Happy whatever.

Today is Mother’s Day, and while I think that being a mom is a crazy-hard job it’s also one that most of us wouldn’t trade for the world, so it’s always been a bit odd to me that we get to be mothers and we also get a day to celebrate it.  Not that I’m judging you.  Celebrate the hell out of yourself.  You deserve it.

But you know who else deserves it?  The women who have struggled to be, or are still struggling to be moms.  The women who want children but just aren’t in a safe place in life to have them.  The women who don’t want kids and have to listen to a bunch of bullshit about how you’re only worthwhile if you’ve pushed a human out of your vagina.  The women who miss the children they once had.  The women who miss the children they lost before they ever met them.  The women who gave up their children so their child could have a better life than they could provide.  The women who were raised motherless, or with shitty mothers, or who have lost their mothers and are reminded of how alone they feel.  Mother’s Day is a confusing, weird, very-seldom-wrapped-up-with-a-nice-commercial-bow sort of day, and as for me, I salute you all – mothers or not…you’re here.  You’re alive.  You continue to survive.  You are worthwhile and wonderful.  Never forget that.

********

On a personal note, today I’ll be remembering the children I carried who never lived…and the one miracle who did.

PS.  This is technically a terrible picture.  The lighting is weird.  I’m not wearing make-up and the sun is too bright.  It was taken with a crappy cell phone.  But it’s one of my favorite pictures ever.  Why?  Because Hailey took it when she was playing around with my phone and she turned it around, put her arm around my neck to pull me in closer and then took the picture.  One day soon she’ll be too old to be want to take pictures with me, but I’ll keep this one safe until she survives the teenage years and comes back to love her mom like I adore mine.

I’m incredibly lucky for moments like this, and I hope that I never forget that.

513 thoughts on “Happy whatever.

Read comments below or add one.

  1. You’re amazing and put into words what I couldn’t.. don’t ever change <3

  2. Thank you. I love you. Thank you for recognizing all women today. I can’t have kids and I’m cool with it.

  3. Wow. Hit the nail on the head with this one. Thanks for the acknowledgement. Brought a tear. Enjoy your daughter and your day.

  4. Awe…Happy Mothers’ Day to you and your miracle child (and Victor too, even though he is technically not a mother.)

  5. As a singleton who never wanted kids, thanks for acknowledging that as a valid life choice. Happy Sunday to you and Hailey.

    (We had our Mother’s Day a while ago in the UK, as ever)

  6. It’s a wonderful picture, for exactly those reasons! Happy Mom’s Day to all women!

    I have two little miracles, and five who didn’t make it. I celebrate all of them.

  7. Aw that’s a GREAT picture!!! She’ll remember it too when she’s our age and love it just as much as you do.

    Yeah, it is hard to be a woman who doesn’t want kids. Society here doesn’t handle that very well. So I celebrate my mom, and then spend the day feeling….well, a little less-than.

  8. Oh Jenny, as often as you make me howl with laughter (i.e. every one of your posts), you can also be achingly poignant– never more so than today. Thank you – you are a gift for which I am most grateful.

  9. You and Hailey are lucky to have each other, and to have Victor, too. You teach her the right things, and I’m glad you’re there to do that– and that she’s there to learn from you.

  10. No makeup, terrible lighting, who cares. You are beautiful and so is Hailey. The true beauty of the picture is the love and joy you are both expressing. What a wonderful moment.

    And a quick note of thank you from one of those mothers who lost their children before they ever met them.

  11. Not only you are awesome on regular basis you get twice as awesome on special days! Congrats and thank you!

  12. Thank you for this. My wife and I cannot have children the traditional way, and the adoption has been long and stressful. We hope to adopt before too much longer though, so hopefully this time next year, that wonderful lady who makes me happy can feel like Mother’s Day is for her. In the meantime, I’ll join you in honoring all those special ladies who get overlooked by most people today.

  13. Those pictures are my favorites, too. 🙂 Happy Mothers’ Day. We are also celebrating Leftover Cake Day, so Happy Leftover Cake Day, as well.

  14. Thank you for those words, Jenny. Today is a weird day for me. My mother died several years ago and I have no children. I’m feeling a little left out in all the grandeur of the day. So thanks for remembering those who aren’t special today.

  15. I like to celebrate Crazy Aunt’s Day. Because everyone can be, or has, a Crazy Aunt who takes them out for icecream and roller skating when the weather is completely inappropriate for such things. Who plays pretend and builds cubbies under the dinner table. Who steals the children from their parents to give the parents a day off, and spoils them rotten.

    (Crazy Aunts don’t have gender, but I suppose if you want to nitpick someone could have a Crazy Uncle.)

  16. thank you so much for posting this. of course i’m bawling right now because of the struggle. thank you for the acknowledgement, the funny and most importantly, the hope.

  17. My mother has dementia and so we loose a little more of her everyday. But my memories of her are still here and that is what I keep close to my heart. Happy Mother’s Day.

  18. Happy Mother’s Day to you and every woman on your amazing list, and an added Happy Mother’s Day to all the teachers out there who have chosen to be a part-time mother to hundreds of children. . . oh, and to the bat-shit crazy awesome Aunties who take the kids off their mothers’ hands once and a while to give them a break.

    Seriously, this post made me cry from all the warmth and goodness it filled me with.

  19. Happy Mother’s Day to all moms and mother figures, and also to all the single fathers who are doing it all.
    And thank you for acknowledging women, like myself, who never got to meet their child(ren).
    Hugs to all

  20. Thankfully I was blessed with my beautiful children, but Happy Mother’s Day to my sister who has been trying to have a child for years. Happy Mother’s Day to my other sister who lost one of her beautiful babies when she was only 10 months old.

  21. I’m all teary. That was beautiful, as are you and your daughter! Happy Mothers Day!

  22. A week ago I had a miscarriage. I didn’t even know I was pregnant and hubby and I weren’t even trying to get pregnant. It feels so strange to miss someone I didn’t even know was there. I hope all of you out here have the most love-filled day, whatever the situation or circumstance you are living.

  23. Wonderfully written…I’m in the boat with those who haven’t had kids…and who have friends who constantly point out I’m nothing until I’ve done just that…I applaud you for recognizing ALL females….you are perfect and your words are heartwarming. THANK YOU!!!

  24. Happy whatever, too, Jennifer. I really appreciated your second paragraph because it applies to me. I’ve never wanted kids and, also, my mom died suddenly in front of me and my younger sister when I was 11. This day has been so hard for me because of the latter. I’ve healed a lot in the 14 years mom’s been gone but I still cry for her several times a year (Mother’s Day being one of those times) and miss her every day. The level of jealousy I feel for people who get to spend time with or call their moms today is intense, raw, and a little embarrassing.

  25. THIS is the best message for today! Just shows your awesomeness again! Thank you!!!

  26. Happy Mother’s Day! I still struggle with being a good mother to my son. I had an emotionally absent mom, so it’s a daily challenge to be better than what I had growing up.
    But I know, every time he kisses me, tells me he loves me and comes to me for comfort, I haven’t screwed up beyond repair yet.

  27. Jenny, you made me weepy! Happy Mother’s Day to you and all of the amazing women out there who are (or want to be) moms. Many hugs and much love you to, my friend.

  28. Dude, seriously Thank You!! Happy Mother’s Day to you, from a woman who has to hear all the bullshit today from others with vagina-ripping person-popping stories. Not that I mind, but sometimes it gets annoying to feel like a failure as a woman. Thank You for acknowledging the rest of us!

  29. Thank you. I think I fit a lot of those categories. It’s not a one-size-fits-all kinda life, and that’s a good thing.

  30. The question mark was supposed to be a heart. I am not questioning whether or not I want to wish you well 🙂 (This better turn into a smiley face)

  31. I am actually crying now. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard “Well why don’t you just adopt” when I mention I want kids… but it’s not that easy and it’s expensive and I’ve been trying to have kids since 2006 and it’s just not happening and it kills me. And my husband doesn’t acknowledge me on mother’s day because “I’m not a mother” and he doesn’t understand why that guts me. So thank you. Thank you. Thank you for this.

  32. This. Was. Beautiful. Happy mother’s day to you and thank you for always shining light on a different perspective.

  33. Happy Mother’s Day, Jenny. You are a wonderful, awesome, sensitive person and I am glad I found you, because you write the things I think in my head, and can’t say out loud because I have a job where I have to mind my image.

  34. Happy Mothers Day Jenny! I have tears in my eyes as I remember my own mother whom I lost so long ago. Thank you for sharing your life with all of us.

  35. Starting today,”Happy Whatever!” will be the sentiment I use for all holidays. Except for the ones that depress me. For those I’ll use “Happy? Whatever.”

  36. It’s a beautiful photo because it captures a moment in your life that you and Hailey will love forever (teen-aged years notwithstanding). Lighting and lack of make-up be damned!

    I’m happily married and happily childless and don’t begrudge giving moms a day to celebrate all that they do (mommy-hood is hard work, yo’). But I have friends who had abusive moms, absent moms, lost their moms, are trying really hard to become moms, etc. and this day can be really difficult for them. Thanks so much for this post!

  37. Well said, Jenny. “Mothers” come in all shapes, sizes and flavors. And I love your photo … and completely understand why it’s treasured. No make-up could improve the pure happy that flies out of this picture anyway.

