Oh, Mother's Day

Saturday, May 10, 2014

(I know, I know, over a month since I've posted.  And I am going to write a retroactive IF Awareness Week post- stay tuned.  Lots going on (everyone says that, but of course it's true to some extent or another), and alot of things I want to write about but don't want to just rattle off a post because they're bigger than just random...)

But you know, about Mother's Day tomorrow.  For IF graduates, a very bittersweet situation.  Bitter because you remember what it was like to want to hide in your basement the whole day and because you (more than likely) still know someone who is doing that very thing, but of course very sweet because now you actually finding yourself in a position where the day actually involves you.

I have said a zillion times how grateful we are to have been blessed with M, and I could go on and on about it, and of course I championed my new favorite mothering book a couple months ago (if you never ordered it, you should give yourself a Mother's Day present right now and get a copy- you will not regret it!!), but the thought that came to me when I was reflecting about what to write about Mother's Day took me back to when I was not a traditional mother.

In the fall of 2010, I had gone to counseling because I felt totally alienated by my fantastically fertile college friends, and Mr. A was out of advice and ideas.  My counselor was not particularly focused in infertility issues, but she had a few helpful thoughts.  The one that applies most here was that when I was telling her of my desire to be a mom, she noted that there were many ways that I mothered that are still valid, even if they were not the traditional role.  I had two dogs that depend on me for exercise, food, water, and attention.  I cared for my husband when he was sick and made meals he liked.  I checked on elderly neighbors to see if they needed help with daily activities.  My volunteering often placed me in situations of providing advice to teenagers in crisis situations.  Even though I didn't have a child in the house, I had unknowingly been using my mothering abilities and strengths.

So if you are still waiting for a child to fill your home, or if you have overcome IF through acceptance of a child-free future, I celebrate you tomorrow, in all the ways you mother, even if they are not the traditional greeting-card ways!!


Maegan said...

Great post. Mother's Day can be a miserable holiday when you're not a mother AND for all the moms who find themselves doing "business as usual" on Mother's Day, it's good to use this Hallmark holiday to just get back to basics... be thankful for my mom, MIL, and grandmothers, and be thankful for the women in my life who've mothered me through so many moments.

the misfit said...

I'm always struck by the pain people feel on this holiday who have strained relationships with their mothers (I do - but I always have, so it doesn't seem remarkable to me), or have lost their mothers. There are so many people whom this celebration hurts, and especially who are hurt by our stick-sweet, Hallmark-holiday celebration of it. Rather than celebrating the profounder virtues associated with motherhood (which many times are embodied by our aunts or grandmothers - or next-door-neighbors who check on us when we're doing poorly!). Our bourgeois culture doesn't like the uncomfortable or complicated, but we do seem to be making progress here. We can hope.