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Yes, I Have an Amazing Mother, but Mother's Day Still Hurts

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For many, Mother’s Day is an exciting time of year, filled with special brunches, gifts and activities to celebrate either your own mother, mother figures or being a mother. We see so many advertisements to find the perfect gift for moms and how to plan the special day for mom. It’s seen as a holiday just as important as Christmas or Valentine’s Day.

But each year leading up to Mother’s Day, I get overwhelmed with so many feelings. I have a certain joy because I still have my own mother, and still want to do great things for her and celebrate her, but I also feel lots of pain. Let me explain.

In 2014, I experienced some of the worst pain I had ever experienced in my life. For about two months I struggled, and eventually I had surgery to find out I had endometriosis. This surgery occurred right around Mother’s Day, and unfortunately it was around this time I found out it would be difficult to have children of my own. Several months later, in a more invasive surgery,  I was told I would never have children on my own due to how advanced the endometriosis was, and the fact that I had adenomyosis. That year my heart just sank and broke at the same time. I knew that I would never receive a gift from a child of my own, or have breakfast in bed brought to me from my kids or any special activities with my kids to celebrate being a mom. Each year, when Mother’s Day comes along, my heart feels a deep pain and it makes facing the world so difficult. I avoid social media and keep to myself because I need the time to sort through my emotions. Finding out at a young age that I wouldn’t have beautiful babies who would grow up and spoil me one day out of the year, or precious angels who I would get to spend my time prepping for recitals or games or school plays, is a lot.

As the years have gone by, it has gotten better, but it still evokes a pain
that never fully goes away. And even though one can reach acceptance, it is still OK to take time to sort through your feelings and take time for yourself in order to protect your peace. I firmly believe this is necessary in the healing process overall.

And many ask why I feel pain when I still have my mother? Well, I love my mother, and I celebrate her as much as I can because I know many who do not have the privilege of spending time with their mother. However, it is possible to feel that part of you is missing even though you still celebrate your own mother. Yes, I send her cards and gifts, take her out when she feels like it and make her feel like the queen she is. But I also feel like I have robbed her by not giving her grandchildren to spoil her or to continue her legacy. And I know deep down inside she wants them and pretends that she is OK with how the cards have fallen, but I know a piece of her hurts as well. My mother is a phenomenal woman, and has seen many things in her life, has sacrificed a lot so that I could be where I am today. While I know taking her to brunch, or sending her flowers and cards are small tokens of appreciation, I know she appreciates them. It is the least I can do for her.

So you see, I can celebrate my mother and feel pain from my own personal experiences and loss. I want other women to know it’s OK to feel pain on Mother’s Day. It’s OK to need to be alone to process feelings and emotions. But it is also OK to celebrate the women in your life who are mother figures. Whatever you choose to do, do what is healthy for you and what you need to do for your personal peace. And remember, while you yourself may not be a mother, you have probably made an impact as a mother figure to someone, so don’t be so hard on yourself.

Photo by Nick Owuor (astro.nic.visuals) on Unsplash

Originally published: May 10, 2021
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