    I had an interesting-but-great Mother’s Day morning. My kids improvised. And I’m taking full credit! 🙂

  38. This made me cry….
    I have my own little miracles and one that I never got to meet and a day doesn’t go by that I don’t think of my little baby and appreciate the ones I do have. Happy whatever indeed!

  39. Thanks for the wonderful post. As always you said it perfectly. Happy Mother’s Day!

  40. Thank you for this. You have no idea how much this post means to me. I’m sitting here crying as I type this. I’m one of those women who have been struggling to become a mother for years, with no success, due to a medical condition. It kills me every day to be reminded that I can’t have what others do. At times I feel like a failure. Other times I spiral down to a depressive state where nothing can raise me up. So thank you for understanding. And happy Mother’s Day to you.

  41. This was beautifully said. Thank you
    The picture of you and Hailey says true love! Marilyn

  42. Thank you for this. I needed it for so many reasons. Happy day to you and yours.

  43. Thanks for this. I want kids but can’t find one single, reasonable person to do it with; other than myself, of course. 🙂 Wishing a happy day to all women!

  44. Well crap…now there’s some snotty, teary keyboards out there all cause you said that so well. Damn gifts. 🙂

  45. Thank you for the post. Like another reader wrote, I too didn’t know how much I needed to read those words. Thank you for sharing that beautiful photo too!

  46. This is the second thing I’ve read this Mother’s Day that remembers those of us who’ve lost, and those of us who tried so hard and just couldn’t make it happen. I work with children every day, and I love them, and that has to be enough. It’s nice that someone realizes that this day can be difficult emotionally for some people.

  47. Thank you for writing this beautiful post, you hit the nail on the head. I hope you have a wonderful day with your miracle!

  48. I think my sister said it best when she said it yesterday… “Happy Mother’s Day to all women who are mothers… and also to all women who are mothers in their hearts.”

  49. Wow.. We struggled for nine years with infertility. And tried everything possible. Mother days leaves me with mixed emotions. On one hand I have been blessed with an amazing mom and on the other hand it’s a painful reminder. Beautifully said thank you for this…

  50. And Happy Mother’s Day to all other Step-mothers who try to be good step-mothers in the face of overwhelming odds…

  51. I’m sending this post to my daughter, who is in a couple of the groups of women you mention. In a few days, though. Today might be too rough.

  52. I was just thinking that today should be called something along the lines of “Happy Women’s Day” (there is an International Women’s Day, but it’s not widely celebrated). Great post!

  53. You fucking rock. Happy Mothering Appreciation Day! Because mothering happens all over the damned place – genetic links or not, female-bodied or not, older or younger; mothering is a thing my friends have done for me, strangers have done for me. Mothering is providing safe space, and nurturing, and loving unconditionally.
    So happy Mothering appreciation day from me. Thank you for existing.

  54. Probably Way Too Much TMI, but from the motherless woman who wanted children once, but whose health can’t support pregnancy and who once lay sobbing on the bathroom floor with mixed despair and relief when she miscarried the only pregnancy she would ever have at 2 weeks because she knew that her husband unequivocally DID NOT WANT kids and so she didn’t have to find a way to tell him that he was probably going to have to raise the child he didn’t want alone, and THEN spent years fighting with relatives insisting she should have kids despite the health risks, and who has spent much of today crying because some years I just can’t handle Mother’s Day with any semblance of grace or dignity, THANK YOU.

    Also, sorry for the run-on sentence.

  55. Wow, full on tears first thing in the morning. Thanks, Jenny. I will be making the same remembrance as you today.

  56. there are no terrible pictures when they are of of people who love each other as much as y’all do. happy mother’s day jenny and to all of us!

  57. Thank you, a million times over. I have not one, but two, shitty mothers that raised me, both making sure to let me know that they didn’t really want me around in their own special fucked up way. Talk about fucking with a girl’s head! Fifteen years and lots of therapy later, I’m doing okay, but Mother’s Day has still always kind of sucked for me. So thank you for acknowledging that Mother’s Day isn’t always a loving wonderful day, because some of us have really shitty moms.

  58. Thank you for this post. Also? I’m kinda crying right now. Actually I’m totally crying right now. I am blessed with a beautiful 1 year old boy, but I still miss the little one that didn’t make it into this world. I envy the women who have an easy road to motherhood, but today is all the sweeter because I know how much it took to get here. And it took a helluva lot.

    Happy Mother’s Day to you, Jenny the Bloggess.

  59. Happy Mommy’s Day to you too, Jen. Today, I am totally appreciating the 9 I never met, the 3 I was blessed to give birth to , and the 2 who chose to be mine in heart despite our differences in DNA. They are why I carry the title, Mom.

  60. Your message today touches my heart on many levels. Thank you sooooooooooo much for helping me realize I am lucky, even if my babies are in heaven and my step children are in the terrible teens and hate the fact that I am here at all. I know I am trying my best and that should be enough. Thank you!

  61. Happy Whatever Day to the the woman with the perfect words. Buying your book again to give to another lucky stranger!

  62. Thank you for this post. Mother’s Day is usually the day I walk around trying not to punch people in the face. Not that I don’t think we should celebrate Mothers, but it is more the reminder that as a woman I feel like a big fucking failure for never shooting a child out of my vagina. It is something I want more than anything, but just hasn’t come to pass.

    But, I am the coolest Aunt in the whole entire world. Even for kids that didn’t shoot out of my sisters’ vaginas.

    This is probably the most I have used vagina on the internet. Good times!

  63. Thank you for acknowledging the childless. It’s hard enough to come to grips w/being an outcast in a what seems like a world of over-breeders, but Mother’s Day is an over-the-top, in-your-face weekend of pain.

  64. Wow. Fabulous post! How great are you for recognizing all those others who want/don’t want/lost/miss their mum/child/children – here’s to all of us who are not the norm and to a wonderful person for acknowledging it – hope you have a lovely day with your family x

  65. I read your blog almost everyday. I’ve never posted a comment. But today, I had to. I am adopted, and a recent mother myself. I have always believed that what my mother did was the most selfless act any human could be expected to do. People will think “oh she didn’t want you” or “what a horrible person she must be” the only thing I ever think? Is Thank You. Thank you for letting me live, thank you for my beloved parents and my sister and my life. Happy Mothers Day to my Mom, wherever she may be. And cheers to you Jenny for being so articulate, hilarious and wonderful!

  66. Thank you for the thoughtful review of Mother’s Day. Sometimes, it’s just too much forced hoopla. This Mother’s Day, I am, sadly, spending it hoping that my mother-in-law survives the day and that my husband and daughter are able to get to the hospital in time, after having driven all night to get there.

  67. Your words touched me more than I can tell you. I have two beautiful children but miscarried my last pregnancy. It was so hard then and sometime times its still so hard now all these years later.

  68. Thank you. I gave up my child so she could have a better life and this day is very hard for me – I love that little girl like I never thought I could and I miss her every day. But she has a great life and I try to be happy about that when I’m sad about everything else.

  69. *Thank you* for this post. (From the mom of an angel in heaven, one she never got to meet, who said goodbye to her daughter the day before mothers day 14 years ago, who can barely breathe every year through this week, and prays every year she can make it until the day after mothers day comes).

  70. I spent my 30s trying to get pregnant and miscarrying the 5 that I did manage to achieve. It was awful at the time, but, rather like I hear the pain of childbirth fades, the pain of those losses has faded as well. Sometimes when I’m tired and stressed, I think, “Maybe it’s a good thing that I don’t have kids!” Yeah, there is still a hint of a feeling of failure, though.

  71. “The women who don’t want kids and have to listen to a bunch of bullshit about how you’re only worthwhile if you’ve pushed a human out of your vagina.” I just want to say thank you for this. At age 26, I’m pretty sure I do not want to have children, but everyone keeps telling me 1) I’m too young to know for sure, and 2) Everyone eventually wants children. No, I’m not, and no, they don’t. So thank you for saying that.

    However, I do have a tremendous amount of respect for those who have children, because it’s a 24-7 job that’s not recognized as such. I mean, where would we be without mothers? Happy mother’s day to you, Jenny! I hope you have a wonderful day.

  72. I forgot to mention that I have already gotten my greetings in absentia. One daughter posted a greeting on my FB timeline…just after midnight..which is something, because she is one of those “early to bed, early to rise” types. The other daughter handed me two boxes of Girl Scout cookies and a card as she went out the door to make the long drive with her Dad to see his mom in the hospital.

  73. You know I totally get this, because I have a shitty dad, and I feel super awkward on Father’s Day.

    But I have a wonderful mother and saying Happy Mother’s Day to her is too little of an acknowledgement. I don’t think any gesture can really amount to an acknowledgement.

    Hailey is awesome. And she’s your daughter. So, I think she’s going to be adventurous as a teenager in the best sense of the word. 🙂 And at the end of the day, she still has a cool mom to back her up!

