To ALL the mothers: you ARE “mom enough” for Mother’s Day.
Mother’s Day is a very emotionally-charged holiday, perhaps even more so than Valentine’s Day.
On Valentine’s Day we are all acutely aware of the singletons — as we’ve all been there at one point in our lives. But on Mother’s Day many women suffer in silence, and we do not know the heartache they endure watching everyone else’s happy social media updates.
When society says you’re not quite a mom…
My Mother’s Day experiences have run the gamut. When I was young and single, Mother’s Day was easy: the focus was still on my own mom. We would get together as a family to celebrate the holiday.
When I met my husband, he already had a baby daughter. I watched her grow from that young age, and when she came to live with him at age two (and later us when we moved in together the next year), I raised her as I would my own. But there were no cards or thanks for me on Mother’s Day. It was a stinging reminder that I wasn’t really considered a “mom” yet.
Two years ago I found out I was pregnant for the first time. I didn’t get to enjoy it for very long, as worrisome symptoms started popping up fairly early. I miscarried in April at around 8 weeks pregnant. I told almost no one outside of very close friends and immediate family, as if it was something to be ashamed of. Mother’s Day was a devastating reminder of our loss. I still wasn’t a mother — I had failed.
A year later things were looking up. I was pregnant again, due with AB on May 7th. I would finally get to have a “real” Mother’s Day! AB had other plans. Showing her stubborn streak before we even met her, she stuck around in my belly until a full week later. I still expected that I had earned a celebration — I was literally growing our baby, and since we were now engaged, I would officially be Lilu’s stepmom soon. But on Mother’s Day there was no acknowledgment, no cards, nothing.
Was I still not “mom enough?”
This year, there is finally no denying my legitimacy as a mom. Though I have felt like a mom since Lilu was very young, the outside world didn’t always see it the same way. Not until I had a baby born from my own body to hold in my arms did I count.
She might be hiding sadness behind her smile today
I didn’t set out to write a bitter blog post, but rather to remind us all to show compassion for those that might be hiding sadness behind their smiles today:
- women trying desperately to have children
- mothers who didn’t get to meet their babies
- mothers who lost children
- women who lost their own mothers
These are the stories that we don’t always see. Even for someone like me, who finally got my “first” Mother’s Day cards, this day can still trigger painful memories of years past that weren’t so joyful.
But I want you all to remember this: motherhood is not what society dictates — motherhood is what is in your heart.
To all the mothers: DO enjoy your day! And yes, you can still post all your happy photos of flowers and cards on Facebook. But try to take a moment to reflect with gratitude on your blessings and be respectful in your posts — you never know what others are going through and who might be having a hard time on this “happy” day.
Love to you ALL and Happy Mother’s Day!
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