I dreamt of being a wife and mother my entire life. The problem was that I was single until I was in my thirties. After I was finally married I hoped that we’d be pregnant by the next Mother’s Day, but we were not. Some people would think that is fine, but when it is your lifelong dream to be a wife and mother this is very hard to take. Time seems to stand still.
It was very hard for me to be in church that first Mother’s Day. I wanted to cry, and I didn’t want one more reminder that I was not a mom.
It’s not that anyone at church meant to be mean or insensitive, but they were giving away gifts to the moms, and usually they give the gifts to all the women (I think they were supposed that morning too), but one of the people handing out the gifts said, “oh and you’re not a mom,” as I walked by.
Ouch! I’d already cried that morning getting ready for church. I told Paul I didn’t want to go by myself since he had to work that day. But I didn’t have that option because I was leading worship. It was not my definition of a good day! There was nothing else that happened at church. Thankfully no one had the mothers stand to be recognized during the worship service.
After church I went out with my parents for lunch, and one of the sweetest things happened. At the restaurant they were giving all the women flowers because “all women deserved to be celebrated.”
I was so glad! If I would been excluded one more time, I don’t know what I would have done. That simple gesture made me feel valued. The flower was a carnation, my least favorite flower, but it was the gesture that mattered.
Some women choose not to be mothers, but others want to be mothers more than anything, and are never given the opportunity. Some women, like me, have to wait until they are 34 to have their first child. We don’t know everyone’s story, and we need not judge. We should to take a day like Mother’s Day to celebrate the uniqueness of women and the nurturing qualities that God has given them.
I am a person `who was blessed with an amazing mom. She is so giving and always made her family a top priority. I know some mothers are not so loving and are selfish, and this too can be a source of pain for people on Mother’s Day.There are also those who have lost their mothers at a young age, either through death or abandonment. Mother’s Day can be difficult for them as well.
I was in my 20s visiting Australia the first time I was aware that Mother’s Day was not a positive day for everyone. There was a lady who I got to know whose mom was abusive, and she struggled every Mother’s Day with regret because of the childhood she had. This was such a shock to me! Our Mother’s Days growing up were wonderful. We celebrated my mom and my grandmas. I couldn’t imagine a mother not loving her children, and I assumed that those who weren’t mothers had made that choice not to have children.
There are some reading this today who are more of a mother than those who have conceived and given birth. Having a baby doesn’t make you a mom. Investing in the life of a child and nurturing them does.
I’m so thankful for the women who have invested in our son’s life. There are the aunts and older women who haven’t had their own children, and yet have loved on our son. I want to say to them, “You are such a blessing and you have shown us a bigger part of the heart of God. Thank you.”
This Mother’s Day I also think about the single and married women I know who are amazing aunts and/or friends to the children in their lives, and they would have made amazing moms to their own biological children. Even though God hasn’t blessed them with children they still find opportunities to show the children around them the love of a mother.
I am also thinking about the women who struggle with infertility and miscarriage. It pains my heart to see good women struggle when there are some people who have a child and see that precious one as an “accident” or “inconvenience”. My heart goes out to all the mothers who have lost a child through death or miscarriage. To you I would say, “You are wonderful mothers and you’ve given your children a chance at life.”
This is my second Mother’s Day as a mom and it’s a joy to celebrate my children. The one who brings such joy to my life and has changed me and made me a better person. Also, the one who is currently in my womb, and who will also make me into a better person in his or her own unique way.
Even as I write this tears are coming to my eyes. I can still feel some of the pain of those Mother’s Days as I struggled with singleness. I also think about that first Mother’s Day after I was married and hoped to be pregnant, but God had not yet answered our prayers for a child.
Let us use this Mother’s Day to celebrate women and their contribution in nurturing children, whether those children are their own by birth, adoption, or ones they have taken the extra effort to invest in their lives. You never know the impact one person, or even one word, can make in the life of another person.
This blog was inspired after I read An open letter to pastors (A non-mom speaks about Mother’s Day). I could have just shared the link, but I knew I had my own story to share. I’d love to hear your thoughts on Mother’s Day and the experiences you have had with it.