  74. Really! I think today should be “Women’s Day” rather than “Mother’s Day”. I have a friend who when her husband was asked what he was getting her for Mother’s Day, he said “nothing, she’s not my mother”. Wow. I wonder why some people stay married. But that’s a comment for another post! If I were in the room, I would have said, “Seriously? Aren’t you happy that the mother of your children exists on the planet? Isn’t that alone a cause for celebration? If not, what the hell is the matter with you? ”

    Anyway I’m in the 35 years without a mom category and the I-wish-I could-have childless category. My canine companions are my surrogate children. I’m not a fanatic toward my dogs, just love them like kids. It is so infuriating to watch Mothers roll their eyes when I say I’m a “pet parent”. I want to say, “how the heck do you get to belong to that exclusive club of Motherhood while judging those of us who couldn’t belong in the traditional way, who want to “join” it in our own way”. Frickin’ holier than thou bitches that they are.

    I generally have come to dislike holidays. They are great for those who have happy, healthy and traditional relationships. They exclude those who don’t. And people wonder why the suicide rate is up.

    Anyway, so my husband and my surrogate “kid” doggie took me to a favorite park yesterday and then cooked me an awesome dinner at home (cuz puppydogs don’t go to restaurants). And I feel like a Mom of the earth today too. And anyone who doesn’t like that can bite me ;-).

    Awesome photo! Hugs.

  75. Yesterday I sat in my surrogacy support group meeting with 39 other women. I would like to say that while we can’t understand what you and others like you have gone through, we do respect it. We see your struggle and we know you are wonderful. Pushing a human out of your vagina isn’t what makes you worthwhile. Being kind and compassionate and wishing equality for all??? Well, that’s a good start. Happy Women’s Day.

  76. So beautiful the two of you; I absolutely love that.

    Thank you for stating so perfectly what is so often overlooked. I have too many friends whose mothers died much to young: W who lost her mother to murder when she was 10…K, who when she was 7 lost her mother to suicide….many others who lost moms to cancer. It is so hard to imagine what Mother’s Day must be like. Words can’t describe.

    Thank you for the laughs………and the tears. xo

  77. I was too young.
    I was too poor.
    I was in a terrible, emotionally abusive marriage. (I got out.)
    I was too poor. Again.
    I was too old.
    I would adopt, but now I am back in school.

    As a woman who was never in a good place to have a child, thank you.

  78. I grew up in the “shitty mom” category, only I didn’t realize it until I got older and came to learn that most people’s childhoods were… different from mine. My mom has been out of my life for years now – ever since I got to overhear her telling my son what a horrible person I was. I am super-blessed to have a fantastic husband and three amazing children that I treasure and that make me feel loved 24/7 – and I know how lucky I am – but Mother’s Day always stings a little. Am I still someone’s daughter? My mom isn’t dead (at least not that I’ve heard). You really hit the nail on the head with the “seldom tied up with a neat little bow” part. Hubby’s family just doesn’t understand because they are still so intact and perfect.

  79. After waiting eight years of being married for the ‘right time,’ we are now waiting on tests to find out if I will be able to have kids at all. For years people have asked my husband and- ‘When are you going to have kids?’ as of we were doing something unnatural by putting it off while we lived across the country from our families.

    When we moved back home, we opened a baby savings account, I got all my normal checkups, and we were blindsided with my first ever abnormal pap results. That was September of 2012.

    Now, two of my sisters are pregnant, one of them is expecting any day, and we are still waiting. We are still getting questions about when we will start a family from unknowing aquaintences, and I still just smile and say, ‘not today.’

    My sister, who is about to have a baby (and who also lost a baby she was carrying last Mother’s Day) posted this. Not knowing the article content, but seeing it was your blog, I clicked and almost immediatly I started crying. Your honesty validated many of the things I am feeling today. Thank you.

  80. This was beautifully written, Jenny. It brought tears to my eyes. I am lucky enough to have just spent lunch with my mother and it was wonderful. She is so many of the mother definitions you wrote and I so admire her strength to carry on day to day.

    For myself, this is the first mothers day of my 30 years that i wish it applied to me. I also desperately wish it will be the only year. My true hope is next year my mother will not only be celebrated as a mother but as a grandmother, as well.

    Happy Mothers Day Jenny, your daughter is so very lucky to have you.

  81. Oh Jen. You said the thing I have been thinking all week and you said it perfectly.

  82. You always say – in a much more eloquent way – what I’m thinking. Must be why you’re a bestselling author and I’m a reader! Happy Every Day to you!

    T.

  83. Happy Mothers Day!

    I can honestly say that you almost always have an incredibly unique perspective on life, and I can’t even tell you how much I appreciate that perspective. This post brings up all the things most people (myself included) might not think about on Mothers Day, but it’s SO important. Thank you SO much for bringing to light all the different kinds of people who should also be celebrated on Mothers Day. Every day, really. I feel so inexpressibly lucky to have the mom I do have. I just got off the phone with her after chatting for I think almost an hour. Since my fiance and I moved away, I have missed her terribly, and we talk on the phone a lot. I kinda partially woke her up this morning. Oops. Haha. But I’m so grateful that she’s a part of my life. I’m thankful for everything she’s done for my sisters and I. She knows she has some weird children. I’ve thanked her several times for breastfeeding me. But she’s not the only amazing mom out there. She’s not the only amazing PERSON out there. I’m sure glad she’s MY amazing mom, MY amazing person, but this post really makes me realize, I’m SO very thankful that there are a LOT of amazing moms and amazing people out there. What a good feeling.
    Also, you guys are adorable and beautiful, inside and out. Your mind is as beautiful as you are. And you are VERY beautiful. Even in funny lighting with no makeup. In my mind, that is the way to go! : D

  84. LOVE THIS!! (and I promise never to capslock for something unimportant)
    What a wonderful burritoblessing-(in that you have encompassed so many disparate elements and turned them into something delicious when they are all together)
    Oh, and BTW- Merry and Bright to my own Mom. Still stirring it up at 83. Smooch and a gentle hugz

  85. When I was a kid, the only thing I wanted to be when I grew up was a mom. When I got married, my husband always had excuses for not having a baby all the times I brought it up and after divorcing him, I had to have a hysterectomy, so now I’ll never have kids of my own. I still have the heart of a mother and I and have nieces and nephews that I think I’m a great auntie to.
    Thank you for this post and happy Mother’s day.

  86. This is beautiful. Thank you for acknowledging all women today. I think many forget how tough this day can be for so many people. xoxo. (Beautiful photo of you too also!)

  87. Happy Mothers’ day to you.

    I’m celebrating by studiously avoiding facebook, and all people, except for the obligatory phone calls to my mother and grandmothers, at least one of whom will guilt me for being infertile. Then I’m going to go take the weed-whacker out into the backyard and obliterate the shit out of some blackberry vines to decompress.

  88. This is a beautiful picture, thanks for writing this post. I can’t wait to have children, but until then I will celebrate mother’s day with my mother and my friends who are mothers.

  89. A beautiful post and a beautiful picture! Thank you for always saying just the right thing at just the right time (at least for me).

  90. Absolutely love this post.

    I just read the chapter about your pregnancies, losses, and Hailey’s birth. I didn’t expect to cry, because I had just read the chapters about you and Victor and they were hysterical!

    But I was really moved by what you went through to have a child. As a former L&D nurse, I saw all of that stuff quite often. Very heartbreaking. I appreciate you sharing your story.

    Happy Mother’s Day to you, Jenny.

  91. You make me think of my friend Kate, who struggled so hard to become a mom, losing twins barely after their birth, but who does now have a healthy son, and of Venus, whose first child had terrible health problems that finally claimed him last summer, very close to the birth of his little sister.
    And of my mom, who has been gone for over twenty years. I don’t know if she actually ever did want to be a mom, and she had a terrible role model, but she did an amazing job of it.
    Thank you.

  92. Beautiful post, Jenny, but you missed one category: The mom who orders a healthy child and finds herself instead with one who has unexpected genetic defects or birth damage. And then the moms who lose said child after years of llife-changing struggle. BTDT

  93. The picture is really nice, your love shines through. Hailey has your eyes, in my opinion. You are both beautiful.

    Thank you for this message (and the whole blog). I had a mother, she died 26 yrs ago never seeing her granddaughters and I still miss her to this day. I had 2 miscarriages, and 2 live births. I have 2 wonderful, crazy, gorgeous daughters who made life interesting, but probably won’t call me. My husband, who loves me to death, didn’t get me anything, not even a card. I many times feel like a failure as a mom because of the issues my girls have. My oldest moved 6 hours away and doesn’t visit at all and rarely calls. My youngest has Asperger’s syndrome and is a challenge to say the least. We see her every week and I have to take Xanax afterward. I did NOT go to church today, because the priest has all the Moms stand up, and when my oldest was pregnant as a teen, he got mad when she stood up. BTW, she made the brave and selfless choice to place her baby (my granddaughter) with parents who could love and provide for her, by way of adoption.

    I really do NOT like Mother’s Day.

  94. This picture is gold!
    As a woman who chose not to have children, thanks for the shout out. As a friend to women who have struggle to become pregnant or remain pregnant, thank you for the shout out.
    You are awesome.

  95. AMEN to all you said. You and your friends here always communicate the things I could never express myself. Thank you all. Happy Mama’s Day!

  96. That is the BEST picture.

    When I was little, I thought my grandmother was my mom. Really, she has been.

