Yesterday our nation recognized Mother’s Day. Mothers tend to be a uniting factor that we can all relate to and a day of appreciation for a lifetime of self-sacrifice (and worrying) is a pittance for the life, love and nurture these women provide. As a newer mother I find myself reflecting on what it means to be a mom and recognizing a new world of respect for my comrades and my own mother. In addition, something about having a daughter is ironically karmic for all the attitude, sass and bad-to-bone willpower I surely blessed my own mother with.
Last year at this time I found myself shouting “Happy Mother’s Day” to complete strangers across parking lots in recognition of my newfound spring of mama-respect.
My family (my wonderful husband) did an incredible job facilitating a truly perfect Mother’s Day including french toast and coffee in bed, a morning exploring the tide pools at our local beach and an afternoon of relaxation and pampering (he treated me to a cave meditation followed by a facial at Salt).
During my meditation I found myself thinking of the childless mothers. In fact, I thought about myself three years ago and the Mother’s Day I never wanted to see again. My husband and I had recognized a year of unexplained infertility. I felt bitterly sad and barren in all facets of the word. What’s worse, I felt incomplete as a woman and simply less than. On this beautiful day, appropriately recognizing so many of my wonderful friends blessed with beautiful new (and older) babies I found myself in the realm where people just know to avoid that conversation with you. I faced my own questioning thoughts as to whether my future would take a different path than I had expected.
In addition to my own infertility, I mourned the death of my mother who had passed away the previous year. Not only did I miss my mother but I missed my mother as my special person who could support me through my failure to conceive, all the ups and downs and trials and tribulations. It was the Mother’s Day where I wasn’t allowed to be a mother and I no longer had a mother. It felt cruel and taunting. In true siren fashion, I shook my angry fists at the sky and wailed.
Yesterday I thought about what it was that I missed so much from my own mother because in truth we didn’t have the best relationship. I thought of my own children and I realized, at the time when I felt so deficient, I missed my mother seeing me as a perfect and complete being- as only mothers do. I look at my dear children and see them as whole beings, just as they are. If Camilla never has a child or Knox never fathers a child they will be no less complete or valuable.
To the childless mothers out there, my fellow MerWomen, you are absolutely perfect as you are. It doesn’t matter whether it’s by choice, or biology, or some other reason. You are a complete woman with the capacity to love, nurture, create, feel and make the world a better place. You deserve love and respect. I know that our society doesn’t do a great job of recognizing you as a complete person or the gifts you provide but you are so incredibly valued and loved. To the childless mothers, Cheers To You.
PS. There are some great articles about the value of childless women referenced in Where’s The F*#king Map?