Mother’s Day is a special time for so many of us where we are pampered, spoiled and showered with love. As for me, I will have brunch with my family, get a backrub from my husband and hopefully take an afternoon nap. Whatever the agenda for the day happens to be, the best part is always the bounty of kisses and snuggles from the little ones who made us Mommies.
This sacred day can also a difficult one for those who have experienced loss or for women who are infertile.
Women who are touched by infertility often struggle and grieve in silence. Their barrenness can make them feel like failures. It is hard, if not impossible for them to attend baby showers or children’s birthday parties. Even walking past the Mother’s Day cards in Target can feel like a dagger in the heart – a reminder of what might have been and what may never be.
To be frank, unless you have experienced this kind of invisible loss it is impossible to know exactly what these women are feeling. As I learned from my own experience with secondary infertility, women who have been blessed with one child but struggle to have another can be especially marginalized. I knew I was fortunate to have one child but I felt judgment for wanting a sibling for my son. There were instances where friends and acquaintances politely suggested I count my blessings.
Long before I became a mother for the second (and third) time, I learned that no woman suffering through infertility or secondary infertility should have to walk alone. There is no reason to be ashamed of what your body is going through or apologize for feeling the way you do.
I encourage all of us who are mothers, sisters and aunts to be angels to another person whose day may be feeling incomplete because of loss or grief. Maybe it’s someone who lost their own mother. It could be a woman you know who recently suffered a miscarriage. Perhaps it is someone who has longed to become a mother but is not one. Or maybe it is a husband who has lost his wife, the mother of his children. Sadly, we all seem to know someone in our community may be dreading Mother’s Day.
Whatever it may be, loss is loss.
Author Anne Lamott may have said it best in her insightful albeit cranky essay about Mother’s Day when she wrote, “The main thing that ever helped mothers was other people mothering them, a chain of mothering that keeps the whole shebang afloat.”
So on this celebratory weekend, would you reach out to someone you know who is struggling and let them know they are not alone? Even the most simple act – a quick text, a phone call or a hug, will let another know that they are deserving, worthy, remembered and LOVED.
Happy Mother’s Day! Love to you all.