Here it is. One more year, one more Mother's Day, and no card/brunch/potted flowering plant for me. Oh, Mother's Day, how you stick that knife in and twist it.
I have been employing my Mother's Day Survival Guide this year, outlined in last year's Mother's Day post (go here to read that one). I've been pretty successful--since we don't have cable I am not barraged by a variety of ads on the rare occasions when I watch TV. Although the Roku box has been displaying "HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!" on the home screen all weekend, but I can get past that pretty quickly. I avoid the mall as much as possible (if I need to go in for any reason, I avoid department stores and go in the entrance closest to the store I need). I will not be going out to breakfast today, even though that's our Sunday routine and I really, really want those super good homefries. But breakfast on Mother's Day is like a parade of bitterness for me--so many families, so many young families, so many mothers being honored for something I can't seem to accomplish. I can ignore the occasional baby, but out-and-out celebration of all the moms on a day I thought for sure I'd at least be an expectant mom is just too much to handle over scrambled eggs and perfectly crispy home fries. I went for a really nice walk with Bryce yesterday, because today will be a strollerfest and there will be houses with tons of cars and people hugging each other and grandchildren galore and I can't quite perfect my tunnelvision enough not to see all that.
I have good coping skills, which is fortunate since if I hadn't developed those by now I'd probably be living under a comforter in a closet, crying all the time, eating gluten free brownies, and eventually needing to be taken out of the house by forklift. But every year gets harder. Especially since Mother's Day seems to fall right after my birthday (I guess it always has, but since now my birthday and Mother's Day are fairly equal in their ability to cause me pain, it's more apparent to me). Especially since the little voice in my head keeps whispering that I should really get over it and celebrate the moms in my life on their special day, and shove my own difficulties with this holiday to the back burner. But that little voice just needs to shut the F up. I have every right to choose to celebrate moms on another day, on my post-Mother's Day brunch next weekend. I have every right to send cards and call for this day, but not actually have to submit myself to the torture that is pretending that I can be ok on this day that makes it even more apparent than other days that I have failed so far in my quest to join the special club of Mothers. It is more important than ever to be "selfish" on this day, to take care of myself and know that people who have the tiniest bone of empathy in their bodies can understand why I duck out of Mother's Day on the actual day. It is not selfish to still celebrate moms in your life but to do it at another time, especially when your society and culture is stuffing how awesome and amazing it is to be a mother down your throat. Like all the things you see that are "For all you moms out there" or "There is no love like a mother's love" or "You will never truly understand love until you are a mother." Stop for a minute and think what that might make a body feel if they desperately want to be a mother, have moved heaven and earth to try to make that happen multiple times, and still haven't made it. Is my love less important because I don't have a baby? Am I less of a woman, less part of the womanly culture, because I'm not a mother? It's kind of how it feels at this time of year. Logically I know that's crap and that plenty of women who are not mothers have, in fact, experienced very special love and have huge hearts and lots to give others. I am special even though I am not in the Mommy club.
So, today I stay inside (maybe weed outside until the Stroller Brigade starts rolling through), I clean the house, I read my books, I have a cocktail or two. Bryce and I were actually thinking about going to see Dark Sha.dows today, because as far as I can tell there's no pregnancy or fertility subplot and the likelihood that that godawful trailer for What to Expec.t When You're Ex.pecting isn't likely to shove birth humor in my face. We'll see how we do on this one. I typically don't like to leave the house on Mother's Day, but a gothic yet funny vampire movie might take my mind of the holiday barfing all over the stores and restaurants surrounding the theater. Today I also celebrate the fact that I am an expectant mother, in a philosophical way. I have been trying to get pregnant for 2 years and 9 months, with massive medical intervention and limited success. I am the mother to 16 embryos--13 that haven't made it and 3 little nuggets of hope, sitting in the freezer, waiting to hopefully make me a physically expectant mother. I hope that next year, Mother's Day 2013, is the year that I can get tipsy on mimosas while out to brunch with the rest of the celebrating world, and not tipsy on salty cocktails in my house, tinged with the taste of disappointment and loss. Of course I will only be getting tipsy if I've managed to birth my miracle child before Mother's Day, not if I am actually carrying said miracle child. Wow, I am lucky to have Bryce for an editor--this would have totally negated the "I am going to be an awesome mom because of this experience" theory and given me children with fetal alchohol syndrome and visits from CPS instead...
Happy Mother's Day--to my mom, mother-in-law, sister, and grandmas. Happy Mother's Day to my friends who will celebrate with their new babies, young children, older children, and little babies-to-be tucked in their tummies. But a very, very, Happy Mother's Day to my infertile friends--may today be the last tear-filled Mother's Day, may today you celebrate your sheer determination to be a mother, may today you celebrate the amazing mother you WILL be, when all of this is over.