Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day...

How ungrateful are the thoughts going through my head today.

I know that.  I have prayed all morning for them to be taken away.  I'm trying really, really hard to overcome them.

But they are there.

Mother's Day.  Bleh.

My mother is dead.

Two of my three babies are dead.

I had to spend nearly 11 years just to even get to babies who die.

Year after year of sitting in the pew hearing all about how being a mother is the most important job there is and there is no greater honor for a woman than to be a wife and mother.

So do you not get to be honorable if you can't bring babies home to raise?

I know that's not what is ever meant, but I think it's very rarely thought about when pastors all over the country are making their Mother's Day sermons.  Or planning baby dedications on Mother's Day.

I think they are forgetting about the vast amount of women for whom Mother's Day hurts.  Stings.  Stirs up more aching and more longing.

Here's the way I look at it....I am grateful beyond grateful for the blessings of my children.  For the joy that Luke gives to me every.single.second. (Even the ones where he's flapping his arms and throwing whatever toy he has down in protest of something I am doing.)

But that's every day.  Every day is Mother's Day to me with that boy.  Every amazing day I am thankful for hearing him say, "Mama?  Mama?"

The day that's *designated* Mother's Day?  That one hurts.  Makes me miss my mother so much.  Wish there was so much she could see and I could talk to her about.

Makes me realize that this whole 'motherhood' road I've been on really hurts in a lot of places on a lot of days.

Makes me wish for just a nanosecond that I didn't even know what infertility and loss felt like...even if it meant that I just never had a desire for kids.  To save me from that pain.

It's just one of those markers that stares me in the face and reminds me I'm supposed to feel one way but really feel another and I have to reconcile those feelings within myself and to the world.

Tough job on a day that's supposed to be all about me.

Did you know that Mother's Day the holiday eventually came to be as the result of women gathering together during the civil war times...mothers who were grieving together and mourning the losses of their sons?

Now that's a Mother's Day that's more realistic and applicable to me.  Sadly.  I'd rather accept that kind of background and remembrance for Mother's Day proper, and then spend the other 364 days relishing in the joys of motherhood.  The gratitude I have for the mothers and grandmothers I've had in my life. Being glad that my dad has another woman in his life who loves Luke.  Celebrating the wonderful mom and Grandma (Luke's almost there in saying it!) that John's mom is to us with little things through the year, instead of one day that has all these expectations placed on it.

Just not having to act like Mother's Day is this great, all-about-me day that is all celebration.

The reality is, I don't need a lot of celebrating.  I'm psyched at the nap I am getting (rather, should be soon as I finish typing this blog!).  One day, I'll be all about flowers made of pipe-cleaner and handprints, macaroni necklaces and candles made from baby-food jars.

Now,'s just too soon after losing Matthew and his littlest sister or brother to not have some pretty heavy melancholy.  I know too many moms who are not recognized as moms. Too many women without their mothers.  Just too much sadness that's sort of overshadowed.  That bothers me just a bit too much.

I'm rambling.  I don't even know what point I am trying to make...other than I get how Mother's Day is a great and amazing day—how I am grateful beyond words to raise my hand when told to in church.

I just also know how much it hurts for so, so, so many women.  And I hate that.  If you are one of them, and reading this, I'm sorry.

Truly.  I'm sorry.  I get it.

(And I should mention, my service at church this morning, even with a baby dedication, was AWESOME!  My pastor and his wife have dealt with infertility for years.  He gets it.  My church in Maryland never made me feel less of a person because I wasn't a mother either, even with baby dedications on Mother's Day too.  What is it about baby dedications on Mother's Day?  Anyway, just wanted to put that disclaimer in.  For the last few years, we've been very, very blessed with our churches and church families.  Just know that sometimes, even the small "Raise your hand if you are a mother," or watching a baby dedication on Mother's Day really, really stings.)


  1. Had a guy friend at church today ask me "is today a hard day?" Totally caught me off guard after all of the smiling, cheery faces I had rushed by all morning saying, "Happy Mother's Day!". He remembered. He cared enough to ask a hard question, and I really appreciated it. Thinking of have been on my heart all week.

  2. Amen. This day is hard enough. I'm sorry you don't have your mother here with you, too.

  3. I thought of you today. Our pastor preached on Ruth 1 this morning. I wanted all my loss mama friends sitting in the pew next to me listening to his words. He spoke on loving friends through difficult times. He spoke of infertility, loss and the bitterness that comes from disappointment and tragedy. He encouraged us to love and hold one another up during the hard times (he lost a baby years ago), to stand with each other like Ruth does with Naomi (v. 16). And he said we should maintain faith for our friends and loved ones who can't; it is our job to believe, to uplift, to encourage when they are too weary and bitter to find the strength. It was a beautiful sermon, I don't know how I made it through without sobbing.

    Love you.

  4. This is my first Mother's day and my baby isn't here. There was baby dedications at our church this morning. Needless to say, I wasn't there. Hope you're having a peaceful Mother's day!

  5. I was thinking the same kind of thoughts today. I hope you took that well deserved nap!

  6. It is like I am reading my own thoughts.

    Soooooooo much love and so many hugs being sent to you from me my friend!

    Much love and prayers to you!

  7. Our pastor's wife spoke a bit on Mother's Day about how men establish and women birth. We birth physical children, we nurture children, we birth ideas and concepts. We may not mother our own children but we may other the children of others. We may be spiritual mothers, godmothers, that type of thing.

    One lady stood up at the end of the service and said that today was not just for mother's that had their children living. It was for mother's who are separated from their children (whether by distance here on earth, by estrangement or by children who have left this earth for Heaven). She wanted to make sure that us mother's of children no longer here were included in Mother's Day.

    A gentleman stood up and said that he had the same thought and confirmed as well that today was for us grieving Mothers.

    (Churches that schedule baby dedications on Mother's Day.... oh boy. I was hoping to dedicate Julia on Mother's Day 2009 as she was due a week and a bit before then. That was a hard Mother's Day, my first.)