When Mother’s Day draws near, I hold my breath a little bit, as though I am anticipating a punch that never happens.
Mother’s Day has become, for me, like sitting down at a feast with all of my favorite girlfriends. The day is beautiful, the food is amazing – but there is a catch: not everyone gets a meal.
The first few Mother’s Days I experienced while we were trying to get pregnant and going through infertility and dealing with losing a baby, were just bone-chillingly sad and lonely. Sure, I was happy for my friends around me who were experiencing motherhood, but here I was with this deep sadness and pain, on a day designated to celebrate what I didn’t have. My plate was empty.
I was lonely and sad and scared. And let’s be honest, until infertility, the realest pain I had experienced was losing a grandparent, which is, while sad, a pretty standard part of life. Mother’s Day was an emotional bomb with shrapnel spread far and wide.
Four years ago, I celebrated my first Mother’s Day. I expected to feel unfettered joy on that first Mother’s Day morning, but instead…
I was grateful, absolutely, for the two little girls I was holding that morning. But looking around the Mother’s Day table, I noticed that there were still people with empty plates. The abundance for some and the emptiness for others made a knot grow in my stomach. It just seemed unfair.
Not celebrating Mother’s Day is not the answer. We all have moms in many forms and fashions – the mothers we were born with and the women that mother us throughout our lives – and so celebrating their impact in our lives is appropriate and good and right. I am grateful for my own mom who is the embodiment of joy, friendship, kindness and hospitality. She made every day of my childhood an adventure and continues to be one of my dearest friends and confidants.
It also feels right and good and appropriate to acknowledge and hold space for the women (and men) who put on a brave face on Mother’s Day in spite of feeling incredible pain, loss and sadness. I don’t have a cure for this heartache, but I want you to know that you are not alone and that you are loved. May you have a supernatural peace this Mother’s Day in the midst of all of the noise.