  97. I have a feeling you won’t have the typical teenager girl problems with Hailey…

  98. Thank you. I’m childless, and even at age 33, still don’t know if I’d make the choice to have them or not. I also lost my mom when I was 26, just when we were finally starting to be normal adults to each other, entering a new phase of our relationship that I wish could have developed more. Mother’s Day is indeed odd for someone like me, because all of my personal connections with it are either non-existant or painful. So today I will honor the mothering instinct and whatever form that takes in your life: from the little old lady that bakes cookies for the staff where you work, to the neighbor who assures you he’ll not only take good care of your cat while you’re away, but also watch movies with her and send you pictures of the two of them together.

  99. Happy second-Sunday-in-May to all the happy moms and sad moms and wishing-to-be-moms and hell-NO-I’ll-never-be-a-moms and mourning moms and fur-baby moms and the one and only The-Bloggess-Mom. May we have have a kick ass day, in our own special ways.

  100. happy mother’s day!
    i gave copies of “let’s pretend this never happened” to my mother, my best friend, and my sister-in-law for mother’s day gifts. i still find laughter to be one of the most precious gifts and appreciate sharing a bit of my recent happiness with some of the most important ladies in my life….
    enjoy your day with hailey and your kitties…

  101. Jeez, Jenny. You just made me tear up over a Hallmark holiday.

    Thank you, from one of those women who had to endure decades of, “So when are you going to have a baby?”

    P.S. Totally gorgeous picture of you both.

  102. Thanks for this, Jenny. I lost my mother when I was 11, and have never in my life wanted children. Thusly, I spend a lot of time feeling judged and maligned by the whole world for being too self-involved/uncaring/despicably selfish to have children. Happy day to you and yours, and everyone else out there.

  103. Thank you for this. I lost my mom two and a half years ago. We weren’t the closest we could have been. We fought all the time, even as an adult. We just couldn’t get along. But I miss her. She gave the best hugs. So Mother’s Day becomes a day I avoid. I’m not a mother, and I don’t have a mother, so it just makes me sad and hurt. So thank you for writing a little something about those of us who don’t really get to celebrate.

  104. Dear Bloggess,

    I have recently started reading your blog. I want to thank you for today’s post, which brought tears to my eyes. I have hoped for children, and so far have not had them. Thank you for including me in today. I really, really appreciate it.

    Sending love & gratitude,
    Tamie

  105. thanks for your post Jenny. As someone who is not in contact with my mother at all and who isn’t sure I will ever be in the right relationship situation to have kids before that ship sails, I appreciated what you wrote. Happy Mother’s day 🙂

  106. Jenny, Thanks! I’m one if those people who did not have a mother and have not had kids of my own. This day d

  107. I just knew if I came here you would pretty much be the only one saying that women without children have any worthwhile place in the human race. Facebook makes me want to stab it in the eye today.

  108. Jenny, Thanks! I’m one if those people who did not have a mother and have not had kids of my own. This day doesn’t typically do much for me other than make me miss my grandmother who died 8 years ago. I decided to become a parent through to foster care system and give children who need a home what they need and deserve. Thank you for acknowledging that the world is not a Hallmark card and I’m not an oddball for thinking this way. Never change!

  109. Thank you so much for this Jenny. For those with absent, abusive, mentally ill mothers today is an extremely painful day that makes us feel so much more abandoned and alone. Thanks for making us feel less alone

  110. Reading this makes me love you so much more than I already did, and I already loved you a lot. It’s really frustrating as a person who decided they did not want children to have to spend every day being told that they are selfish for making that choice, when the choice was made because I know that I carry a lot of things that would suck for a baby to have to grow up with. It makes me really happy to know there are people out there who are supportive of everyone and don’t think you have to have a kid to be a good person. Again, I totally love you!

  111. Thank you. I’ve known my entire life i don’t want children and have been taking shit for it for 29 years now. I do raise an awesome cat, but it’s in everyone’s best interest that i keep my children to the feline kind.

    Also, thanks for the touching words otherwise. My mother died 10.5 years ago and this day is extra sucky due to that.

    That picture is beautiful. You and your daughter are beautiful. Trust me, there will be other pictures like this that you will probably hate, but that your daughter will cherish for ever (my favorite pic of my mom was taken while she was telling me not to dare to take her picture).

  112. Thank you for making what is usually a painful day happy for me. Happy Mother’s Day!

  113. I am a sixty year old grandma, with four grown children who have given me six grandchildren and one very special grand puppy. But I will never ever sop loving my firstborn who was given up for adoption forty three years ago.

  114. Just when I thought I couldn’t love you more….I love you more! Happy Day!

  115. Thank you. Thank you so much for this. I hope you’re having a fantastic Mother’s Day. I’m trying not to cry as I type this. I have the most fantastic mother in the world and am so happy to be hanging out with her tonight — but I’m also a 30-year-old with no husband and no kids who mostly loves my life until people start offering opinions as to why I should not.

    This post meant so much to me. So much thanks. 🙂

  116. Thanks. You make me stronger reading your blog. I have a teenager right now and the line about her surviving her teenage years and coming back to love me hits the nail on the head right now. thanks for giving me strength. PS- every time i see a metal chicken i think of you… much love and happy mothers day back. LA xox

  117. Thank you for your post today. I’m having a nice day, but it’s always good to remember that not everyone celebrates this day with joy and love.

  118. Such a great pic, a very happy mothers day to all of you moms! and thanks for thinking of those of us who desperately want to be moms but aren’t quite able to be yet

  119. Thank you. Thank you so much. For the last 7 years, Mother’s Day has just been a reminder of my failure. I had a child, a beautiful, perfect little boy, and I found him a beautiful, perfect, loving set of parents to give him a life I feared I couldn’t due to my struggles with mental illness. I read your post today with tears streaming down my face, thank you for shining light on this shitty, judgement-heavy day.

  120. Thank you for this post! I always take time on this day (and most days) to remember the babies who didn’t live and the ones who did and are going to read Coraline with me later.

    Happy Mother’s Day to you, Jenny!

  121. Also, I’d like to echo what others have already said: That is a perfect picture of you and your daughter. So much happiness and love.

  122. Beautiful. Thank you, from someone who falls into one of those categories.

  123. It’s so good that you understand that when they are 17 you are the stupidest person on the earth but by the time they are 24 you are the best mom that EVER LIVED!!

    Just remember that when she is 17

  124. You are a beautiful human and cat-mom. Thank you for the loving words.

  125. i think it’s a great picture BECAUSE you have no make up on, the lighting is weird and mostly your girl took it

  126. As a woman who grew up wanting a huge family and ended having to make the decision between certain death by cancer and a hysterectomy/maybe death by cancer in her early 20’s, thank you. Here’s to those who want and can’t, those who don’t want and are judged for it, those who are trying and those who are content. I celebrate us all with a (bottle sized) glass of wine!

  127. I don’t think anyone in that picture needs make-up. You both look beautiful, as does the picture.

  128. I found you when Beyonce went viral, continue to read you many days a week and bought your book, which I then shared with my sister. Now we send Bloggess jokes back and forth via email. Thank you for the laughter your bring into our lives and thank you for acknowledging not all of us want children. I thank all of the women like me for NOT giving into the pressure from society to reproduce when we didn’t want children, when this world is extraordinarily overcrowded already. And I applaude all of those women who are great mothers, and support everyone who makes the right choices for themselves and their situations, not based on peer pressures or cultural expectations.

  129. You just brought tears to my eyes. I love all that you said, because you’re right. It really is a giant cluster of a holiday and I salute your naked appreciation for all the good, bad and ugly involving Mother’s Day. Also, that picture is perfect.

  130. Your by line says it all “like mother Teresa, only better.” and you are I see the mircle.

  131. I love the photo you both have such great smiles, Victor is a lucky guy and I hope he knows it!

  132. By the time I finished reading this post, I looked down and had tears on my Ipad. Beatiful post, from the commentary on Mother’s Day to the description of how your daughter took the photo with you. This is my third Mother’s Day as a mom, and my 5th since my own mom passed away. The day is always bittersweet.

  133. Thank you. Seriously. My ex took off with my kids 6 years ago, and today is always a hard day. My family doesn’t bother to say anything which makes it worse. I AM a mother. This is NOT by choice. To have people diminish even more by ignoring those facts and neglecting to recognize that I am still here makes me feel as though everyone has just erased y biggest joy in life. What you wrote made it better.

  134. Seriously? I can’t enjoy my day without worrying about how it makes non-moms feel? LAME.

  135. My son (age 40) came over today to thank me for not freaking out when he did things as a child that other mothers freaked out about. Like falling on his face when riding a bike. I would tell him “that’s a good trick but do you want to do that again?” and he’d say no and I’d say “off you go then” and away he went. He thanked me for not being fluttery. I took it as a compliment.

  136. From someone only known as “Mommy” to two dogs and a cat (by choice), thanks.

    And that picture made my eyes tear, even before I read your caption- your two smiles (Hailey’s absolute joy in living and your wry-but-happy one) did it for me. The caption just makes it even better!

  137. “The women who miss the children they lost before they ever met them. ” This. So much this. Being a mother only to a child I never got to meet, and this only being my second non-mother mothers’ day, today I really realized how shitty it made me feel (I think last year the shitty-ness was indistinguishable from the general shitty-ness of recent non-motherhood). Your post was perfect. Thank you.

