I know the title of this post may seem like click bait, but trust me, it isn’t. I know I am not the only woman in the world who cringes at thought of Mother’s Day. So, I would like explain why some of us dread Mother’s Day more than any other day of the year!
The loss of a mother or mother-in-law. I suppose it goes without saying that anyone who has lost their mother might have a difficult time celebrating Mother’s day. Imagine watching everyone around you giving Mother’s Day cards and presents to their mothers, while you are left with only memories. I know a few people who have lost their mothers before the age of 30. For them, Mother’s Day is a painful reminder of all the important occasions their mother missed because of her premature passing.
The loss of a child or children. Not only have I lost two children via miscarriage, I also know many women who have lost children of all ages who no longer enjoy Mother’s Day. For us, it’s a reminder that we aren’t mothering all of our children, because they were taken from us too soon.
Imagine sitting in church or a restaurant watching all the other mothers smiling and laughing with their children as you sit there silently mourning your unborn children, or the child who died an early death. It isn’t jealousy; it’s a reminder of the value of has been lost. The emptiness can be overwhelming.
If a woman has lost a child in death, but has other children, she may console herself with the others. However, I have it on good authority the one who is missing is never far from her thoughts or her heart. Most women don’t get over the loss of a child, therefore, Mother’s Day becomes a day to grieve for the child or children she has lost.
Infertility: Need I say more? I am a member of a few infertility pages on Facebook. Every year the topic of “How do we survive Mother’s Day?” is raised, and every year many women proclaim they will be spending the day in bed or at home.
It’s not that infertile women don’t want to honor their own mothers, or that they aren’t happy for their sisters and friends who have children. They are happy for them, but one would have to admit celebrating another woman having children when you yourself cannot get pregnant is a little like celebrating someone else’s pay raise when you just got fired. It’s nearly impossible and shouldn’t be required.
I have to admit I have spent many Mother’s Days pretending that the world did not exist for that one day, except to call my mom or go see her at her house.
Therefore, if you know someone struggling with primary or secondary infertility, be aware that they aren’t missing the Mother’s Day celebration to snub anyone, it’s just that Mother’s Day is a doubly painful day for infertile women.
First, there is the reminder that she isn’t a mom at a time in life when she should be, and then there is the reminder that everyone else is! Again, it’s not fair or right to expect a woman who can’t have children to celebrate the fact that everyone else they know can have children. It’s like rubbing salt in an open wound, and if she has also lost her own mother, and a child, then please, I beg you, be gentle with that suffering sister!
Conflict with Mom. Some relationships between mothers and their children can be volatile. I have known children who could do no right in their mother’s eyes, or their mom’s were AWOL. I have also watched them tear up when Mother’s Day celebrations call attention to women who are excellent mothers. For those who have less than loving relationships with their mothers, Mother’s Day can be painful.
Husband’s who don’t honor their wives This may seem like a petty complaint compared to the other reasons why some of us hate Mother’s Day, but if you have a husband who honors his mother, but fails to honor you as the mother of his children, Mother’s Day can become a day filled with hurt feelings and conflict. Women like to know that they are loved, respected, and appreciated for their role as mom in the family. If a husband doesn’t honor his wife, he can wound her deeply.
In conclusion, I have said all that to say this . . . This Mother’s Day, by all means, love on your mother. You husbands, honor your wife for the wonderful mothers they are. But if you know anyone who has suffered the loss of their mother, or a child, or infertility, be gentle and be compassionate. If they don’t want to attend church or Sunday brunch, bring Sunday brunch to them. Remember, some of us can’t help the tragedies that have befallen us. We have to cope with deep wounds through no fault of our own, therefore, a hug and an understanding heart is always appreciated.