Wednesday, May 10, 2017

It's OK to have mixed feelings about Mothers Day

Throwback pic to just after I was born and the first pic of us as a family of five. 
Mothers Day is on Sunday.  I have a few thoughts to share about that day and I want to start by thanking my Mom.  The one who gave me life, and love and taught me almost everything I know.  The one who stayed up countless nights waiting for me to get home from play practice or dates.  The woman who was my confidant and best friend.  The one I could always count on.  The one I hated to disappoint, but always knew she’d be there no matter what.  She’s amazing.  She’s a lover and a fighter.  She’s the strongest woman I know.  Even looking cancer in the face she stayed strong.  So thankful for such an awesome mom.  I wish that everyone could have a mama like her, or even a friend like her.
One of my all time favorite pics of my beautiful mama.
(Taken by me on the Outer Banks of NC in 2014)
I’m also super thankful for the woman who raised my husband, the love of my life. I still have such mixed feelings about Mothers Day though.  I suppose it started around the time we started “trying” for a baby.  There were so many months that I would wait and see if it was going to be the one where we got pregnant.  I would buy pregnancy tests from the dollar store because I always had a supply in my dresser drawer and let’s face it, that was a way cheaper way to buy them.  If I was a day late, I’d test just to be disappointed again.  
Looking back, I am kind of glad that we were blissfully clueless of our infertility at that time.  I suppose I had some suspicion, but I’d also heard that it just took some couples longer to conceive than others.  It was difficult to see seemingly everyone around me, including my sisters and friends with their growing bellies and families and…me with another negative result, but we kept it to ourselves.  Very few people in our lives even knew we were trying, much less how long we had been hoping for a little one. 
We’d always planned on adopting, and since we didn’t see any reason to postpone anymore (only reason we had ever postponed it was because we didn't know how long we'd be living in CO and then NC), we started pursuing in 2014.  Cue the fundraising and the wait that ended up being pretty short really.  Then in 2015 I became a mama and came that bittersweet first Mothers Day.  “A child born to another woman calls me mommy.  The magnitude of that tragedy and the depth of that privilege are not lost on me.”  (Jody Landers quote) 

Then a few months later I got the long awaited big fat positive.  I was pregnant.  Then we lost the baby.  The we were diagnosed with infertility but so, so thankful for the babe in my arms who called(s) me mama.  I still think that one of the most thoughtful things someone said came very unexpectedly from my maternal grandmother when I called her the day I became a mama.  She said, "I know you're happy, you've been waiting so long for this moment."  She was so right.
My first selfie as a mama.
It’s been quite the adventure to motherhood and while there were times that were heartbreaking, God and my husband have been there by my side the whole time.  I think about the what if’s sometimes, and I think that’s normal.  But I focus on the reasons I’m thankful.  Thankful for my Mom, my husband, my son.  Thankful for my son’s birth mother.  Thankful to have been chosen to raise him.  Thankful to have a story and a life to live.  Thankful for all the many blessing that far outweigh all the bad stuff.
Mothers Day is bittersweet for me, but I often think of those who also have trouble with this time of year.
Those who have lost their husbands or wives.
Those who are single parents.
Those who have lost their mothers.
Those who have lost a child at any age.
Those who have placed a child for adoption.
Those who long to be mothers.
Those who are pregnant.
Those who are waiting for the big fat positive.
Those struggling with infertility.
Those waiting to be matched.
Those struggling marriages.
Those underappreciated, overworked mamas.

Let’s pray for all the women we come into contact with this week.  We don’t know the battle she is fighting, but more than likely she’s fighting one.  Let’s encourage one another.  Let’s tell those mamas and women they are doing a great job.  Let’s spur them on.  Let's also just remember to breathe in and out.  It's totally ok to have mixed feelings about a day that was created to help celebrate our Mothers, but also just brings up a lot of hard stuff.  Happy Mothers Day, whether you are a mama right now or not.  You are loved.

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