In the loss community, Mother's Day can be a very dividing issue. Some of us are blessed with a healthy child or children to love and care for, and no one questions whether or not you're a mother, or if you should be wished "Happy Mother's Day," along with everyone else. Interestingly enough, you are expected to enjoy this day, be thankful you are a mother to a living child or children and go on with the day without a care in the world. I have to pause here and point out, I am thankful to be a mother to my amazing daughter. I don't begrudge anyone who hasn't experienced loss, in fact it makes me so happy that there are so many mothers and families who have no idea what its like to wish for pregnancy, lose a pregnancy or lose a tiny baby that was wanted and loved.
My daughter died due to complications of Trisomy 18, in February of 2017; so I too had to experience that first Mother's Day as a bereaved parent. I had several amazing friends who got me flowers, wished me well, and just let me do what I wanted to, which was be left alone for the most part. I went to visit my daughter's grave alone, as my own mother had proved too flaky and inconsiderate to spend the day with, especially that day. I had all these feelings I didn't know what to do with. All I could think of was what Josie should be doing, if she would be sleeping thru the night at 4 months, if I could have done something fun with her like wheel her around the zoo in her stroller or take her on swings at the park. After a 12 year journey of grief I do know this; for me the "what ifs" and "should have beens" were what almost broke me. Its basically torture. I also found out that I had to do what was right for me and not anyone else. I stopped worrying about offending anyone with my grief and started focusing on just getting through the day, then the night, and eventually the weeks and months. Then I started counting years, and with that came the peace I had been yearning for. The peace that everyone who is grieving is begging for, yet afraid to accept, as it feels like giving in to the peace will take away from your love for the one you lost.
Yet, on Mother's Day morning, when I wake up and spend time with my singleton, and usually my own mother, I can't say that I don't take pause, and wonder what it would be like if I had two amazing daughters to spend time with. Two daughters that would likely bicker and argue and annoy each other, and me in the process. But after I pause, my head spinning trying to imagine life with the two of them, not just romanticized life, but actual, day to day, planning, running, laundry, hair etc, I get up and get moving, and get busy with an activity, something special. This year we went to a Butterfly Show at our local conservatory, part of the Cincinnati city parks. We have been before in years past, and its always a nice time. I saw lots of generations of moms, out and about and enjoying their day. I even chatted with a bit of a supermom, who had matched her pre-schooler's outfit to hers, perfect for the theme of the day and even perfect for our unusually chilly morning. Its interesting how things like that really matter when your kids are little, and now, I'm just happy if my tween wears something semi appropriate that matches itself.
After 10 years of this, I have realized that this day will always be hard for me. I will always wish for both of my girls, but I also know I am lucky to have one of them here with me. I also realize that for some, this day will only ever be hard. For some, they will never be able to mother the babies they have dreamed of in their hearts or the moms who held their baby for only a few precious moments. For others struggling with infertility, this day could be a reminder that they still aren't mothers, and make the longing they feel even worse. I always hope I never make worse any of the feelings my fellow moms might have, so I always tread lightly.
If you are sad on Mother's Day because you lost a child, because you are longing to have a child or if you are missing a piece of your heart today, with the others still close by, please know that you are not alone, I understand how you feel and so many of us here at Share completely get your emotions. Do you what you need to so that you can get through your day, and eventually those weeks and months and years. I wish you strength for your journey, and I hope that you are able to accept your peace when it arrives.
I loved reading this. Mother's Day is such a tricky day. I hope that your heart had ease on Mother's Day.
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