’s Day used to be particularly tough; it served as a constant reminder of our stillborn daughter and my struggle with infertility for many years.

“Those were the days when my heart ached, and my arms felt empty.

“Yet, through those trials, I learned the importance of being kind to myself.

“I continued to extend compassion to all, especially to my mother during her battle with dementia.

“Witnessing her gradual decline was heartbreaking, but amidst the sadness, there were moments of pure joy—like the times we’d stroll through a garden and her face would light up with delight – or the way she would play the piano and sing when a keyboard was put in front of her.”

When Heidi’s mum was first diagnosed with dementia, she poured heart out to God, mourning the loss of the relationship. And when God spoke the words “show mercy” into her spirit, she obeyed, proactively showing her mother mercy over the next decade, embracing each moment with her mum, despite the challenges.

Heidi is a firm believer that motherhood extends beyond biological ties and recalls the ‘spiritual’ daughters she has cared for over the years.

“Even before I had my son Samuel, I considered myself a mother,” she says.

“My care for them extends far beyond mere words; it encompasses their physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.

“This connection, this bond of nurturing and guiding, has shaped my understanding of motherhood in profound ways.”

“Through those trials, I learned the importance of being kind to myself.”

What’s the best advice you’ve received from a mum?

My mum and dad were married for over 50 years until my dad passed away, and throughout their marriage, she never uttered a single negative word directed at him or about him.

Even after he died, she maintained this remarkable restraint.

Despite my dad’s glaring imperfections, she never spoke ill of his shortcomings.

To this day, I deeply respect her for teaching me the value of such loyalty and respect in a marriage.

Always on a mission to help, Heidi will be hosting a HOPE Women’s Gathering on the Mother’s Day weekend, Saturday 11th May.


 Anita: “The day is just like any other as a parent.”

Left to right: Anita Savage with her mum, Anita with her husband and children, all photos supplied

Left to right: Anita Savage with her mum, Anita with her husband and children, all photos supplied.

Hope News journalist Anita Savage will be especially enjoying time with her 94-year-old mum this Mother’s Day.

“Mother’s Day this year is particularly special because every day that I have where I can honour my 94-year-old mother is precious and a privilege,” she said.

“She is a kind, self-less, servant-hearted Godly lady.

“I’m also keenly aware that my mum, herself, is sentimental about Mother’s Day because she lost her mother on the Saturday evening before Mother’s Day many years ago now.”

For Anita, the day seems like any other day as a parent, busy, filled with love and – as always – thinking of her family’s needs.

“Motherhood is a blessing from God,” she said.

“Our children are not ours to keep, but to shape and share God’s love with.

“Motherhood is not something to be taken for granted; we’re called to pray for our children, model faith and character, and train them in wisdom.

“It can be all consuming but is also just one part of who we are.

“It’s a shared role – with my husband, family, friends and community.

“If our children grow to love and serve God and are kind, thoughtful citizens, then we have a lot to be thankful for.”

“Our children are not ours to keep, but to shape and share God’s love with.”

What’s the best advice you’ve received from a mum?

My mum has always shown unconditional love to her children. She says (and has demonstrated) that every child is different and needs to be treated individually.

As the youngest of four children, I can attest to that.

My mother also was sensitive to the fact that not everyone has the opportunity to be a parent, wisely advising us to never to presume or inquire if or when someone is going to have children.


All images supplied.