Mother’s Day fast approacheth, and you might guess that this is going to be a bit of a challenging weekend for me. Not only with Mother’s Day, but there are multiple other activities not related to that (birthdays, concerts, and such) that are making it busy too.
I’m nervous. My family has never really made a big deal of Mother’s Day, but it’s around. Facebook posts, special flowers in church, roses at the grocery store… And this is the first year I consider myself a mother, and it’s in such a hard way.
Last year, I was pregnant on Mother’s Day. At the time, I did not consider myself a mother (now, in hindsight, I do believe that I was already a mom. But at the time, since I didn’t have a “babe in arms”, I didn’t think of myself as one). I spent the day with my family, and since my husband was working, I went to church with my family. They were going to a neighboring town, where my littlest sister was playing violin with the handbell choir. They played It Is Well With My Soul, which is a hymn that was written by a man who had just lost his three daughters. My little one had kicked massively before during solo violin, so I was expecting that, but the baby also loved the bells! I was pummeled from within 🙂
In hindsight I wish I had acknowledged I was a mom already. They gave out carnations, and I didn’t go forward to get one. It wouldn’t have changed anything, but I still wish I’d publicly shown myself as Charlie’s mom.
Here’s the thing: There are different things that make you a mom. But the KEY is that there is a child. Somehow. Moms come in different shapes, and have different duties:
- Being pregnant makes you a mom
- Giving birth makes you a mom
- Having a c-section to have a baby makes you a mom
- Taking care of a child makes you a mom
- (and there are others…)
So even if you don’t have all of them, any of these makes you a mom. In my case, I was pregnant, and I gave birth. But some people adopt, and they are still moms too. I consider myself a loss-mama, which means that I am a memory-keeper-mama, not a diaper-changing-mama, but those are both valid types!!!
I’m nervous because I don’t know how I’ll feel on Sunday. I’m nervous because there are so many other things going on. I’m nervous because I want to do justice to my baby, and his memory. I’m nervous because I’ll be around people and I don’t want to be overly emotional in the wrong circumstances.
I know I have supportive family, and I do have a chance to visit my baby in the cemetery. So I will get through it.
Please, though, remember – there are many people like me, for whom Mother’s Day is uncomfortable. If you know I’m a mom, I would really like that to be acknowledged, so go ahead and wish me a happy Mother’s Day. But be gentle. There are many of us with fragile souls.
Lots of love,
~ Sarah, Charlie’s mom
Infant loss resource document: www.tinyurl.com/infantloss