Everyone needs a little appreciation and validation. We just want to know that someone notices what we are going through; maybe even dare to step into our pain and struggles. We just want someone to say “I see you, and I know it’s hard” So today, Im thinking about all the ways Mother’s Day can be hard. And, I have come to the conclusion that most days it can be hard for a lot of us.
A woman who can’t bear children looks at the pictures of moms surrounded by her babies and grieves of what will never be for her. It’s an ache, a hole that will never be filled.
Or how about the mom whose child is lost to addiction? Or rebellious?
I think of a new mom in the hospital with her newborn, brought into this world with so many difficulties and in need of so much medical care. I cannot fathom the fear and stress she is feeling this Mothers Day.
The pain of losing a child is something I cannot imagine; and yet for those of you that have, Mothers Day is a reminder of that grief. Like you needed a reminder.
I think of my friend who is celebrating Mother’s Day without her mom for the first time.
And don’t get me started on single mom hard. OK, let me get started… Single moms, It’s all on them. Every worry, every responsibility, every task. All on them. All the time.
And here’s the thing, even if you have perfectly groomed children who tiptoe into your room and bring you flowers and breakfast in bed, and have a loving spouse to support and help you, motherhood is still hard. It’s sleepless, like running on 3 hours of interrupted sleep for years, sleepless. It’s fearful, like watching your child battle an illness, fearful. It’s maddening, like you just spent the last hour cleaning the playroom and they trash it in two seconds, maddening. It’s sad, like watching your child leave the nest 3000 miles away, sad. It’s sacrificial, like getting your kids cats when you hate cats, sacrificial.
But here’s what I have learned as I have watched some pretty amazing women handle their hard:
I watched my sister go through the heartache of infertility. Here was this amazing soul, who would have made the most amazing mom, who saved the lives of the sickest babies for a living, and she wasn’t going to be able to have a child of her own. So much sadness and grief. So not fair! But today you would never know that she endured that heartache, because she chose gratitude. She chose to keep her heart open and continue to love. In fact when my kids knew she was their guardian should something happen to me, they regularly plotted my demise so they could go live with her. That’s how much she loves and is loved. Had she not chosen gratitude and moved through her grief, so many would have lost out. She is the most generous and loving soul I know. I know she must still be sad on Mother’s Day, but she decided that wouldn’t rob her of a full and happy life.
It was hard, but she was grateful.
When I met Sarah, I would have never guessed that she carried with her every minute of every day the grief of losing a child. She had, and has the sweetest and kindest disposition about her. Warm and welcoming, with a beautiful smile. I read something she wrote the other day “On the first day of the hardest month, I’m trying to focus on what I have rather than what I’ve lost.” And that is why when I met her I never would have guessed she had endured so much pain.
She has gone through her hard, but she is grateful; and it shows.
From a distance, I am watching a young mom go through the most unimaginable stress of giving birth to their son with multiple birth defects and life threatening surgeries. I can only imagine how each surgery and each set back, brings new fears and worry. But miraculously they are choosing gratitude. I am so inspired by their response to their hard. This is what her husband wrote as he gave her a beautiful necklace with uncut diamonds, “Like a rough diamond, others may not have seen the value in our little guy with all his imperfections, but he is something unique and precious created by the Lord. With each surgery and procedure, he gains another facet adding to his raw beauty.”
So So hard, but they are so so grateful.
So today, on Mother’s Day, even in the midst of your hard, I hope you can find something to be grateful for. I hope these women have inspired you as much as they have inspired me to be grateful. Except for cats, I will never be grateful for cats.