Yesterday was Mother’s Day. I love that there is a day where we all change our Facebook profile pictures, conjure up a special Instagram, and post funny anecdotes all in honor of the special women who birthed us or raised us or loved us. It’s a lovely reminder of the sacrifices that have been made for me and my sisters by my mother so that we could be the women we are today. I hope my mother knows how loved and appreciated she is every day of the year, not just on this specific Sunday in the month of May.
Mother’s Day has always been a time of celebration in our home. My mom rocks, so it has always been easy to have a day out of the year where we are able to say loud and proud how great she is. It’s fun, it’s joyful, it’s warranted. But, since this is a blog where I’m honest about how I really feel, I have to say that now Mother’s Day has a twinge of sadness attached to it. You see, as I’ve written before, I’m not a mother and I desperately want to be one. Now Mother’s Day has become the day where I look at my friends, colleagues, even my sister, with jealousy…because they are mothers and I am not. It’s not even the “not being a mother” thing. It’s the “never being a mother” thing. I’m almost 33, and although some claim that that is still young, I am fast approaching the “not safe to be a mother” age. I’m not married, I’m not dating, so the reality of motherhood drifts further and further away every day.
Of course, you don’t have to be married to be a mother. I could certainly do it on my own, I suppose. It’s definitely more expensive than the old fashioned way, but it can be done. It’s still a possibility. There is also adoption, which I haven’t ruled out; and if that is what God has planned for me, then I am sure there is a child out there that I am meant to mother. And then, of course, there are my beautiful friends who let me love their children the best way I know how. I love my nephew more than I ever thought I could love a human and my dear friend, Whitney, let’s me love on her children to my heart’s content. They are precious blessings in my life and my heart overflows with love for them. But anyone who is a mother can tell you, it’s not the same thing as having your own child.
I’m truly not writing this so I can have my own personal “non-mother” pity party, I’m writing it because I know I’m not alone. I know there are many other women out there, in similar or different situations than myself who desperately want to be a mother and feel a void because they don’t have a child. I’m also writing because I think it’s super grown up of me to be able to communicate how I’m feeling. One year ago, this was not the case.
Last year, on Mother’s Day, I had the gift of being able to spend it with my mother. We went to church together, then I had a show. That evening, there was a surprise birthday party for our musical director, which I was obviously going to attend. But, before the party and after the show, something happened to me. I started crying uncontrollably. I’m talking ugly, snotty, can’t stop or breathe crying. Every time I thought I had a handle on it, I started crying all over again. I text my friend, Jake, who was going to pick me up for the party to let him know I couldn’t make it. Who wants a crazy, crying girl at their birthday party? Jake, as usual, was concerned and in typical Jake fashion tried his best to fix the situation. But the thing was, I couldn’t even explain why I was so sad. I didn’t have the answers to his questions. I couldn’t give a time commitment on when this sadness would pass. He was ridiculously patient and said we would leave when I felt ready, and he didn’t push it. Some day I will have to ask him why on earth he remained my friend during these crazy emotional times in my life. Anyone else would have and should have left my crazy self alone.
Looking back, I know my sadness came from confronting my new reality. My divorce had recently become finalized and I was starting to feel all the new truths in my life. One of the biggest truths being the loss of something I wanted and craved so desperately. Motherhood. This year, I didn’t cry uncontrollably. I’m gonna pat myself on the back for that growth. But, there was still the sadness, still the void, still the jealousy (ugly, but honest). This year I was able to sit myself down and have a little talk with God. Yes, I want to be a mother…but I also want to follow God’s will for my life. If his plan is that I am not meant to have a child, then I prayed that he would take that desire from me. The pain is still hard to deal with and I’d love to have it gone from my life.
During my conversation with God, I was also reminded of others who hurt on Mother’s Day. Those who have lost a mother, those who never truly had one to begin with, those who used to be a mother, but have lost a child. All these are much greater sadnesses than any I have ever had to deal with. I may not be a mother…I may never be a mother, but I have been blessed with a beautiful mother. A selfless woman full of integrity and grace. A warrior for her children and for Christ. A teacher. An inspiration. My inspiration. The reason I want to be a mother.
To her, and to every woman who has mothered me along the way….Happy Mother’s Day.
Ruth 1:16-17 “For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.”