Mother's Day: A Reflection

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Yesterday was Mother’s Day and I feel oh so many things.  Blessed. Honoured. Grateful. Nostalgic.  But mixed in there, I also felt something that feels like sadness.  Because although there is so much to celebrate for so many of us, I know that Mother’s Day is hard.

For many, many years I tried really hard to come to terms with Mother’s Day in a way that allowed me to celebrate and honour the women in my life who were mothers…  my own mother, my sister, my grandmother, my mother-in-law, my aunt...  Women who deserved recognition on this special day for all they have done to nurture and raise their children, to raise me.  But on this special day there was so much grinning and bearing it that I would often come home from family celebrations and sob.  No matter how much I smiled during the day, my heart felt broken.  No matter how much experience I had with the heart break, it never got easier. 

Fast forward to the first year I was blessed to celebrate Mother’s Day as a mom.  The day was planned well in advance and I looked forward to nothing more than spending the day with my daughter and my husband, enjoying the hard-earned title of mom.  This was finally going to be my day.  Leading up to this day, I thought long and hard about how to celebrate my daughter’s birth mom and we decided to have a celebration on Birth Mother’s Day to celebrate her position as Moonbeam’s birth mom and Mother’s Day would allow me to celebrate as Moonbeam’s mom.

The big Mother’s Day weekend arrived.  There were many photos and smiles and beautiful moments on both Birth Mother’s Day and Mother’s Day.  With Birth Mother’s Day celebrated separately, I was excited to spend Mother’s Day alone with my little girl and husband to really appreciate how far we’d come and how special this day was for us.  But as we passed through the day, something felt off …  I felt like something really big was missing and I felt sad.  All day I couldn’t help but long to spend the day with the woman who had made this very day possible for  me – Moonbeam’s birth mama, her first mama.  Yes, my chance to celebrate Mother’s Day had arrived, but I realized very clearly that this was not a day that I ever wanted to celebrate without Moonbeam’s birth mom ever again.  Yes, I was Moonbeam’s mother …  but so was her birth mom …  and honouring both of us on this day would never (has never since) diminish my role as mom. 

As I write this, I feel so much love and so much emotion for Moonbeam and Sunshine Girl’s birth mamas.  Without them, my hopes and dreams of becoming a mother would never have come to be.  It is never lost on me that as happy as this day is for me, Mother’s Day must be hard for them.  They are mothers without their daughters, who passed along the title of mom to me.  I can’t help but have a piece of my heart feel heavy with emotion for them.  I remember all those Mother’s Days spent grinning and bearing and my heart extends to these amazing women who may have felt forgotten and unseen this past weekend.

Mother’s Day can be very hard… this I know from personal experience. So yesterday, I celebrated all of the women who have raised a child, placed a child, lost a child, supported a child, want a child, lost a mother, cherish a mother, miss a mother, support a mother…  my own journey would not be what it is without the love and strength of two amazing mamas who gifted me motherhood for their daughters.