On Mother's Day in 2012, I sat in a pew towards the front of our chapel with Tyler, anticipating a beautiful meeting full of tributes to mothers and women alike. I was familiar with the Latter-day Saint custom of celebrating womanhood on this day each year, usually accompanied by a flower or some chocolates for every woman and did not think it a problem to do so.
I had been keeping the strong face for the last 5 months after two miscarriages and 4 years of infertility. I had blogged so much about how I knew I was a mother, how I had held my deceased children and knew that I would hold them again. At this point, I did not know if I would ever hold a newborn baby in this life, with the accompanying joys and sorrows of raising children. I was focusing on my present life: my job as a counselor, my church calling of teaching and loving the young 8-year-olds in our congregation, my role as a wife and daughter and sister.
So you could say I was totally unprepared for the floodgates to open and the silent sobs that literally racked my body as the meeting progressed. I was strong. My experiences had taught me. But my hope was frail and I knew I had to accept the possibility of being infertile or my body spontaneously aborting pregnancies for the rest of my life.
All of my dreams of motherhood, broken and possibly broken, weighed on me. And so I sobbed.
I was sitting in the front. Walking out of the meeting would cause even more of a commotion than just sitting there, my face buried in Tyler's shoulder, his arm around my shuttering frame.
Anyone who saw me in that moment knew exactly why I was crying. This beautiful group of people had mourned with us when we mourned our losses. They had brought the meals and the cards and the tears with our loss of our last pregnancy at 20 weeks.
It was such a vulnerable moment. I couldn't hide anything. I was in the middle of a struggle. And while I didn't want anyone's pity, I accepted the compassion I received.
And so my point is this. It is okay to struggle with Mother's Day. For any reason. Whether you are without children or have no desire to have children or have lost children; whether you have struggles with your own mom or lack of a mom or the children that you DO have. It's okay.
I don't believe the day should be done away with because it presents pain to many. I honor the day that honors a group of women for the gifts they continually give. I also honor the women who stay away from social media and Hallmark commercials and church because of the pain that racks their souls, too.
If it is a happy Mother's Day for you, I am so glad and rejoice with you. If it is a hard Mother's Day, or a sad Mother's Day, or a continual struggle Mother's Day, I am thinking of you.