  138. Once again, Jenny, you nailed it. So glad you have Haley to wrap your arms around. 🙂 I missed the kid boat, sadly, but have a special-needs sister and a wonderful mom. It is what it is (not meaning to sound glib), and I am very blessed all the same.

  139. Fantastic picture. Not all great pictures are about the lighting. This one has love.

    Happy Mother’s Day to you.

  140. Today, I was thinking of my friends trying to become moms. I love how you really covered all the bases here. And your perspective on that pic. Love.

  141. Thank you sooooo much. All day has been pretty awful for me, and this made me cry tears of relief that somebody gets it.

  142. Perfectly put, Momma…in every way. Happiest of Happy Mother’s Days to you, and may you one day celebrate this with Haley and her children, although not for another twenty-five years, so it’s more celebratory and less social tragedy. 🙂

    -Meg

  143. Your posts almost always make me laugh, but this post made me cry even before I finished reading it. And it had me weeping by the end. Thank you, thank YOU for being all the things you are.

  144. Thank you. I am crying but this is the first time today that I am crying because I feel acknowledged and included. I would never want to take anything away from my wonderful friends who are celebrating with their children. And really, I know that I am incredibly blessed. I get to be around children all the time and influence their lives. But I pine for children I never had and never will. And today it is sometimes hard to smile. So thank you for including me today. Happy Mother’s day to you too.

  145. That photo is fabulous of you and your daughter!

    And thank you for saying all those words. This is why you are super awesome. 🙂

  146. Thank you for this post. I am a stepmother. And although my awesome stepdaughter did wish me happy mother’s day, I know this day is not truly mine. I do not believe I will know how to be a good stepmother to her until I have had children of my own. My husband and I have been trying for about 2 years, but so far, no good. This post definitely made my day, thank you. Happy mother’s day!

  147. Well said. I love Otherkin’s comment, too. Happy Mothering Day to everyone who nurtures and protects.

  148. A great sentiment on both counts, who we should spare a thought for and on the photo, well said sweet pea and enjoy your day …..

  149. First Happy Mother’s Day!!! You are an awesome person and that pic is a great one!!! And thank you for this post, you have a way with words that I admire. I know I will read this more than once today. Mother’s day is weird. I relate to a few of the ways you described mothers day. Really, thank you, I know you don’t know why I say thank you exactly but you’ve made me feel a little better today and I appreciate that.

  150. Thanks. I always feel incredibly selfish because I hate this day. My mother passed away 3 years ago and I can’t have children. Today is just a great big celebration of that. And on top of that I have to put on a plastic smile and go to my in-laws all day. Fan-freakin-tastic. What I really want to do is hide in my bed all day. Thanks for acknowledging that some people have a hard time with today. Some people don’t understand.

  151. I was wondering if anything would make me gross sob today! Surprise! Here we go!

    Much love to you and thank you so much for a clearly-written summary of all the stuff I feel on Mother’s Day.

  152. I already posted on here and no one will know who I am posting on here and sometimes you just wanna say something out loud to someone but don’t have anyone to do that to. So I don’t know if this is right and it doesn’t matter that no one will know me but I just wanna say it out loud. I got pregnant young and I had to get an abortion or end up homeless and pregnant. I would not have chose that on my own. I would have a 10 year old. And now I can’t imagine having kids because I let the one I didn’t have down. So if anyone read this, sorry, I just wanted to say something out loud I’ve never said to anyone. I love this post. As someone who didn’t get a chance to have a kid, now doesn’t want kids, and was raised by a shitty mother, I appreciate your acknowledgement that mothers day isn’t perfect.

    (Sending you such love. No one ever knows how hard that decision is until they have to make it. ~ Jenny)

  153. Thank you, thank you. This is absolutely wonderful. My mother died when I was seven, and I grew up making mother’s day projects and attending mother’s day parties with my various classes (usually for/with my grandmother), only to inevitably have some charming classmate point out, “But you don’t HAVE a mom!” Oh, thanks, I’d almost forgotten that, especially today. As an adult it’s much, much easier to let Mother’s Day fly under my radar, but my heart still aches a little for all of the children without mothers and the would-be mothers without children on this day. You put my ideas on this subject into words much better than I ever could have, which of course is no surprise, since you are brilliant. This is just one more reason to admire and adore you :).

  154. Seriously heartwarming. I came for the humor and high-quality writing. I stayed for the charm and the unique level of sincerity (and the humor and high-quality writing!).

  155. Thank you! My best friend has just turned 40, and has not had the honour (or terror) of having to pass another human through her vagina. She has babysat and second-mothered numerous children, She is the sweetest person and genuinely loves children, unlike some “mothers” I have met. I tell her Happy Mother’s Day, Honourary mother, and she is always touched. She is now helping my daughter and me plan my daughter’s wedding. (And honestly, she is more help than me.) 🙂

  156. Guess what? The time they spend not-wanting-to-have-a-picture-with-you is not that long. Mine just went to college and suddenly misses her parents and her formerly despised home state. She is starting to recognize all the love and comfort she didn’t notice when she was home.

  157. Okay, I don’t usually bother to comment on your posts, though I adore them, but I have to say this spoke to me. Thanks for remembering ALL mothers today. Love to you and your wonderful daughter, and all your other children you never got to meet.

  158. I couldn’t agree more. Also? You look radiant. That may even be one of my favorite pictures of you. Love is way better than makeup.

  159. You have a gift for posting exactly what I need. With all the women I know who, today, said how much they really hate Mothers Day for reasons you listed, I hope this spreads far and wide. Bless you and your beautiful face (yep, the one without makeup, but so joyfully loved by her daughter). xxx

  160. Happy Mother’s Day to those of you who truly deserve it, meaning those that actually have been a loving and nurturing influence in someone’s life. And a huge thanks to you, Jenny, for acknowledging how much courage and strength it takes to decide to place your baby for adoption. I had to when I was sixteen because I knew I couldn’t provide him with the life and stability he deserved. He doesn’t know me, but I hope he would understand that what I did, I did out of love.
    And Susan, your simple thank you brought me to tears. I’m sure she would be proud of you if she ever has the chance to meet you.

  161. Thanks for remembering us non-moms today. I dream and hope to be one someday.

  162. On Facebook my status was Happy Mother’s Day to all moms: of a child, dog, cat, furry, animal, goldfish, the loving is still there…..

    Thanks, Jenny.
    I love that photo too.
    Love, Laurie F.

  163. My ex-husband actually messaged me this morning saying I was on his mind. It’s amazingly sweet that he still considers me the mother of his almost-child, even sixteen years after my ectopic (and unfortunately only) pregnancy.

    Thank you, Jenny and all those who remember that more than those who “pushed a human out of their vagina” and raised them are moms.

  164. If you’re as lucky as I’ve been, and from the looks on that girl’s face I think you might be, your Hailey will want pictures with you even when she’s a teenager. And, shh, don’t tell anyone else please, but I think teens are incredible human beings. Mine is 18 and about to graduate from high school, and she’s turned into the most incredible person I’ve ever known. All her, really, all her. It’s been a joy to have a teenager in my house for five years.

    ps – I miss my mama, and I was grown when she died. I dislike Mother’s Day, though my people were good to me today. I even got a nap!

    pps – Maya is right. Love is better than makeup. You’re gorgeous.

  165. On this day how proud your mother and daughter must be of you. You have a gift for words and my day is always a little bit brighter because I have read words that make me laugh, cry and sometimes both at the same time. Thank you for sharing your words and an insight into your life, your presence is a present. Happy Mother’s Day.

  166. i just want to say Thank You!

    Thank you for acknowledging those who don’t get acknowledged… those who have a special mom, are a mom, or wish they had a mom. Those who don’t have the special-ness of motherhood and those who never experienced a mother who loved them…. you are so incredible. Mother’s Day can be a tough day for a lot of people. Your post is an incredible insight into humanity and the way that social norms categorize us.

    I once had a friend who gave me a little Debbie’s zebra cake for “just being you” day — it was awesome and I have a great heart for those who are single, childless, parentless, or otherwise have been surprisingly NOT acknowledged or celebrated by our society. “Just Being You” deserves a day of celebration for those who fall outside of those social holidays.

    THANK YOU! you surprise me daily and today you touched my heart.

  167. Thank you for sharing this. It was beautifully written, and it’s so nice to hear that all women should celebrate themselves even if they don’t have children, because I don’t, and the older I get, the more difficult being motherless on Mother’s Day becomes. Thank you – Happy Mother’s Day!

  168. Cancer robbed me of the ability to have children so I cherish all of my nieces and nephews. Thank you Jenny for understanding some of us who can’t have children can still be “moms”.

  169. Happy Mother’s Day! And, it sounds like a little sad Mother’s Day, too.

    Thanks for recognizing the rest of us. I don’t have kids and didn’t really see myself as a mother, but I also never envisioned what my aunthood would become when my young niece’s mother died.

  170. Happy Mothers day! And – thank you for this post. I’m a childless 30something by choice, with a good, but unwilling mother and an amazing, willing grandmother. I’ve never been wished Happy Mothers day before and probably wont be again. It’s nice to hear that someone who seems to be an amazing mother can see all sides of the story, and appreciate them equally. That’s what, for me, makes your writing more human that any other blog I read. Well, that and your humor. But understanding and compassion are gifts that you have in spades.

