A COMPLICATED HOLIDAY – THE IMPORTANCE OF SUPPORTING WOMEN WHO GRIEVE ON MOTHER’S DAY

The stats are in, moms had it rough last year. With so many either out of work, forced to take a cut in hours, or strapped with the impossible task of remote work while educating home-schooled kids, Mother’s Day 2021 has been well earned.

But this year and every year, let’s also take a moment to acknowledge the women who are currently praying to become a mother, wishing that their mother was in their lives, or both.

Because whichever category (or categories) they fall into, the feeling of facing a holiday that specifically targets the epicenter of their pain is incredibly isolating.

I am just one woman, with one woman’s story to tell. But I hope that my story will shed light on what someone in your life might be experiencing this May 9th, 2021.


My heart sinks, and my palms sweat as I begin writing this. The sheer thought of Mother’s Day gives me such a visceral reaction that I’m nearly ill. And it’s happened every year for as long as I can remember.

Vividly, I can remember being confused by Mother’s Day as a child. Confused and left out.

In grade school, I recall students and teachers celebrating the holiday by presenting flowers and cards to moms making lunchroom cameos. I would watch kids proudly gift their crafts to mothers who, lovingly and gratefully, cherished their personalized tokens of appreciation.

“Who are these people?”, I would think to myself. “How did these kids get moms that seemingly adore them AND participate in school functions?” The concept was almost unbelievable.

I do remember understanding that my mom’s job prevented her from being present. But I also remember the look on her face when I would finally deliver my artwork to her after school. If the look of utter waste of time didn’t say it all, finding my work in the discarded pile of mail definitely did.

It was probably a dumb gift anyway. I’ll do better next year.

As an older teenager, and as a woman in my twenties, Mother’s Day became a Hallmark holiday. Just another way for the Target card display to pressure me into deciding whether or not I should buy a card.

It wasn’t a difficult decision, but it was an awkward one. If we were on speaking terms that year, a card was in order. But then the next challenge would begin. Finding one with the least amount of sentiment.

“Blessed To Have You As My Mother”… Umm, no. “I Hope I’m Half The Mother You Are Someday”… Hard pass. “Happy Mother’s Day, Hope It’s Nice”… Perfect.

What a waste of $3.99. Maybe next year I’ll just say no.

In my thirties, salt was added to the Mother’s Day wound. Infertility.

For five years, I would fight the urge to spend the day in bed. And while holding back spontaneous tears, I celebrated with other people’s mothers.

Every year, my extended family threw a terrific Mother’s Day brunch. And don’t get me wrong, it was always a nice time spending the day with my grandma and aunts, but the subject I dreaded most would always manage to come up.

“Someday Christina, we will be celebrating you.” Or worse, “Any news to share with us this year, Christina?”

No Grandma, maybe next year I’ll be a mom, maybe.

Then 2019 came. After a successful round of IVF, I was pregnant with my son, and I was a mom. Finally. I could not wait to wear my maternity sundress, and brunch with the other women in my family as a member of the club.

What I didn’t anticipate, was the reality of Mother’s Day 2019. I wouldn’t be pregnant and glowing, but instead, living in the NICU and praying.

I was gratefully a mom, but quarantined to a room filled with cords and machines, “holding” my little boy through the holes of an incubator.

Next year is my year. Not only will I be celebrating, but I will be celebrating while showing off my sweet baby boy.

4 Days Old – 5/12/2019 – Mother’s Day

Now, the irony of being quarantined in 2019 (while thinking that it was a temporary situation) is not lost on me. But honestly, when our next spring celebration was cancelled due to Covid in 2020, I practically expected it.

And this year? This year I will be celebrating other people’s mothers once again because I took a job as a restaurant server just in time for Mother’s Day 2021.

Genius. Oh well, maybe next year.


To all the women who will be grieving instead of, or while, celebrating this Mother’s Day…

My heart goes out to you. You aren’t alone. It’s okay to cry. You will get through the day. And I hope you find reasons to celebrate your life every chance you get.


8 Days Old – 5/16/2019

I wasn’t blessed with a loving mom, but I am a loving mom, and I will celebrate that every chance I get.

43 thoughts on “A COMPLICATED HOLIDAY – THE IMPORTANCE OF SUPPORTING WOMEN WHO GRIEVE ON MOTHER’S DAY

  1. bleuwater

    Beautiful writing. Love your post. It took me at least six years to have a child, so I empathize. My mom is 89 in Washington state. I missed her birthdays 88 and 89 because of the pandemic. My daughter gave me a plane ticket to visit my mother for Mother’s Day! I cried. She’s in assisted living that is finally open to visitors.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. believableshe83

      Thank you 🧡 And I appreciate you sharing your experience. Personal struggles with fertility are so rarely discussed, but are so important to hear about.

      And what a gift! I am so sorry to hear that you were separated from your mom for so long, but am so happy to that you will see her soon! I love hearing about people’s post-quararantine reunions. Please be sure to let us know how it goes🧡

      Liked by 2 people

  2. petespringerauthor

    Lots of thoughts on your terrific post.

