There, I said it. Perhaps it’s not very spiritually enlightened or evolved of me, but it is honest.
This year will be my 12th Mother’s Day as a mother. An invisible mother, as my daughter died before birth, but still a mother. I’m not proud of it, but even after 12 years, Mother’s Day still brings up feelings of grief, bitterness, and pain. The weeks of ads and cards and commercials and endless talk of this idealized image of mother that pervades every store, TV, and social media site. It all makes me want to shut myself up in my house and avoid all contact with the world.
Unfortunately, I can’t hide from life, and as much as I want to, I can’t hide from the pain. Oh, I am so tired of the hurt. That constant ache inside for my daughters, that ache that feels like someone is repeatedly punching in the weeks leading up to Mother’s Day.
Not to mention the endless litany of judgment – from myself and from others when I admit my dislike of this holiday.
“I should be over this by now.”
“Mother’s Day shouldn’t still bother me so much.”
“You should stop being so selfish and think of others or your mother instead.”
“You make too big a deal out of this.”
“I should be more spiritually evolved than this.”
“Having others acknowledge my motherhood shouldn’t matter so much, I know who I am.”
But, it does still hurt. It does still bother me. The acknowledgement does still matter to me. I am, apparently, not so spiritually evolved yet.
It’s not as if I begrudge mothers of living children their acknowledgement and recognition. Raising children is hard-ass work and they deserve recognition for it. I love to recognize and remember my mother and grandmother. My mother did not have an easy time with me and she deserves a helluva a lot of credit for that!
I just wish that it was something we simply did every day instead of making a big spectacle of a Hallmark holiday out of it.
Every year I think, “I’m going to do better this year. This year it won’t hurt so much.” And every year I struggle with it. I fight to be present with life while not unnecessarily subjecting myself to more hurt. Most years I feel like I fail at this. I can’t recall a single Mother’s Day in 12 years that hasn’t involved grief, tears, and longing to be part of the “regular mothers club.”
Mother’s Day is still days away and already I’m exhausted. Already the judgment is raging. Already I have cried and had to manage the hurt. Already I am struggling to find the balance between living fully and minimizing pain.
Perhaps there really isn’t anything that can be done to take away the pain of this holiday. It helps, I think, when the pain of childless mothers and motherless children is acknowledged on this day. Being seen and being loved without judgment does help soothe that burning ache within.
And, as much as that helps, not even that can bring back my daughters or make Mother’s Day a happy occasion. I don’t have a nice, neat solution to make it all better.
I still hate Mother’s Day.
I still struggle with judging myself for that.
I still try to engage fully in life.
I still get up and walk with this pain.
I am a mother who hates Mother’s Day. And maybe that’s ok.
Because this is life. Where messiness and beauty live side-by-side.