This is going to be a quick one, today.
To every mama who never was, who almost was, who was for a moment or even longer but today, for whatever reason, you are without a child to hold…
Please know I share this day with you. Your tears are my tears. Your heart is being held and lifted up and your struggle is understood.
When I suffered miscarriage after relentless miscarriage, dark thoughts crept in and I often felt less than human. Words like “wasteland”, “barren”, “broken”, “ruined”, “unworthy”, “undeserving” and so many others, flooded my mind and I understand that pain of knowing what was, what almost had been and understanding the grave reality of knowing deep within my soul what had been taken. This holiday began to take on a bitter tone and would feel more like a slap in the face, than a reason to be joyful. It was only proof that I didn’t belong in that circle of the honored. I could honor my own mother and my sisters, but, eventually, I gave up on ever feeling like I was worthy of honoring myself.
Luckily, I had amazing support. Not all of us have amazing, thoughtful sisters who will send you cards and give you flowers or a mother who buys you a gift to honor you on that day, as everyone is celebrating her, just because they love you and they know you suffer on a holiday that would have been joyful… had baby just survived.
But, y’know what? Everyone should. So, consider this your hug, flowers and mama crown from a mama who has been there, who understands loss and that empty feeling that today can bring no matter how happy you wish you could be for others.
Please don’t allow this pain to harden your heart. Please remember, these mothers who are celebrating the day and honoring their own mothers are not doing so to hurt you, they just don’t think about it and don’t know what it is to feel the loss you know so deeply that it’s become a part of who you are. You ARE a mother and I’ll bet you are told that on a regular basis because it’s IN you to be a mom. You are motherly, you are nurturing and compassionate, you care deeply about those around you and you do whatever it takes to help those around you feel safe, happy and successful. You care for animals, friends, even strangers, in ways others can’t even imagine simply because you feel protective of all life and you have an intrinsic desire to care for it. Don’t lose this precious gift simply because society does not, on the whole, understand the losses you feel on this, and likely, every other day, as well.
I consider myself lucky. So many mothers haven’t been… so many others were given the chance to hold, love, nurture, protect and grow with their children OUTSIDE the womb, even if for a short time, only to have them taken by disease, disaster, accident or abuse. I cannot begin to understand this level of pain and my heart grieves for these mamas every day, but especially today when their loss can feel so much heavier because it seems the whole world is rejoicing in what they do not share.
For those who have never experienced this type of loss, the only thing I can equate it to is watching the ex-boyfriend you never “got over” get married, publicly, every year – while you remain alone, unhappy and lost. The entire nation is happy for them, telling you to “get over it” because it’s unkind to be bitter, misunderstanding your grief as spite. The more people around you find their joy in marriage, the more bitter you become and the more angry you get and the more lost you feel because everyone around you, even those you don’t seem worthy, get to have everything you can’t seem to touch and you don’t know why.
I know women who would have and will be amazing mothers but never found someone to share their lives with or found those people so late they could no longer have children and they feel a deep sense of loss and even shame on this day. Many of them have become the “step-mom” and in some ways get to share in this holiday, but in most of those situations, the “real” mom makes it abundantly clear that it is actually HER day and does all they can to make sure step-mom knows her place. It’s cruel and terrible and my heart hurts for these amazing women who give SO much to these beautiful children she did not bear, but are not allowed to share this day without feeling shame for not having physically carried the babes they raise.
I want to share it with you, this day that is “my” day, to lift you up and remind the world that this is your day, too. I know what you are feeling and I know you may even be ashamed to admit that you are jealous, that you DO feel spiteful, that you compare yourself to moms around you and wonder, “if she was allowed to, why not me?” I know that dark feeling and it feels like a hole, deep inside your chest that nothing an fill.
You are not a terrible person, you DO deserve to be happy. You are perfect and there is no “why not you”. It had nothing to do with that. You are incredible. You are power. You are surviving. You are strength personified and you are always, always, always, always, mother.
For every mother who feels like you don’t feel like they get to be part of this day, I am here to hold you, love you, to respect your pain and tell you that you are exactly who you ought to be. You are not broken. You are not ruined. You are not unworthy. You did nothing wrong and it is not your fault.
Please believe; motherhood is not something that disappears with the child. The honor does not get stripped from you if you encounter tragedy… you are forever within the circle and today, we lift you up. From the first spark of life within your womb until your final breath on Earth, you have been a mother and I honor you. I honor your struggle, your passion, your grace and your ability to carry on.
We may not know why things happen and maybe you have a faith that helps support you and your loss, a faith that provides a deeper understanding to give you peace, but please know that even if you do not, that you are worthy of that peace. You are worthy and you are good and you are supported.
Today we celebrate the spirit of motherhood and the mothers who are, who have been, who were for a moment, who are forever.