Mother’s Day is right around the corner. Some people may regard this as yet another “Hallmark Holiday” but if I were you I would steer clear of bringing that up in front of your Mom! I think it’s great to celebrate people, be it birthdays, anniversaries or even the cornerstone Hallmark Holiday – Valentine’s Day. Like Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day can have a dark side for many people. If you are fortunate enough to have a good relationship with your Mother and she is still living then consider yourself lucky and by all means buy her a gift, mail her a card or at the very least pick up the phone.
On the other hand Mother’s Day can be painful if you have a less than desirable relationship with your Mom or she has passed away. There is another sub population that you may be less aware of, and Mother’s Day really hits us where it hurts. For those of us that want nothing more than to become a Mother ourselves. This holiday that is meant to be full of gratitude and warm feelings brings isolation and even shame to women struggling with infertility. Sadly, there are also women that have lost a child much too soon and Mother’s Day can feel like a punch to the gut. Avoiding the greeting card aisle in Target immediately after Easter is probably not enough to dodge these emotional bullets. Undoubtedly you would have to live under a rock to skip all the upcoming advertisements.
Before it became apparent that having a baby wasn’t going to be easy for me it never crossed my mind to be overly sensitive about this day. I can tell you from experience that when every moment is dictated by trying to become pregnant, then desperately trying to carry a baby to term it’s easy to get caught up in feelings of sadness, fear and even jealousy.
On one hand I agree that people’s feathers get ruffled a bit too easily these days. I’m certainly not asking for a boycott on this special day. The meaning is not lost on me, now that I am on the other side of the infertility battle. All I ask is that when you post that picture on Facebook of the breakfast in bed your little one made you or the cards and flowers that you are (hopefully) showered with, that you take a moment to reach out to someone that may not be so lucky. A kind word, a virtual card or a hug can go a long way. Feeling acknowledged for our struggle can make the difference between a dark day and one filled with hope for the future.