Can I be honest with you? I know we don’t know each other well, yet, but I have a confession. Working in the world of trauma has taught me many things, but one of those things is struggling during certain days of the year – heck possibly even more than one. The earth and the sun don’t really pay too much attention to what’s happening on earth, and so we know even in the hard times that tomorrow will be a new day. Yet, that sentiment, while beautiful, also doesn’t help get me through today. For me, one of the days I struggle with is Mother’s Day.
Mother’s Day never bugged me before. It’s a beautiful day of celebrating mothers, of recognizing the gift of motherhood and all the hard work mothers put into raising their children. In recent years, I’ve started to see the pain children all around the world experience on Mother’s Day due to many issues ranging from death to addiction and trauma.
For me, it was Mother’s Day 2018 that hit really hard. You see, after finding closure on our infertility journey and beginning our journey through adoption I had high hopes. Infertility makes you aware of your body in ways you wish you would had been as a teenager. At least then it wouldn’t feel so shocking to realize how little you actually know about your body! I had finally had a reprieve from all the monitoring, the questioning, and the stressful two-week waits. And Mother’s Day popped up so quickly. Yet, that morning it felt like mother nature kicked me in my empty womb as my cycle said hello.
I couldn’t imagine a worse way to start the day I was supposed to celebrate my own mother than to be reminded that I am still not one. I spent more time that morning performing my self-care ritual of doing my make-up and hair. Then I put a smile on my face and started the day.
To be clear: I love celebrating moms. I think motherhood of all forms is beautiful and at times can feel very undervalued and unappreciated in our current culture today. I’ve always wondered why dads got the short straw and end up grilling themselves dinner for Father’s Day while moms are taken out and celebrated. Once again, one quick look at the culture and it’s easy to see why!
Though it’s a painful loss of pregnancy, I’ve learned a lot of things through this infertility journey. I have learned the meaning of motherhood and have understood mothers in a way I don’t think I would have understood them. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not grateful for experiencing infertility, but I can’t say that I’m angry about it anymore. I’m also determined to not let my own struggles take away celebrating others in their blessings.
Here are three things I’m focusing on as we lead up to Mother’s Day!
1) Learning in our adoption journey! I cannot tell you how much I have learned since starting this process. There are so many important things to understand about adoption prior to choosing this path. I’m grateful for the awareness I’ve been given, and the time to mourn infertility before taking this next step. Having gone through infertility has given me a greater, deeper respect and understanding of the pain so many families go through when choosing an adoption plan for their child.
2) Rejoicing for others! It can be hard to be excited for other people when you’re still waiting. At times I’ve worried my friends and family won’t talk to me about their blessings because they don’t want to hurt me. Yet, taking the time to rejoice with others as they become parents, or when their children have accomplished something has fueled my spirit. Motherhood is beautiful, it is a gift always.
3) Letting myself grieve as I need to! Look, we aren’t always going to be at our best. Sometimes, despite all the work we’ve done to move through trauma, it can creep up when we least expect it. Let yourself off the hook if you need a day to watch movies and eat ice cream and chocolate. Find ways to nurture yourself both physically and emotionally. It’s okay to be sad.
The truth is, Mother’s Day is just another day for the universe. It will come like clockwork every year whether we’re ready for it or not. Find what helps you smile, be authentically you and find your tribe to help get you through every day! Thinking of all people experiencing loss on Mother’s Day and sending virtual hugs and “you got this!” posters!
Until next time,