  171. Happy Mothers Day to you too! I am just trying to figure out how to tell my husband that a sodastream is a Fathers day present, not a Mothers Day present. I can’t complain though, I dragged my family to Seattle and saw Inigo Montoya’s sword, my day is peachy.

  172. For all of your wonderful, thoughtful, ridiculous stories, but most especially for this, thank you.

  173. Best Mothers Day tribute I’ve read, well done. Happy Mothers Day to you as well 🙂

  174. Funny. I didn’t realize that this was technically a terrible photo or that the lighting was bad or that you weren’t wearing makeup. What I saw was an absolutely perfect picture. Because it is a picture of a little girl and her mom and it is so obvious that they love each other madly. What picture could be more perfect than that?

  175. I have a photo like that which was take right before my baby moved to Philly. Those pictures are the best–spontaneous and full of love.

  176. I think you look ridiculously stunning in that picture, and Hailey looks like an angel! Happy Mother’s Day!

  177. Your words are the best non-mother Mother’s Day card I have ever been given.
    I have 20 years of loving elementary school children – I have been a school mom to so many children that I have love and respect so profoundly…

    After watching my mom care for my sister Debi, as her body was being destroyed by cancer, when she was only 13, I was 10, I realized that I could never risk such horrific pain. I vowed never to be a mother.

    I am leaving teaching after 20 years. Tears fall because I love teaching – but government, local to federal, is destroying public education. Teaching has been my avenue to being a mom. I was allowed to nurture, love, hug, support, laugh with, inspire, comfort, appreciate, trust…

    The trends in education are taking that away from me, and I will retire early this year.
    I appreciate you for letting me enjoy this last mother’s day.

    Your insights give me courage to say fuck it and be alive. I promise to find another way to advocate for kids and women. Thank you kindly Jenny. Your words give inspiration to many, to me, just when we need them.

    Let the next chapter, or novel, begin…
    Jeni

  178. Hey, Jenny, I am one of those who couldn’t be a mom, but I have been a teacher for a LONG time and I have taught a lot of children. So, I guess, in a way, I am a mom too. Bless you and bless your sweet child. 🙂

  179. I was once known as Queen Mommy. Through Parental Alienation, I have been reduced to a “my mom died”, non-existent Mom. It hurts like HELL!!! But Lorna, I want you to know that I am and forever will be your “Queen Mommy” because you will forever and always be my “Princess Lorna”. I love you forever.

  180. Thank you for posting this Jenny. As a someone who can’t have children, Mother’s Day is always rough. It feels really good to be acknowledged.

  181. Thank you for making me feel loved today. I don’t have children and don’t get that from my own mother, whom I’m more of a parent to. Such an emotionally loaded day for many. Thank you for seeing its not so easy as Hallmark would like to make it.

  182. Happy Mother’s Day, Jenny! I hope Hailey’s friends (when she’s a teen) read your book and blog and remind her of how funny and awesome you are.

    She’ll come around 🙂 Besides, once she hits college she will call you constantly due to her broke nature. I think my mother enjoyed those phone calls from me, even though she knew they were fueled by my bad decisions of spending all my money on clothes and late-night pizza.

  183. I read this right after seeing pictures posted by the mother of a friend who passed away last year (age 30), whose younger brother was killed in a car accident at age 19, and having my heart breaking for her all over again, so, yes. <3

  184. Thank you for this, all day I’ve been wishing people happy Mother’s Day with a lot of them thinking that I am less than because I’m not one. We wanted, lost, struggled emotionally before we gave up and 6 years later with no kids I realize we are exactly where we were meant to be all along, it was just a long hard road to get here! Thank you for acknowledging the rest of us!

  185. THANK YOU for saying all of this!

    No one seems to understand how hard this day is for those of us who never got to have children and are now facing down 40 alone and wondering if we will ever find someone special to share our lives with.

    No one seems to understand what it is like to have to make it through this day when your own Mother makes every day of your life hell, was never there when you needed her, makes you feel like you are nothing and the biggest disappointment in her life, and yet STILL insists she deserves to be fawned over on this day.

    THANK YOU for making me feel like SOMEONE out there cares about me and understands what I live with!

    HAPPY MOTHERS DAY to you!

  186. Thank you for this. It was a hard day for many reasons and I really appreciate someone acknowledging that.

  187. I’m a single 20 something daycare teacher and I have no idea if I ever want children of my own even though I love kids. On Friday when we were handing children back to their parents with the gifts we had made in school this week one mother gave me and my co-teacher both a gift. She said “I know neither one of you has children but thanks for being my little boy’s daytime mommies.” I nearly cried in front of her and then again as I read your post. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for totally getting other women’s point of view on today.

  188. Well shit, I thought I was done crying after church today, where all those proud mommas brought their beautiful children to the front of the church, and I sat in the back, still hoping it will happen someday, and trying not to make a fool of myself. Then I read your post, and I’ve started crying all over again. Thanks for thinking of all the women for whom a day like today really feels like a day of mourning and not one of celebration.

  189. Thank you for acknowledging that there are people out there who don’t want kids and have to listen to the constant judging of others who are trying to convince you that you’re wrong. Um….I’m not. You’re not me and you don’t know what I want.

    What I want is to love my niece with every part of who I am, which is what I do….and then I hand her back when her diaper needs changing! 🙂

  190. Thanks for that. It’s always hard to be sad on days seemingly everyone else is celebrating. I appreciate the reminder that I’m not deficient.

  191. I needed that today…thanks! And Happy Mother’s Day to you. I think you are gorgeous in that pic, too!

  192. Thank you! I was catching up with classmates yesterday to celebrate the end of another tough year of p-t law school, and spilled the beans about the three miscarriages I’ve had since we started the program. We spent a little too much time talking about it (and feeling sorry for me) for my taste, but it did open up the stories of what the other ladies have dealt with in the past few years. People are amazing.

  193. Thank you, thank you, thank you for acknowledging us child-free ladies as well! It’s so rare to get love in a public forum and on Mothers Day from such an awesome lady no less!

  194. Lovely. Happy Mother’s Day! Next time my daughter or son takes a bad photo of me, I will remember your words instead of critiquing the image…

  195. THANK YOU! My husband and I tried for years to have kids. I have had countless miscarriages, endured all sorts of poking, prodding, tests, medications and what not to figure out why I was having them and then to figure out why I wasn’t getting pregnant any longer. We finally just gave up. It was too much. Mother’s Day is tough. People assume that, because I’m a middle-aged woman, surely I must also be a mother and wish me a Happy Mother’s Day. I’ve gotten to where I just smile and say thanks. After all, I am a Mother. To my dogs. And to the countless babies that I never met.

  196. You are the best, Jenny. And I’ll celebrate your mom for bringing you into the world and Hailey for carrying the torch once you’re gone. Only you’re never allowed to leave.

  197. Thank you. I’ve been struggling with infertility (PCOS & Endometriosis) for 5+ years. Today hurts my heart in a way I can’t explain.

    My sister got me a card thanking me for everything I do for her son (like most childless not by choice aunts & uncles my hubs & I are very involved) and declaring today to be my aunt day. I will love her forever for that.

  198. Thank you for remembering all of us. I’m a mom of a 19 year-old. My due date for my 2nd was next week, but unfortunately I miscarried last winter. This is my 3rd holiday without my mother. My daughter is off at college. This has been the most painful Mother’s Day of my life.

  199. Beautifully put my dear. Brought tears to my eyes, as I was once that woman that couldn’t have children and now have 2 of my own. Thanks for thinking of us all!

  200. Happy Day, indeed. I, for one, would adore going to some crappy brunch with you today, and I would even let you have the last bacon. I say this assuming that you will feel overly-full sick and will tell me to “just take it, really, I mean it”, and then I’ll get it anyway with the bonus points for making the gesture. Pie for everyone!

  201. “…so it’s always been a bit odd to me that we get to be mothers and we also get a day to celebrate it. ”

    Uh, you DO realize of course, that… all such “holidays” are pretty much simply the business model, nay greed of Hallmark, et al, yes?

    That said, here in Vietnam, they don’t have a “Mothers Day” (nor “Mother’s Day” nor “Mothers’ Day” – the three grammatical versions perpetually confuse my EFL students, btw). Indeed, instead they celebrate only “Women’s Day” – with flowers given indiscriminately to young, old, childless, grandmothers, etc. alike. (not to mention a dozen roses here cost less than 2 bucks!) 😉

  202. Thank you! This is a beautiful post (and a gorgeous photo too btw). I can’t have children despite wanting to. My best friend has just had to face giving up after 5 years of Ivf hell. Another friend has miscarried 6 times, and another miscarried the day she found out her fiancé was sleeping with someone else. Many other friends have miscarried, haven’t met father material, are gay, are too ill to contemplate it, lost their child shortly after birth, had stillborns, or just can’t conceive. And then there are those that are perfectly happy without children. And my aunt whose 19year old daughter took her life on Mothers Day last year. I’ve actually just posted about these things, so was so grateful and moved to read this post. Again, thank you xo

  203. Reading the comments now and sobbing to see how many sisters in infertility there are. I’ll say a prayer for you tonight that one day soon we will no longer live with the pain and that one day Mother’s Day will be our favorite day of the year.

