Mother’s Day and I have a love / hate relationship. Growing up it was a day when we all got together… sometimes that was fun filled, sometimes it was drama filled, but it was always something to look forward to.
Going away to school Mother’s day was just a day to get a flower from the guys from the college ward. As a newlywed it was a day where my husband and I would dream of our future children and celebrate married life.
Then, it changed… despite our efforts we did not get pregnant. The ‘positive’ pregnancy tests never resulted in a child. Other family members having their families grow and our continuing struggle to deal with really awful comments from the world at large.
One year, the nice sentiment of wishing a happy mother’s day to me… was completely ruined by the follow up… ‘even though you’re not a Mom.’ Another year, calling some distant relative and honestly I should have expected it, my happy mother’s day was greeted with I can’t wish the same to you… you’re not a mother.
Instead of a day I looked forward to, it became a day that I would rather see blasted off the calendar. It was an emotional quagmire of feelings mostly of inadequacy, failure and little self worth.
Last year on this day, I had been a foster mother for just over one year and we were in the process of adopting our son. I was dreading Mother’s day because unbeknownst to anyone I had thought for just about a week that I was pregnant. The (what should have been predictable) non-pregnancy was not fun. Anyhow, I walked out of my door to go to the car for church and my immediate neighbors all come out and wish me a Happy Mother’s Day. Ever see a puerto rican blush? Yeah, it was so cool.
This year despite the drama of last weekend and the rest of the week, I had a great celebration. My husband came into town, I got some much needed (for both of us) downtime with a good friend, and my son spoke in church on the importance of mothers. In a way, that is becoming his signature he paid respect to his birth mother and touted a very sweet testimony of how I have changed his life. THAT didn’t make me cry. What did make me cry though: His youth leader also spoke, and talked about each of the young men’s mothers and to know that I’m looked at that admirably by relative strangers to me personally. that feels good.
Plus, my foster children sang to me with the rest of the primary kids and as I said before hearing Mother, Mom, Ma, et al come out of their mouths referring to me is the a great benefit of being their foster mom.
Will Mother’s Day ever be easy on me? I doubt it. But, it doesn’t feel like a war anymore. I can accept the well wishes and admiration for what it is and move on.