Mother’s Day is commonly a day of joy, a day of happiness, a day to celebrate the women who ought to be considered saints for the sacrifices and unconditional love they provide to their families. Mother’s Day is a blessed and sacred holiday, and it should be! There truly isn’t anything more precious in this world than experiencing pregnancy, giving birth and giving life to another human being, who you will love more immensely than anyone else in the world. But for so many of us, Mother’s Day hurts, because we haven’t been given the gift of becoming a mom. It is a painful reminder that we have reached yet another year of not becoming a mother. Yet another holiday that reminds us that we are not part of the community of women who are revered for their significant status. Another day to put on the poker face and pretend that you are so happy to be celebrating this joyous occasion. On one hand you are feeling thankful for the women in your life who have molded you into the person you are, but it is nearly impossible to let go of the hurt, because you don’t have anyone calling you mama or mommy yet.
I will never forget the most painful Mother’s Day of my life. I attended a Mother’s Day brunch with several family members and loved ones. We showed up a few minutes late so when we arrived we were seated at the end of the long table and I was squeezed into a corner. Family members came up to us to give hugs and kisses, and one relative touched my belly and asked me “when are you going to become a mommy?” This was right in the middle of finding out that I had about a 1% chance of becoming a mother without medical intervention. I looked at her and smiled, I responded with “I hope to one of these days.” The tears were welling up and I asked my husband to let me out of the corner I was stuffed in. I couldn’t make it to the ladies room before the tears began to fall. I took a few moments to pull myself together and returned to the table. Poker face on. I was determined to make it through this brunch, and I told myself I could break down as soon as we reached the car. Which I did. I cried the entire way home.
I feel that it is so important to share with the community of women who are struggling, that you are not alone! It is also completely acceptable to feel the sadness, pain, frustration and hurt that you are feeling. Allow these feeling so come, accept them, allow them to pass and don’t harp on yourself or guilt yourself.
Below are a few suggestions for coping with the trials of Mother’s Day, while experiencing infertility.
- Celebrate your own motherhood. Many of us who have not had our own children yet, have pets of some sort. Start a tradition with your fur-baby and celebrate the wonderful parent you are to your four legged baby. Some of my favorite memories are giving a happy meal or “pup-cup” from Dairy Queen to my two dogs, Daisy and Capone.
- Do things different this time. If your yearly tradition is too painful, switch things up this year. You don’t have to attend the family function where everyone asks you “when are you going to be a mommy?” Express to your loved ones that something new might be exciting and fun to try.
- Gardening is exceptionally healing. If you don’t have a green thumb to plant your own flowers, you can attend a local garden. Walk through the beautiful space, reflect and accept peace from your surroundings. I happen to love planting flowers, so I made a tradition of an early morning visit to my local garden center, picking up an abundance of flowers in shades of pink, purple, white and red, and spending the day in my yard. Not only do the flowers make you feel happy, the Vitamin D does wonders!
- Buy yourself a special gift. This is one of those occasions to splurge on yourself. Make this a day to look forward to, by treating yourself to a special gift that you commonly wouldn’t get yourself. Get that purse you’ve been eyeing all year, or a massage or facial at a spa, go on a trip somewhere, or get those sunglasses/accessories that make you feel excited.
You may find your own method of reshaping your approach to Mother’s Day, and that’s perfectly acceptable. Whatever it takes to make this occasion less painful for you…do it. Find solace in the fact that you are thought of, your pain is shared and you are not alone.
Love and baby dust to you always my friends.