Childless and motherless on Mother’s Day

Childless and motherless on Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day….. Three simple words that can either cause extreme happiness or utter and debilitating sadness. Such an innocent and kind thought shared yet it can cause a deep ache. The rational side of my brain knows that there is no malice when a stranger wishes you a happy Mother’s Day, it’s just something people say to be nice. However, the irrational side of my brain wants to explain why this can be a really hurtful thing to say when you don’t know someone’s situation. The loss of a child, infertility, loss of a mother, a poor relationship with a mother or a child—all of these are heartbreaking, and those three simple words can just remind you of what has been lost.

Yesterday was Mother’s Day, however I haven’t really celebrated that day since May 2013, as that following September my own mother passed away. I kind of just assumed, like I know we all do, that shortly thereafter I’d be celebrating Mother’s Day as a mother myself, but the universe had other plans. While I do have an incredible mother-in-law for whom we try to make the day special, it’s not quite the same. Five years and three miscarriages later and I have yet to be able to celebrate it with children of my own.

My mom used to say “when you’re a mother yourself this day will take on a whole new meaning.”

We’d look through things she saved over the years, macaroni art, cards, handprints made with salt dough, finger paintings and poems. I remember thinking that I couldn’t wait to be saving those very same things from my own kids, and I honestly thought by now I’d have a small collection. Instead I spend the day crying over social media posts and wishing my own mom was here.

I often wonder if it would lessen the blow, having my mom still with me, but something tells me that would only be a band-aid on a gaping wound. The only thing that will solve the ache of being childless on Mother’s Day is for us to finally be blessed with a baby. I know I am certainly not alone in my pain as there are 1 in 6 Canadian couples battling infertility, and 1 in 4 people who deal with miscarriage. So many of us are walking this jagged path to parenthood, and while having people who understand your grief is nice, it’s still a really hard thing to battle through.

All of this leads me to something that is so important in this situation—self-care.

When it comes to something as difficult as dealing with infertility, miscarriage, or even the loss of a mother on a day like Mother’s Day, there is no shame in taking a step back and looking after number one. Whether that’s taking a social media break, hiding from the world, soaking in a hot bath with a glass of wine… the list can go on. It’s really important to do something just for you to be able to make it through a damn hard day.

So, if yesterday was a difficult day for you, remember you are not alone, your feelings are valid and its okay to do what you need to do to make it through another hard day. Here’s to hoping this is the last childless Mother’s Day any of us need to endure.

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