Blooming Infertile Soil - A Bittersweet Mother's Day

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It’s the time for the weekend that can bring joy to so many but hurt to so many others. A day that should only uplift but over time has become more and more likely to cause someone to spiral down. A day that last year and the year before and so on caused me sadness and frustration. So how do I turn around and experience only the joy?

It’s the weirdest thing being on this side of infertility. It’s like I’m out of it but still in it. It will always be a piece of me, and it may very well rear its ugly head again in the future. I know the heart of those that will be full of misery on Mother’s Day. The heart of the woman who goes to church and has to mentally plug her ears to not let the words hit so hard. The woman who tries her best to stay away from social media for the day to not see all the praise for others and the hard job it is to be a mother. Well yes, and I would take that job in a heartbeat, she says. The woman who wants to badly to fully and joyfully celebrate her own mother without feeling the sadness of wanting to be able to do what she has done. The woman who internally struggles and says why does it have to be this way? Not only why can’t I be a mother, but also why can’t my longing be set aside for just this one day? Why can’t my mind just let me set it down and pick it up later?

So here I am now with my baby in my arms sleeping away as I write this. I want this first Mother’s Day to be special so badly, but I also don’t know how to feel. Infertility leaves burns and scars and side effects behind in its path, and this just happens to be one of them. I want to be able to fully praise my Father on Mother’s Day for what he has given me without still feeling the hurt that so many other women I know and don’t know are facing. But the reality is that it’s there, it’s out there, probably even in your church with you or in your neighborhood down the street. So how, how do you celebrate the joy but be conscious of those struggling?

I have learned even over these short two months so far that motherhood is hard. It is so, so wonderful, but it is hard. It isn’t all sunshines and rainbows. There is worry (constantly sometimes). There is tiredness. There is chores undone and laundry piled up. Yes, it is the most beautiful thing I have ever experienced, but I have come to realize more now that mothers do deserve to be celebrated. I know some of you are saying, but I would give anything to be one! I know, I know. That’s the hard part. I wish it wasn’t this way, I wish there wasn’t a struggle for so many, but it doesn’t mean mothers aren’t still mothers. It doesn’t mean that we should be saddened by mothers because we want to be one. Because its not their fault. Many of them hope and pray everyday for just that for everyone in the struggle. Many mothers love and pray over those that are struggling each day to fight the battle of infertility. So I guess what I’m saying it that the sadness of infertility and the joy and celebration of motherhood shouldn’t be seen side by side. I know that sounds crazy, but we can’t look at it that way. They are separate. They are not the same. We can walk the path of infertility and still celebrate mothers and motherhood. Because one day whether that be from your own womb or surrogacy or adoption or foster care or peace (etc) all you struggling will want to celebrate the motherhood.

Now did I do this well before Zeke came along? Did I mirror this idea? NO. I was saddened and struggled to be joyful for others. I get it, I so get it. I’m not saying in anyway that it will be easy. In fact, it will probably be really, really hard. But I think if you can fill yourself up with the hope that our God has given us and grasp onto his plan for your life and trust that it is absolutely perfect, even for just one day, you can find some form of peace. I think if we step outside of ourselves and set down the idol of motherhood in our own life and be truly happy for those around us, we can find a day of contentment that would often be full of sorrow and missed experiences. I think you will find that you don’t have to subject yourself to sadness on Mother’s Day like I so strongly thought I did. Every day is precious, and I see that with new eyes now. God wants you to lean on him every day, not just the days that it are easy to lean in, even the days that you want to curl up in a ball and just sit in your misery. Even those days. We are ALL his children, all his masterpieces, no matter if we are in the trenches of infertility or not. I think you will f

So I’m going to try to find joy on Mother’s Day and know that I can’t go back and do it differently but all I can do is walk forward now. And all of you in the valleys this year, hoping and praying for a baby of your own, I feel for you, I know your heart. And as much as I wrote everything above, know that God has grace through it all. He has grace on each negative thought you think or emotion you feel. He has you in his arms. And in the end, I know the struggle is real.

And to all you mothers, you rock! You give all of yourselves everyday, whether you came to it through infertility or superstar fertility or birth mommas who just weren’t ready. You all deserve celebrated for growing those babies, birthing those babies, accepting those babies, and loving on those babies with everything you have.

“Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what he had promised. Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him.”

Genesis 21:1-2