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Remembering 'Non-Traditional Moms' on Mother's Day

Dr. Sharon Langshur of offers Tips for Creating a Meaningful Day for the Grandparents, Aunts, Dads and Neighbors Called in to Pinch Hit

CHICAGO, April 21 /PRNewswire/ -- As Mother's Day approaches, it is important to also remember the extraordinary group of devoted stand-ins -- grandparents, fathers, aunts, uncles, neighbors and others, who have been called in unexpectedly to step into the role of mother, nurturer and comforter for those facing health issues.

"The role of 'mom' is sometimes played out by someone different than who we would traditionally think," says Dr. Sharon Langhsur, co-founder of, an online community that helps people cope with the emotional challenges of a medical situation. "These 'surrogate' moms carry others with the strength and caring they need until they can navigate solo again."

Langshur says it is time to remember that everyone has a different experience of what the word "mother" and mothering means. She offers these tips for reaching out to say we care and give thanks.

-- Send a Gift with Heart. Send a note or a small gift, acknowledging that

you honor and are grateful for the unconventional mothering role this

person has stepped into to care for another.

-- Call Mr. Moms. Sometimes we all just need a pat on the back. Mother's

Day is a great time to reach out to men who have been called in to play

a dual male/female role in their children's, grandchildren's or

another's life. Let them know you think it is admirable.

-- Extend Gratitude to the Hospital Staff. Many times nurses, doctors,

x-ray technicians and other hospital workers step in to care for loved

ones when family members cannot. Mother's Day is the time to send a

card or just tell them you appreciate their help.

-- Be Sensitive: Mother's Day can have different meanings for different

people. Though it is a day of celebration for many, some may have lost

a mother, or are a mom who is alone in the hospital without their

children that day.

This Mother's Day, the CarePages community is making a special effort to honor "non-traditional" moms. As the nation's largest on-line social network devoted to caring for people in times of health challenges, CarePages is shining the spotlight on ordinary people who are stepping up to assume "mom" duties in extraordinary ways. They include:

-- Kate Foote, a grandma of three from Iowa, who has taken care of her

two-year-old grandson, Hunter, for the last nine months following the

birth of his baby sister, whose life has hung in a precarious balance

since her August 2007 birth;

-- Tim McGowan, a Pennsylvania father who has been the 24/7 parent for his

son Cale, now 9, since his wife and daughter were killed in a car

accident; and

-- One-year-old Callie Stapp's "surrogate" mom team of grandparents, aunts

and uncles who have cared for her older siblings while she has been

ushered back and forth between children's hospitals in Atlanta and


For more information, please visit Available Topic Expert(s): For information on the listed expert(s), click appropriate link. Dr. Sharon Langshur

Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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