Every year, since 1914 (thank you Anna Jarvis), we have celebrated mothers all around the world. The holiday was created when Anna. Whether you have a loving and special relationship with your mother, or you can’t stand to be in the same room as her, none of us would be here without a birth mom. Even if you fall into the latter category, there is undoubtedly a woman in your life who has been a role-model. A teacher. A mentor. A foster mother. A social worker. A therapist. A grandmother. Mother’s Day isn’t just about honoring your mother, but an ode to all mother’s. (Hey, I’m currently a “mother” to a finicky cat, and an aunt to four charismatic children, so I’ll take my credit here).
This post is for the other mother’s though. The ones we forget about. Many times, there are women who feel left out of this holiday, or even cheated out of it. They dread it, because no one will wish them a Happy Mother’s Day, but they feel like mother’s too.
Happy Mother’s Day to those of you who have miscarried (which happens to every 15-20 women out of 100). It is difficult to start thinking about your role as a parent, and what kind of mother you will be, only to miscarry. It’s okay to feel sad, to grieve, or to feel angry because you had just gotten used to the idea of becoming a mother, to suddenly have to cope with the loss as that reality changed.
Happy Mother’s Day to those of you who cannot conceive (in the United States, 1 out of every 10 women under age 45 are infertile and 1 out of every 8 couples will have trouble getting/sustaining pregnancy). This holiday may be especially difficult because you may have always wanted children, and were devastated when this reality was taken from you. The fantasies you had of being a mother, turned to a reality of grief and loss over the idea of motherhood. People may not understand how you can grieve over something you never had, but you envisioned a future for yourself, your partner, and your child. The loss of something you never had, may be even harder to grieve because there’s nothing to bury or put to rest.
Happy Mother’s Day to those of you who have lost a child. According to UNICEF and the World Health Organization, about 5.9 million children under the age of five will die each year, with 2.7 million of those deaths occurring in the first month of life. I’ve had friends and clients lose their children to illness and accidents. To feel, hold, touch, love, and embrace your child is one of the greatest joys many people experience. To suddenly lose the physical presence of a person is always difficult because we rely so much on physical touch and voice sensation. With life expectancies reach x for men, and x for women, makes it especially difficult to lose a child. Even more difficult when it’s your child.
Not only are you all worthy of this special day, but there are so many women out there who feel your pain. Many mother’s, and father’s, suffer in silence. Some find they are too encroached with grief to open up, while others think it’s their fault. It’s not your fault though. You are a mother too. So here’s to you- Happy Mother’s Day 2016.