Sunday, May 14, 2017

The evolving role of Mother's Day

From the time I was a little girl I have wanted to be a mom.  I couldn't wait to grow up, get married, and have a baby of my own.  When Sam and I first got married I (naively) thought that it would happen just as I had dreamt.  The first 9 months of our marriage turned out differently than I anticipated as month after month I cried never seeing one positive pregnancy test.  In May 2009 when Mother's Day came around I was so overwhelmingly excited for my friends who had been or would shortly be blessed with their new titles of mom, but equally heartbroken it wasn't my turn.  Sam bought me my first Mother's Day card with words of encouragement, but my heart was shattered.  Within weeks of that "first" Mother's Day I found out that my dream would be coming true.

In 2010 I was beyond fortunate to celebrate Mother's Day as a mom of a beautiful baby girl, my dream finally complete.  In 2011, I was not only a mom to Laeya, but I was pregnant with our second child.  I was so beyond excited to celebrate that day, but my heart broke for those who were still struggling to build their families.  I felt so fortunate to be where I was.  By 2014 I would celebrate Mother's Day as a mom of three, and by 2015, a mom of four.  The day always amazing,  but that year was my first time with the title of "special needs mom".  At the time that specific title was new and had little meaning to me, but as the years continue on the uniqueness of that title plays a bigger role.

By the end of the summer of 2016 Sam and I were surprised when we found out we were expecting baby #5.  We were surrounded by fear and uncertainty rather than the typical burst of excitement.  We were scared and unsure. What if the baby wasn't typical? What if the baby had special needs?  What would people think that we were chancing fate?  By the beginning of October those fears were unnecessary as we didn't see or hear a heartbeat, we experienced our first miscarriage.  We were both "at peace" not being faced with needing to make challenging testing decisions or playing the "what would we do if" game, and we felt thankful that G-d intervened how he felt necessary.

Today is Mother's Day 2017.  I am so honored to celebrate being a mom to four amazing children I have been fortunate to meet, yet today is the first day my heart hurts in a different way.  Based on my previous pregnancy experiences and my due dates, I would be holding or about to be holding baby #5.  I wonder if my son would have a brother or if he would still be the prince of the castle.  I wonder how I would manage being a mom to Sonzee and a baby, and I wonder how amazing it would be for Laeya to be the biggest sister of four.  I think about how fortunate I am that today I can snuggle my four awesome children because there are so many beautiful mom's I know who are unable to do that, but today is the first day I have given this topic enough thought to be sad the number isn't five.

Mother's Day to me isn't about being spoiled or wanting to be appreciated more than any other day.  It isn't about what gifts I get or if Sam was able to get to the store last minute to pick me up a card (that I honestly could live without).  For me, Mother's Day is about honoring what it is to be a mom and learning how to adapt to the various titles, curve balls, and ever changing roles that come with being a mother.  Today is one of those reminders of how mothering can be done in so many different and beautiful ways.  So if you are a pregnant mom, a mom to a child you didn't birth, or one you had to or have to share with someone else, a physically living child, a healthy child, a sick child, a child you never got to hold in your arms, or to a child you are no longer able to hold in your arms, today and every day you should be honored to be a mother, and I wish you the happiest of Mother's Days.

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