Monday, May 4, 2009

Mommy's Day...

Of all the days on the calendar, Mother's Day is definately the hardest for me. I am happy and honoured to celebrate my Mom(s) and Grandmas. I've been blessed with amazingly strong women in my life and they deserve to be honoured. But as someone who's always wanted to be honoured in that way, it's also a day filled with pain and tears.

I can handle teaching my students to celebrate and honour those who take care of them (whether it's their mom, step mom, dad, aunt, grandma, etc...). Motherhood is the hardest (and most rewarding) career of them all, and moms deserve to be celebrated. The hardest thing for me has been heading to church on Mother's Day morning where people have known about my heartache...

Being the only "childless" adult female at my church a few years ago, I sat and watched as all of the mother's were brought to the front to be honoured. Of course this is something they deserve, but I literally felt like I was being punched in the stomach as I thought that I would never be up there with them. I felt like a failure as my imperfections were being highlighted for ALL to see.

Last year, every mother at my current church was given a carnation (I faked sick the year before because I couldn't deal with going). In fact, so many were bought that most moms got a half a dozen. Shouldn't be that heartbreaking really (carnations are ugly), but to have those who know and love me look me over was painful. It just makes it crystal clear to everyone (or at least me) that I'm not in the momma club and thought I may never be. What a blessing to have one sweet woman come over and share one of her flowers with me.

If I can work up the courage to show up, this year will be hard as well, I'm sure. Already, the expectant moms have been asked to share their favourite song in service (I'm not expecting anything, so I shouldn't be hurt, right??), and I'm sure that all the moms will get their carnations again. I'll be wondering if next year will finally be my year. If I'll finally deserve that ugly pink carnation and the right to choose my favourite song (which I'm sure no one will know anyways)....oh how I ache to be one of those women!!

Once again, I think that mothers should be honoured. They shape lives every day. They put the needs of others before their own. They worry and love and care like no one else can. They deserve their own day. But I ask that in the midst of the celebrations, if for just a moment you could think about all of the women who are in the lives of your children. Aunties, Friends, Teachers, Babysitters and all of the women who care about the little ones you love more than anything. If you know someone who is struggling with infertility or the ache of wanting to be a mommy, just think for a moment about them and let them know that they are in your thoughts. It will make a world of difference on a hard, hard day. Then enjoy your breakfast in bed...because you deserve it.



Tereasa said...

B- My eyes are filled with tears and I'm refusing to let them out until I get this comment typed. Even though our situations aren't *exactly* the same, I do know how you feel and I want to encourage you.

First of all, you are an expectant mother and I think you should bring your favourite song to church on Sunday morning. What are they going to do? Tell you only pregnancy counts?

Second, I want to warn you that even after you become a mother, you will never officially be part of the club. There is a rite of passage into the club which is totally and completely UNFAIR. Unless you experienced labour and pushed your baby through the birth canal, you are never fully a member of the mommy club. Honestly, unless you've experienced the woes of the first months of breastfeeding and postpartum depression, a mother is only "sub-par." No one wants to admit it, but it's true. These are the things that conversations will be centered on at nearly ever club meeting you attend. I know I sound bitter, but I think you know me well enough to know I'm not. I am just being very honest. Any sensitive person who takes the time to notice will one day agree.

I suggest you take that witty sense of humour God blessed you with and prepare you jokes ahead of time. The truth is, you will experience everything any other mother has, only differently. You've already experienced labour. Now, you're expecting. Next will be delivery. In all likelihood, your breasts will surge with hormones the first times you feed your child. They won't crack and bleed, but your heart will during an emotional transition. You will experience sleepless nights as your child adjusts to new sights, smells, sounds and routines. Finally, you will go through postpartum depression when you realize that the dream has finally come true and it's not the fairytale you had imagined. At that point, my dear little friend, you will be a member of the Mommy Club!

Rhonda said...

I hate Mother's Day at church too. I think it should be banned. Every mother's day I sit there and think, "Hey what about the women who want children and can't have them? What are they? Chopped liver!" I think it's cruel. I know women who stay home on Mother's Day because it is too heart breaking for them.
I also hate the way mothers are idealized. Having sex that ultimately leads to pregnancy and childbirth does not automatically make you a noble person. My heart goes out to all those people in the audience who are hurting because they are remembering growing up in the care of an abusive mother. I'm sure Mother's Day is also challenging for them.
I really don't think Mother's Day should be in the public domain. If children want to honour their mothers that's great but honouring all mothers publicly seems insensitive to me.