    Love and hugs to all of you.

    And Jenny I don’t think I told you before, because I was so overwhelmingly touched by your message, the happiest of Mother’s Days to you. Thanks for remembering those of us who don’t fit in a box.

  204. Loved your comments. Personally, I don’t like Mother’s Day. One – because I lost my mother in 2005 and it is very sad for me to have to take flowers to the cemetery. Two – I’m not a mother. I am stepmother, which is kind of a mother, but not really. I lost one baby early in my marriage and never had any after that. It’s a weird holiday for me. I miss my mother so much and I’m 56 years old. My stepdaughters always wish me a happy mothers day but I feel weird about it. They spend that day with the REAL mom. I told my husband that next year I’d like to go away for the weekend a just not be around. I don’t mean to sound bitter or negative. Being a mother is an amazing thing and you deserve a Mother’s Day. I think that with so many blended families there really should be a stepmother/stepfathers day. That I could accept.

    p.s. I’ve left comments before and I know you’re really popular … I read your book about a month ago and laughed til I peed. You are so, SO funny.

    XOXO
    Deb

  205. She looks just like you. Y’all are both lucky people. Happy Mother’s Day for a hopefully one day mom.

  206. Most days you make me laugh, but today it was a tear. Thank you for acknowledging all women today. I’m the one who wants one but isn’t in a safe place to have one yet. I love my boyfriend and his girls… We just aren’t ready yet.

  207. Dude. Thank you, I have a shitty mother who did something really shitty today. I don’t have children, because I don’t want to expose anyone else to these shitty family, and spend a significant amount of time and energy caring for my grandparents (including the entirety of the last 48 hours) and I REALLY needed to read this today. You rock, and thank you!!

  208. My daughter will be 13 in four days. She is one of my best friends and one of my worst enemies. We butt heads like crazy, we have screaming matching, we dance and laugh together, she back talks and I threaten to kick her ass. Teenage years start way sooner then they are suppose to. The attitude and the mouth will drive you nuts and you will want to drag her into the bathroom, and put soap in her mouth. No matter what, I adore her. I had her when I was very young, and I have no patience for bullshit or back talk. This might be why we butt heads so much. I know I have a long way with the teenage years. But I have my dr on speed dial for my zanax. We have to survive it some how.

  209. Thank you for this. It’s been two years since my mother died and on this day in particular it seems like the world is conspiring to make this an extra shitty 24 hours. Obviously that’s not true, the people pelting facebook with mothers day cheer really just want to celebrate their under-appreciated mothers and apologize indirectly once more for whatever horrible things they did or said in their teenage years. From this end, it comes off like gloating, not because of anything they’re doing, but because of all the bitterness inside of me which I am pretty unrepentant about at this point in the process. For as many times as I forgot mother’s day when she was alive, it seems like I have not been able to forget for one minute that it is mother’s day in the four days preceding this holiday and especially not today. I almost took the day off for fear someone would ask me what my plans were for mother’s day and I would have the choice of lying or barfing my little tragedy all over their shirt. I just wanted to let you know that on this really, really, really difficult day, this entry meant a lot to me. I feel much less invisible and inconvenient, and that picture of you and Hailey hurt my heart in a really wonderful way because you’re beautiful in so many of the ways she was, and Hailey’s expression is that of a fiercely loved child, which is truly what I was.

  210. I lost my mom when I was 27. I still miss her, 20+ years later. I’ve had several “adopted” moms–I adopted them–and one step mom, who is one of the loveliest women I’ve ever met. I don’t have kids, never wanted them until it was obvious that I would never have one of my own (that was a difficult reckoning). And then I married into 4 wonderful step kids at the start of their annoying years. Sorry, teen years. I’ve been blessed in that they call me family, in that we all love one another, and in that they accept some small guidance from me from time to time.
    Thanks Jenny. And Happy Mother’s Day!

  211. Great photo and you both look happy which is all a good picture seems to require in my opinion. She’ll come back around after not wanting to take photos, you know totally teenage moment lol, and then the relationship will be full of even better, slightly grayer, photos.

  212. You look very lovely without make-up. I don’t know why so many women feel the need to wear a mask anyway.

  213. Thank you Jenny! I always feel like a hypocrite when I’m sad on Mother’s Day. How dare I? I have a beautiful, wonderful, perfect, amazing 9 yr old daughter. Why on earth would I be sad on Mother’s Day? I long for the 6 babies I lost. The majority had due dates in April and May. Spring is very, very rough for me for a great many reasons. And I always feel guilty for being a little sad on Mother’s Day when I’m so very blessed to have the one child I do. Now I know I’m not alone. Thank you.

  214. I fall into the “Women who don’t want kids and have to listen to a bunch of bullshit about how you’re only worthwhile if you’ve pushed a human out of your vagina” category, as well as the “Women… who have lost their mothers and are reminded of how alone they feel” category. Thank you for this post today, Jenny. Happy Mother’s Day to you.

  215. Thank you so much for this. I lost my baby last year 9 weeks into pregnancy and it isn’t something I can freely talk about. Thank you for acknowledging those of us that Hallmark doesn’t make cards for. This really made my day.

  216. I started my own blog today, and one of the reasons I was brave enough to do it was because of your blog. You are fearless (although I bet you don’t think so).

    So thank you.

  217. I am several people on your list. Thank you for putting words on this awkward, sad holiday.

  218. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate this post. It’s been three years, many doctor’s appointments, tests and other expensive, invasive and mortifying procedures. Mother’s Day is an especially painful day and while I thank my mother for everything she’s given me, it always turns the spotlight on my own childlessness. My family (Mom, husband, sister and her husband and my two nephews) went to brunch and our food took forever to come out and they gave gift certificates to all the “mothers” at the table to apologize for the wait. My sister commented that it was *unfair* that I received a gift certificate because I’m not a mom. Then I learned yet another friend is having their second baby. I felt pretty blindsided by that since she just had a baby three months before.

    Month after month, you bear this pain and then you get to be further marginalized with every Facebook post of friends posting pictures of themselves and their beautiful kids. It all is just a continuing reminder of the void in my life and the awful thought that this painful void will stretch on for the rest of my life is sometimes too much to deal with. And believe it or not, people have the gall to say things like, “You’re just going to have to learn to get over it.” What a thing to say! So, I appreciate this post more than I can really express right now.

  219. You reminded me to feel grateful rather than bitterly vengeful this Mother’s Day. My day was shit, with a fresh new bloodbath of a menstrual cycle, rabid ants invading my home and biting my exposed parts all day, and semi-abandonment by my hubs and boys as they went off to “celebrate” with my mother-in-law. After reading your last post, my attitude is adjusted. You know what? My mom is 80 years old, and I’m forever grateful she’s still in great health, and I have two stinkin’ amazing sons now – both on the mild side of the autistic spectrum, which I consider a blessing rather than the curse everyone else thinks it is. I’ve lost pregnancies, and I know the torture of feeling inadequate as a woman with an iffy uterus, and I’ve held friends who also lost babies… and mothers, and grown children, and hope. I’m grateful. And now I’m looking at my MD differently. I wasn’t “abandoned” for the MIL; I was given free time to sit and write, and nap without interruption. Thanks for prompting me to find a better perspective.

  220. BTW, I found your book purely by chance as I was in the middle of writing my own. Whenever I get brain fried and stuck, I read a little of LPTNH, and every single time I find something in it that reminds me of shit that happened in my own life, and it sends me into a writing frenzy. You’re spurring me on, so I’m insanely grateful for finding your memoir. Thanks for being alive, entertaining the hell out of me, and unsticking my brain.

  221. Thank you so much, Jenny. I think of the six I never got to carry to term and the woman out there somewhere who gave us her little boy. He’s a miracle and a joy. I wish I could show her how fantastic he is, even when he’s making me crazy like a 3-yr old should.

  222. Thank you. My mother died shortly after mother’s day last year. I didn’t get to wish her a happy mother’s day last year either because she was in the hospital in NJ and I live in Australia so whenever I called she was asleep or out of it. So it’s a painful time but also a wonderful time because I was told I would never be a mother and I have 2 beautiful boys to show everyone, I always have the last word!

  223. Best picture ever. Happy mothers day (late). Remember this when the hormones kick in and she drives you batshit insane you start daydreaming about smothering her with a pillow. But even then there are awesome days. It ends and she comes back.

  224. That is a great picture! 🙂

    Happy Mothers-day for all women out there, be they mothers to 2-legged, or 4 legged, plants, all, or none. May your day be as special as you yourself!

  225. Holy @#%&$£ please cancel one of my two identical posts, it was a mistake, and erase permanently this one too!!

  226. As much as I love my five-year-old son more than life itself, its sometimes my teenage stepkids that hit the right chords. They got me a Mother’s Day card (no big surprise) that said that I raised them “right from the start”. As much as I know that it meant that I raised them from the beginning because they were too young to remember anything before me, I couldn’t help but read it that I raised them correctly from the start….as opposed to their shitty, absent, manipulative, dismissive mother, who couldn’t raise her own foot without fucking it up.
    Thank you, Jenny, for verbally toasting so many women, mothers or not, who deserve to shed a tear of appreciation for themselves!

