Mother’s Day is upon us. A day of flowers, fancy brunches, and taking the time to tell the mothers in our lives how much we appreciate them.
But it’s also a day fraught with emotions for many people. Those who never knew their mothers, who have lost their mothers, who have bad relationships with their mothers. Those who long to be mothers, but who haven’t been able to conceive, or carry a healthy pregnancy, or afford the IVF treatment, or finalize the adoption, or meet the partner they feel they need in order to have a baby.
I can’t speak for that first group of people, so to them, know I’m thinking of you, but your story is not mine so I won’t attempt to tell it. With the latter group, my story aligns more, and it is to you whom I speak most directly.
Last year, I was 8 months pregnant on Mother’s Day, finally carrying a healthy pregnancy after 4 previous losses. Many people wished me a happy first Mother’s Day, while others said something like, “I won’t say anything to you this Mother’s Day because I know next year will be so special.” Others reached out to say, “Thinking of you today,” as they had done in years past, their way of acknowledging that it was not my first Mother’s Day at all.
On what I consider to be my first Mother’s Day, I hid myself among the crowds of New York City to drown the cultural noise as I mourned all of my children in heaven, not sure if others knew those angels deserved to be recognized. This Mother’s Day will not be my first, just the first where I finally feel I can celebrate. I’ll celebrate the beautiful boy who practically crawls faster than I can run, whose laugh brings me the most intense joy, for whose life I will be eternally thankful.
But I will also mourn. I’ll mourn the 4 siblings my son will never know, but mostly, I’ll mourn for those mothers who feel the need to hide away on this day because the longings in their hearts still don’t equal a child in their arms.
This Mother’s Day, I extend my love to so many mothers, both traditional and not. To all of the amazing mothers I know and love who have raised children for decades, and to those who had to let their children go without being afforded that gift. To those who dream of being mothers, but whose lives, for any number of reasons, have not yet given them a living child of their own. To those who act as caregivers to people who are not legally their children, the “surrogate mothers” of the world who truly help our world turn. I see you, I hear you, and I honor you, on this very important, but sometimes very difficult day.
If you consider yourself a mother, then I consider you one too, and I wish you an abundantly happy Mother’s Day.