This morning began with vomiting and I thought, ‘Happy Mother’s Day to me’. You see, I try not to complain about It too much, but this pregnancy has left me sick, a lot. Again. Only this time, I have two boys, 14 months a part that need me to care for them no matter how I feel. “Happy Mother’ Day to me”. Being a mom is tough. We know that. I never, ever, realized how tough it would be. As I have said before, I blame my mom forthat. She made it seem easy, so I had no idea how hard it would be. The sleepless nights, the constant stress, the financial strain, and the always having to be ‘on. In addition, I now have the joy of a toddler, who is constantly whining; not sharing with his brother, and often times a step away from a total meltdown. My gosh, no one warned me exactly how tough it would be (or maybe they did and I just didn't listen)! But, come mother’s day...we all know. There are commercials that remind us mothers are heroes. There are shelves and shelves full of cards to affirm the work we do. Many of us insist on being pampered (I did get my Panera breakfast sandwich in bed with a smoothie this morning). We claim that this is the day, the day we will be appreciated for all the thankless things we do, constantly, for our children. Being a mom is tough. “Happy Mother’s Day to me”.
But, you know what is tougher?
Desiring a child, so desperately, and being told “no” by your body.
Desiring a family to call your own, but instead living as a single person, unsure of when and if that will happen. Awaiting your sweet baby’s entrance into this world, only to have your child pass away before you ever had the chance to hear their cry. Having spent years with your children, only to outlive them one way or another, maybe they were taken through an accident, or a sickness. This year, I know too many mothers who will have to celebrate this day without a child in their arms.
Do you know what I can’t imagine?
Having to celebrate this day, when you are supposed to thank and love on your mother, but your mother has passed away. Having to process this day knowing that for whatever reason, your mother has decided to not be a part of your life. When my father’s mother died, he said he felt like an orphan…although he does a great job celebrating my mom and all of his daughters, I know a part of him still aches for his mother to be here.
There are other things I can’t imagine…a child who is fighting for our country today. A child who lives out of the country. A child who is sick and might not make it. A mother who is emotionally unavailable. A mother who is plagued by mental illness who cannot ‘mother’ her own child. So many, many things make this day difficult for a great number of people.
So as this day crept up this week, I was more and more aware of the privilege, not the burden, that comes from being able to embrace my children every day. As I woke up this morning, I asked that each of my boys lay in bed with me for a while. I studied their faces, and thanked God for gifting me with these sweet little creatures I do not deserve. I called my mom to wish her a happy mother’s day and was aware that not everyone gets that opportunity and I should be thankful for it. Today is a day that celebrates the sacrifice mothers make, and it is good, it should be celebrated. BUT, Let us not forget those who need extra love today, because it is a day they dread all year long. Let us not forget motherhood is not a given or a right, but rather, a sacred gift that should not be taken for granted. That’s what I’ll be trying to do today (in between requesting special treatment from my husband, "But it’s mother’s day!!! You HAVE to mow the lawn and clean the family room"), and I encourage all of us, mothers or not, to do the same.
And, indeed, Happy Mother’s Day to me.