Next Sunday is Mother’s Day, the day that used to be all about showing appreciation to one’s own mother, but which has now become a giant mom-fest, celebrating the glory of motherhood for all mothers, and everyone’s supposed to get on board.
Well, not me. And not because I’m a bitter, jaded, non-mom, either!
Even before I had any clue that I would never become a much-lauded mother, I thought this universal celebration of motherhood was odd, kind of like celebrating a loved one’s birthday by saying “Happy Birthday!” to every stranger on the street. Surely the point of Mother’s Day was to acknowledge my mum, thank her for being a good mother, and treat her to something she’d appreciate? (Such as three bags of compost, delivered to her back garden, which is what she prefers over flowers that eventually die; she’s such the pragmatist.)
During the “infertility years” Mother’s Day was a nightmare. It felt like, for an entire month, the world was making a point of highlighting what I didn’t have, who I wasn’t, and what I would never be. When people wished me a happy Mother’s Day I wouldn’t know what to say. I’d just stare at them open mouthed, while in my head I was thinking, “Happy? What’s to be happy about? You have no idea the hurt and sadness you’ve inadvertently caused me and I have no way to make you understand.”
I think the low point of that period had to be the year Mr. Fab and I unwittingly tumbled out of bed and shuffled around the corner for breakfast at our local cafe. The servers were handing out roses to all the mothers there. When our server asked me if we had children, I shook my head. “Oh,” she said, and walked away with my rose. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so utterly desolate and ostracized in my life. After that episode, we made a point of only eating at home on Mother’s Day.
I know I’m lucky that I get to avoid all the hoopla because my mother and siblings live in a country that celebrates in a different month. I also know that many of you will be forced to go out to family events and celebrations, and put on a big smile, because the day is “about mom, not about you.”
If you need a little moral support and a plan of action to face next Sunday, please take a look at the Dealing With Social Landmines eBook. You’ll see it there on the right-hand sidebar or you can download it here.
If you’re struggling with moving on, or if you feel the need to commune with other non-moms this week, please join me tomorrow for a free video workshop, Letting Go of the Dream of Motherhood. I’ll be tackling the subject of knowing when to let go, and taking the first steps. You’ll also have the opportunity to chat with me, ask questions, and meet fellow blog readers. Even if you can’t make it live, the workshop recording will be sent out the following day so you can watch on your own time.
For now, I wish you strength this week and hope you’ll make certain to be good to yourself, too.