It’s Mother’s Day.
That means a lot of you got extra-crispy toast in bed and artistic scrawls in finger paints and colored pencils. You deserve it. Yours is a 24/7 job with no time off, and this small recognition is hard won. Most of my friends are mothers and I’m more grateful than I can say for the unfailing love and patience of my own mother, my grandmothers, my mother-in-law. I don’t begrudge any of you mothers either the joy or the difficulties of your role.
Still, this is not an easy day for some of us to navigate.
While you’re curled up on the sofa with your kids, some of us are doing time with our ovulation calendars, trying to figure out why on earth the thing that happens so easily, almost accidentally, for many… appears to be a complexity that, inexplicably, we may never find our way through.
This morning at church, the mothers were asked to stand. As nearly every woman in the room rose, someone behind me laughed and whispered, “Pretty much everyone!” That’s the moment I lost my emotional nerve and had to leave—not out of anger or frustration, but simply because it kicked me once again in the gut: motherhood seems to be a clique that a few of us simply can’t access.
Here’s what those few of us might say, if asked.
1. Most of the time, I can be pretty dispassionate about the situation. Physically, this is possible and should happen at some point. I believe that God can and will give us a child at the right time. But there is a deep emotional core for a woman regarding motherhood that I don’t fully understand and, at least right now, have no ability to control. Sometimes, something taps into that core—and then I lose it. When I do, it’s not a demand for sympathy or pity; it’s the way I’m wired.
2. Yes, I am aware that motherhood is possibly the most difficult thing I will ever do. I frankly don’t look forward to losing “my” time and current level of flexibility and independence. But I do crave the opportunity to grow and stretch further into the person God has designed me to be. Of course He can and will do that in other ways than motherhood. But I see it in a similar light to marriage; while marriage is the most difficult thing I’ve tried to date, it has also shaped and deepened me in ways I would never chose to give up.
3. Yes, I know that there are many, MANY children desperately in need of mothers. If we’re unable to have biological children—and possibly even if we are—we desire to adopt. But adoption takes a high level of emotional, financial, physical and spiritual investment, and right now, those resources are going into navigating the complexities of treating infertility.
For now, I’m trying to learn from all the moms in my life who are such fantastic role models, even through their lack of sleep, the terrible twos and various heartaches.
I hope to join you soon.