It wasn’t that long ago when Mother’s Day was the worst day of the year for me – that miserable Sunday when the pastor stood proudly in the pulpit, beaming at the congregation, asking all the mothers and grandmothers to stand and be recognized.
I hate you all, I said under my breath. Every last one of you can suck it.
That’s what Mother’s Day feels like when you’re infertile, when the doctor quietly, gently tells you that you won’t be getting pregnant like everyone else in the free world, that having a family is going to require that you submit applications and convince the public that you’re capable and worthy of being called a mother.
It was horrible and I make no apologies for my contained bitterness of 2002 and early 2003. It was a season I was meant to weather, and though I didn’t grasp it at the time, I can look back now and see where my spirit was stretched and twisted and bruised.
Thankfully, those wounds have healed.
But that isn’t the case for many women who loathe Mother’s Day, and not only due to infertility. There are miscarriages and family fractures, those who’ve recently lost their mothers and those who are still mourning years after. Mother’s Day isn’t all flowers and breakfast in bed, photos on the front porch or construction paper cards made with Daddy’s help. There are single mothers and overwhelmed mothers, and moms who are faking their way through a celebratory day when really they’d love a good, long vacation away from everyone.
Even though I don’t hate Mother’s Day the way I used to, I’m conscious of those who harbor the burden of bitterness I once carried. Yes, we should celebrate our moms and enjoy the sweet – albeit short-lived – gratitude shown by our own children, but we should also take a moment to consider those who aren’t smiling today. There’s a lot of hurt that gets amplified on Mother’s Day, and while we are all dealt a different set of cards in life, it does us good to remember that we’re still sitting at the same table.