    1. People should always be aware that others are unable to celebrate for whatever reason. I’ve seen friends struggle who have tried everything and can’t get pregnant. For example, my wife has MS, and we wrestled with the parenting decision because the doctors said it might be too hard on her body to have a baby. Thankfully, we were blessed, and we’ve had an incredibly normal life, but we just as easily could have had no children.

    2. As you describe, not everyone has a good relationship with his/her mother. The holiday is a reminder that other people are blessed to have a healthy relationship, and it may lead to extreme feelings of regret or sadness.

    3. As a teacher, I was always very conscious of all of the implications of holidays such as this for kids. I taught children whose mothers were in prison, strung out on drugs, or simply not good parents. Another issue was that many children have to navigate the challenges of having a mom and a stepmom. It requires great sensitivity. I often talked to kids in private ahead of time if I suspected there might be an issue for them. Some wanted to make their absent mother still a Mother’s Day present or sometimes decided to do something for their grandmother if their mother was out of the picture. There were even a couple of times where kids preferred to go help out in another classroom to avoid this whole scene altogether.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. believableshe83

      Pete-Thank you SO MUCH for your kind complement and thoughtful feedback.

      I agree. Although I believe that everyone should full heartedly celebrate whenever they can, having empathy and handling situations with the appropriate amount of sensitivity is always a good idea. (And I am so happy to hear that life ended up throwing a happy surprise or two to you and your wife. What a gift!)

      And what a blessing your teaching career has surely been to your students. Understanding that each child comes from a diferent situation, and accommodating when possible, seems simple, but is not always considered.

      By the way, I was very happy to have recently discovered your book, “They Call Me Mom:  Making a Difference as an Elementary School Teacher”. With college graduation season upon us, I already have this in mind for a grad or two😊

      Liked by 2 people

  3. telugubloggersreenadh

    Great post.
    I know only one god, that’s my mom, because she gave me life.
    Present I miss you permanently.
    So please love your mom every day.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. telugubloggersreenadh

    I have also worked in restaurant.
    Currently I resigned that job due to covid 19.
    I don’t know exactly what I have to do at this situation. So I just started blogging here.
    Be happy and enjoy your time friends.
    Have a great day to you all.
    Don’t forget to put simile on your face. Even your in sad situation.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. telugubloggersreenadh

    I emotionally connected to your mother’s day post dear.
    Thanks for sharing nice article.
    I hope so your become a great mother.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. believableshe83

      Oh da-AL… I’m cringing for you. That really gets me too. Knowing full well that people are trying to be nice, it just goes to show how much society expects us all to fit into the same box. Thank you for sharing your experience🌺

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Jenny in Neverland

    What a beautiful piece. Thank you for sharing something so honest and thought-provoking. I’m not a Mum, so I don’t have any experience with this. My own Mum is still here so we always celebrate a bit. I can imagine MD is hard for so many people x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. believableshe83

      It is complicated for sure. But for the loving mothers out there, we must continue to celebrate. We love them, and they definitely deserve the recognition😊
      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts🌺

      Like

  7. Ally Bean

    The whole mother daughter dynamic is complicated. Obviously, I guess. I’m childfree so this holiday kind of comes and goes for me. My mother is long gone yet I try my best to think about the best of her on Mother’s Day. And I also try to forget this day exists. It’s a difficult balance between memories and reality.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. BERNADETTE

    My heart goes out to you. Your post reminds me so much of myself. I had a very difficult relationship with my mother and it didn’t end with her death. She managed to ruin the relationship between my sisters and me. I have also lost a child. I hope that your child is thriving and you will start to enjoy Mother’s Day in the future. Honestly, I do my best to ignore it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. believableshe83

      Bernadette, your story stopped me in my tracks. I am so sorry to hear about all of the heartache and loss that you have had to endure.
      It goes without saying that our children are irreplaceable, but I sincerely hope that you have found supportive “sisters” through friendships and community. My thoughts will be with you this weekend, and I hope that you are able to find moments of peace and joy. Take care🌺

      Like

      1. BERNADETTE

        ❤️ My story is very sad but just one of any number of sad stories. I want you to know that I have survived and thrived. The heartache was life changing but also in a good way.

        Like

  9. R.H. (Rusty) Foerger

    I appreciate you writing to this topic. A few years ago, our worship pastor shared her own story – the complications, the grief, even the going out of one’s way to diminish her worth – all unspeakable given that mother’s day is meant to honour the most honourable. But for her Mother’s day became a field of land mines.
    I captured it in this post: https://rhfoerger.wordpress.com/2018/05/15/keeping-it-real-on-mothers-day/
    Thanks for your writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. believableshe83

      Thank you Rusty🌺
      I read your post, and our similarities in Mother’s Day circumstances are uncanny. We are two members of a club that is much larger than many know. I say, let’s start a greeting card company. The tag line can be… “The perfect card for the person that you don’t really believe deserves a card”😊

      Liked by 1 person

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