Does it ever happen to you? That underlying bad mood you just can’t shake? Or that ache that creeps up on you that infiltrates every moment of your day? Sometimes its hard to put your finger on, because it comes from the deepest part of you. It happened to me today. I felt that unexpected ache and that bad mood for no reason. It wasn’t until later this afternoon when I was scrolling through Facebook and I saw it…. a video someone shared… I clicked on it, knowing internally that the bubbling of the ache was about to spill over. But I did it anyway.
It was a pregnancy announcement. A precious couple had filmed themselves finding out that they were expecting. It was so sweet and charming, and on another day, I would have probably cried happy tears for them. But today… the tears that ran were not happy… they were really, REALLY sad. And they wouldn’t stop.
You see, my husband and I are on year six of a journey of infertility. I’d love to explain it to you in more detail later, because it absolutely is a story of hope. Pain, yes, but ultimately a story of God’s everlasting goodness. Today tho… the emotions caught me off guard. The ache surfaced seemingly out of nowhere. It couldn’t just be the pregnancy video, because if that were the case then my presence on social media would have to be nonexistent. But then the realization of the week and weekend activities began to make itself known.
Mother’s Day. Oh.
No matter how I try to prepare myself emotionally for this day, it always seems to creep up on me and reveal itself in a hard way. It’s a glaring reminder of my biggest desires that are left unfulfilled. Last year I decided to go into the weekend like “Stone Cold Steve Austin” and not shed a single tear. I didn’t… until about 3 days later when the cutest baby I’ve ever seen popped up on my television during a diaper commercial. I cried for like 2 hours. Suppressing your emotions is ALWAYS a great idea. Please… sense my sarcasm.
But here’s the deal, I know that my story of infertility is not the only thing that can bring up some hard emotions on a day like Mother’s Day. Maybe you have an ache that comes from a different place. Maybe you’ve lost your mom. Maybe your kids are far from home. Maybe your relationship with your kids is broken. Maybe you have a baby in heaven. Maybe you’re a mom and you’re so grateful, but you’re just tired. Maybe you never got the chance to be a mom. Maybe you’re fostering/adopting and struggling with a new unknown every day. Maybe, maybe, maybe.
I know the intention of Mother’s Day is so sweet and pure, and my greatest joy will be having the opportunity to celebrate both my amazing mom and mother in law this weekend– which I know others would give anything for that chance. But, unless your kids are perfect angels, and you live in the perfect family, with the perfect mother… I’m guessing that there might be quite a few beautiful, broken people tucked into a pew at church this Sunday. So, I guess I’m trying to say, I’m grateful to celebrate this Mother’s Day, but just as importantly, I’m not ashamed of the ache.
Here’s to you, all of you, no matter where you land– whether you celebrate this weekend, or you mourn… please know that you are not alone, your story is important, and you are welcome here.
To those who gave birth this year to their first child—we celebrate with you
To those who lost a child this year – we mourn with you
To those who are in the trenches with little ones every day and wear the badge of food stains – we appreciate you
To those who experienced loss through miscarriage, infant loss, failed adoptions, or running away—we mourn with you
To those who walk the hard path of infertility, fraught with pokes, prods, tears, and disappointment – we walk with you. Forgive us when we say foolish things. We don’t mean to make this harder than it is.
To those who are foster moms, mentor moms, and spiritual moms – we need you
To those who have warm and close relationships with your children – we celebrate with you
To those who have disappointment, heart ache, and distance with your children – we sit with you
To those who lost their mothers this year – we grieve with you
To those who experienced abuse at the hands of your own mother – we acknowledge your experience
To those who lived through driving tests, medical tests, and the overall testing of motherhood – we are better for having you in our midst
To those who have aborted children – we remember them and you on this day
To those who are single and long to be married and mothering your own children – we mourn that life has not turned out the way you longed for it to be
To those who step-parent – we walk with you on these complex paths
To those who envisioned lavishing love on grandchildren -yet that dream is not to be, we grieve with you
To those who will have emptier nests in the upcoming year – we grieve and rejoice with you
To those who placed children up for adoption — we commend you for your selflessness and remember how you hold that child in your heart
And to those who are pregnant with new life, both expected and surprising –we anticipate with you
This Mother’s Day, we walk with you. Mothering is not for the faint of heart and we have real warriors in our midst. We remember you. (written by Amy at the Messy Middle)
We love you. -Whit <3