  227. My daughter is almost 18 and she still wants to take pics with me – Happy Mothers’ day and just keep smiling with that little girl there!

  228. Thank you, Jenny!
    I am a mother of a furry child. My EX husband got me a card from the dog who had apparently asked for his help. Sweet.
    Thank you for including us all and I LOVED that pic of you guys!!!

  229. Thank you for that Post 🙂 As someone who is unable to have children Mothers Day can be a day of Joy and Craptastic. Great Pic!

  230. Thanks for saying what I couldn’t figure out how to put into words yesterday.
    And Happy Mothers day to you, in honor of ALL your babies. Great picture!

  231. Thanks—I have a mixed bag of feelings on Mother’s Day. On one hand I was lucky enough to have an awesome mom who is not of this earth any more and I miss so much. On the other hand I missed out on being a mother due to that unfortunate choice of first husbands. Sometimes the commercialization of Motherhood forgets that for some, it is a difficult day. I told my husband that I wanted to see where they were serving a Barren Womb Brunch for the rest of us.

  232. I needed this yesterday but I’m glad I read it today at least.

    Thank you, Jenny, and happy whatever day!

  233. You continue to remind me how awesome I think you are. Happy Mother’s Day.

  234. thanks for this….only 2 people wished me a happy mother’s day yesterday and it wasn’t my husband. coming to terms with the fact that he will never care about the daughter i miscarried the way i do. and it kills me.

  235. You are such an amazing woman. Thank you so much for remembering those of us who desperately watnt to be a mommy. It’s so great to know other women get it. Love you!

  236. Thank you. I have struggled to have a baby for years and at the ripe old age of 40 I finally got pregnant. I miscarried 2 weeks ago. Yesterday was the hardest Mother’s Day yet when once again I am made to feel less important in the universe because a tiny human hasn’t sprung out of my body. It doesn’t matter that I love and protect my family and friends with the passion and ferociousness of a mother lion. Or that I am a favorite aunt who would give her life to some precious little boys. But you took the time to say thank you. And that made a difference.

  237. I read your blog daily, yet this is my first comment. Thank you for everything you wrote yesterday. It was well timed, beautifully written, non exclusionary, and just plain damn good. I’m already a Blogess believer, but today I am extra proud. Happy day to us all.

  238. I actually started to cry when I read this….thank you for remembering all the other “moms” in this world. I lost my wonderful mother too early in 2005, and just this February lost my dad. I tried for several years to have children with my partner, but in February this year (4 days before my dad died) he left me, saying he was tired of trying…and had found a much younger woman to “try” with. They moved in together in February and by the end of March she was pregnant. I have always felt I was a mother in so many other ways to my various nieces, nephews, god-daughters, my wonderful dogs. Mother’s Day is a hard one, thank you for making me feel appreciated as a mother in my own way.

  239. Thanks Jenny! It’s hard not to have been able to get pregnant and everytime someone hands me a flower on Mother’s Day, it doesn’t feel good. You’re wonderful and I’m so glad you have your miracle!

  240. Thanks Jenny. Just thanks.

    Yesterday was a hard day for me. On a day when everyone is celebrating what they have or had… it is hard to not hurt with all I’ve lost. Hard to keep a smile on when what you really want to do is hide under the covers of your bed all day. But today, reading your post… damn I needed that. And just thanks for remembering us

  241. Thank you Jenny!
    I often struggle with mother’s day because I want so badly to be a mother, but my uterus disagrees. There was a period of time where I dreaded seeing my mother-in-law (who I adore) because she was so disappointed that she would never having grandchildren. That coupled with my own feelings about not having kids is really difficult.
    It is refreshing to have someone understand that it can be a difficult day for many of us.

  242. Aw, thanks for this, Jenny. You nearly made me cry. I’m one of those women that never had children, just because the timing was never right in my life. And now I’m fifty, so that is that. Also, I lost my mom very suddenly last year… so, your words mean a lot on a bunch of levels. Thank you for being awesome.

  243. Best Mother’s day post ever! As a not-mom who struggles with depression. Also I love the pic.

  244. As I started typing this I noticed the comment above – it’s like someone already wrote my words. I never had kids, when I was younger I thought I would, but it just never happened. And I turned 50 this year, though I’ve known since I was 40 that kids wouldn’t be happening for me. I love celebrating my mom and my sister, my godmother, in the past my gramma. Even though I never had a burning desire to have children Mother’s Day makes me sad. So thank you for acknowledging those of us who don’t have kids. And thanks to my little sister, who is a mom, who always wishes me Happy Mother’s Day because I’m a kitty mom.

  245. Thanks for putting into words how screwed up Mother’s Day can be; it’s nice to know I’m not alone. I’m much more ok with not being a mom now and I can ignore the day, but for a few years it punched me in the gut every time.

  246. Thank you so much for acknowledging those of us who do not have children but are constantly invalidated for making that decision. I do like to think I have plenty to offer the world whether I’ve pushed a child out of my vagina or not. 🙂

  247. I love the way you summed up this day. I’m missing my mom, enjoying being a mom, and hurting for my friend who wants to be a mom but is having trouble. Such a day.

    Also, my first though when I saw this picture was that you looked beautiful. My second thought was how beautiful your daughter’s smile is.

    Katie

  248. Thank you for this – “the women who don’t want kids and have to listen to a bunch of bullshit about how you’re only worthwhile if you’ve pushed a human out of your vagina” – I had a shitty mom, and knew it was better if I wasn’t one. I’m a really good “aunt” to my friend’s kids, and spent my whole life (and still now) raising my “special” sister… I’m so tired of being the mom to everyone, I just want to look after me for a while.

  249. I think of Mother’s Day the same way I see Valentine’s Day. Celebrate the hell out of it if you want to, but I don’t personally care because it doesn’t really apply to me.

    I love this picture. You two look so happy to be together.

  250. Beautiful – thank you for the addressing the complexity of this day that many ignore.

  251. I wish everyone knew what you know. Thank you for that. The world can be pretty narrow minded in focus.

  252. I love the smush pictures of me and my little one’s on my phone. I email them to myself so I never lose them. Because I am banking on the internet being a forever thing.

    Happy Mother’s Day

  253. Thank you for this. I’m the one that DMed you asking for advice about my mentally ill mother-in-law. I’ve been kind of quietly hating all the recent upbeat blogs posts about Mother’s Day, even though I love the bloggers who wrote them, just because no one had anything to say about how hard it is to grow up with a mother who was sick, who was poor, who had no support, who really had very little chance to be a better mother. Thank you for acknowledging them.

  254. I love this, and agree wholeheartedly. Celebrate LIFE, no matter the story behind it!

  255. Thank you, just thank you for acknowledging those of us who have lost, have struggled, and are still struggling.

  256. Thank you for this. It took me a day to compose myself to write this, but thank you.

    I have two dogs and always feel like my “mothering” is slightly diminished on Mother’s Day, because I don’t/can’t have children. I’ve been sick for almost 4 years with a flare of Ulcerative Colitis, and my body has decided it just won’t get pregnant right now. Mother’s Day is the hardest for me, because it feels like the one day a year I’m really not a mother. Every other day my puppies help fill the void. Reading your post made me feel like I was good enough yesterday— so thank you. I really needed it.

    Also, Hailey has an infectious smile. It’s a beautiful picture.

  257. Thank you, thank you, for the “someone finally gets it” tears today! My only child died when he was just 1 hour and 40 minutes old – 34 years ago. I AM a mom, dang it, and I always feel so left out on this holiday!

  258. I respectfully disagree. This is a fantastic picture. Happiness is the most beautiful thing in the world and you two are glowing with it.

  259. AAAAND this made me cry. hope you had a wonderful day yesterday. and the technically terrible photo is beautiful.

  260. Thank you so much for recognizing that Mother’s Day is a really painful day for a lot of people. I dread it. Thanks for acknowledging that it’s not a happy day for everyone.

  261. Thank you for posting this Jenny. I too was celebrating the baby I did not get to meet, as well as my miracle. And my heart was hurting for my friends who are fighting to become mothers, and may never win that battle. Hugs to you.

  262. Wow. Yes. THANK YOU for acknowledging that it can be a really hard day for some people. God damn facebook and the f-ing updates with all those delicious, sweet babies and kids. I hope someday I celebrate as a mother, but also that I don’t forget how hard it can be for those who can’t or have other circumstances.

  263. Oh, goodness, you made me cry. After 5 years of trying, I’m celebrating my first mother’s day as a mother this year. Your success story was a big part of why I kept trying after years of inability to get pregnant at all, and then a miscarriage when I was finally able to. Thanks for the encouragement, and for making me feel less alone.

  264. Thank you for acknowledging the complexities of Mother’s Day. I felt validated reading your post.

  265. And to you Jenny. I thank you for opening up that all too often taboo topic of loss and struggle,one I don’t believe you can ever comprehend till you experience it first hand.

    I thank my stars every day that after being told “You’ll never have kids without medical assistance” I have ended up with not 1, but 3 amazing little boys. Each one an impossibility if my specialists were anything to go by, and each so loved it hurts.
    Motherhood is hard work, but it’s worth every moment. I never knew a heart could swell so much at a simple smile. My boys crack me up with their stories and madness, I can’t imagine not being their mum. I’m so thankful they chose me. It’s an honour.