Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Coming Up on Mother's Day...

The other day my Google Assistant sent me an email, that looked like this:


Huh. Like ANYONE could not know when Mother's Day is, when there is such an onslaught of ads, promotions, commercials, etc. A momslaught, ha ha.

I was annoyed with my phone for sending me this, because Mother's Day is EVERYWHERE.

I am fortunate, because I do not watch TV a whole lot and when I do it's Netflix or Hulu, and so I am spared the ad campaigns designed to make me feel unwhole and deficient on this day that totally leaves out people who WANTED to be moms, but for whatever reason COULDN'T realize that dream. But... the Hallmark store reminds me. Target reminds me. Pretty much any store has some kind of Mother's Day promotion going on, reminds me.

I'm all for celebrating my own mom, and my mother-in-law, and my grandmother. It just stings not a little that this day will NEVER be for me. Not ever. No one is going to be like, "hey, I should send Jess a Mother's Day card because she really wanted to be a mom but isn't, and there are cards like that." Um, there's not to my knowledge any card that honors the experience of the childfree not by choice. Unless it exists online. Maybe this is an untapped market.

Cards from "The Cat" don't count. (To me at least, even though my kitties are dear to my heart. They're NOT CHILDREN.)

Last year's Mother's Day was my first knowing that I wouldn't ever be one. I think that would normally be a terribly difficult day, except for a couple things -- we were celebrating my mom's graduation ceremony with a graduate certificate in theology that day, and I was frantically trying to finish writing up all my National Board Teacher Certification stuff. I SIMPLY DIDN'T HAVE THE TIME TO FEEL ALL THE FEELS.

This year is different. I am fully planning to take a Facebook hiatus two days before and two days after Mother's Day. I love you mothers out there, but your posts make me interminably sad. So I will not be hanging out on the book of face for a few days. A couple years ago I avoided the day of but neglected to realize that the two days after still had a lot in the feed that made me feel awful and left out and opened the uterus-shaped hole in my heart, so now I know. Avoid for longer.

Another difference is that my mom was invited up to my sister's for an event for Lion's Club, and so she won't be here on the day itself. We'll celebrate on a different day, but this gives me freedom. Freedom to take this day to honor the mother I never got to be, to feel the feels surrounding a holiday that isn't inclusive to me and never will be.

I scheduled a 90 minute massage on Mother's Day. Why not treat myself?

I think maybe we'll get some takeout, and I'll read and garden in the backyard so I don't have to see the Stroller Brigade go by.

I'll take some time for me, which may seem selfish, but also NOT AT ALL.

Mother's Day is a special kind of torture for the infertile person, because there's this pressure to celebrate the moms in your life while feeling like this black hole of mom-ness, a void where it seems everyone else is getting flowers and breakfast in bed and handmade cards and artwork from little hands. It is expected that you use the day to honor your mom, or the moms in your lives, and put your own sad, bitter feelings aside for the day.

With all due respect, fuck that.

It is my experience that most people are okay with you celebrating on a different day. That it's okay to suggest that. Because this day is HARD. And it should be acknowledged that Mother's Day is difficult for a lot of people -- people who've lost their moms, but also people who've lost their opportunity to become a mom and mourn that experience, hard. It has to be a balance.

I wish there was a card for us. I wish that there was another day that honored the childfree not by choice, where we could universally be treated to flowers or chocolates or breakfast in bed and a "It's Your Day!" mentality.

Thinking of the people in my tribe as you wrestle with balancing the day for yourself and for those you honor, and sending so much love at this difficult time. Take care of you, and try to carve a little time (or a lot) to honor the losses that feel so fresh on this day.

14 comments:

  1. We've often celebrated Mother's Day for my mother-in-law on the day before. For years, it was a relief for me to be able to take her out for lunch, but not be crowded by all the Mother's Day lunchers.

    How lovely to have a long massage. Just be prepared to be wished a Happy M Day. After that, though, relax and bliss out!

    I agree that having some time for yourself is not selfish AT ALL.

    (And I'm kicking myself for not sending you a card!)

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    1. Yes, a different day is a lifesaver. Luckily, my massage therapist lady is well aware of my situation, and while the front desk people might wish me that, she won't belabor it. So far I've been wished a Happy Mother's Day only twice, which is a new record low. Huzzah.

      No worries, I didn't send you a card either! :) May your Mother's Day be a good balance, and happy birthday to your husband!

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  2. Why, oh why, is your phone sending you these reminders!?!? I get the this holiday is a cash-cow, but seriously?

    I love that you are making plans to take care of yourself. Seriously, just do it. Take the time, enjoy the massage and just do what is necessary to get through its

    As far as the card, I smell an idea for an Esty shop. Because I would send you and many others one of those cards. “I’m so sorry today is a kick in the gut, but please know I’m thinking of you, honoring your loss and holding you in my heart” would be one example of the inside of one of those cards. Regardless, I’ll be thinking of you.

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    1. Ugh, yes, even Google wants to rub it in my face... :) I cannot wait for the massage. I feel like it's going to be a lovely start to the day, cleansing and relaxing. Ahhh, thank you for your virtual card, and for your thoughts! I'll be thinking of you, too.

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  3. Not selfish of you at all. I think your ideas are great. It sucks that you have to deal with Mother’s Day at the same-ish tine as all the other anniversaries.

    Oh, and it’s not quite the right time of year, but here’s a ritual day that makes me think of you. (Kefalonia is a magical place to visit, btw)
    http://orthochristian.com/105628.html

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    1. That is SO COOL! Snakes save the day!

      Yeah, the timing is always crappy, being right after my birthday which used to be a trigger, but now having it be right around the same time where things ended for us, parenting-wise, that's tough. But, there's garden and books and celebrations of what is. :) Thanks for sharing the link!

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  4. I think it's great that you'll be free to honor the mother you never got to be and to feel the feels about the day. I'll be having more than a moment for the motherless and the childless. <3 <3 <3

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    1. Thanks so much -- and yes, such a tough day for the childless and the motherless, and for those whose mothers don't fit the cards (a student was sad on Friday because she really just wants to celebrate her sister, because in her words, "she's more my mom that that other person who gave birth to me. That's ALL she gets credit for." So hard.) <3

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  5. "With all due respect, fuck that." Love you, Jess! ;) Have a great day!

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    1. Love you, too! You can always count on me for a well-placed f-bomb. :)

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  6. I love you. Be kind to yourself...

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  7. I hope that you enjoyed some "you" time on Sunday. Don't feel bad when you treat yourself or take time for yourself because you deserve it!

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    1. Yes! It was a LOVELY day. All things considered, one of the best Mother's Days I've had for myself.

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