Happy Whatever.

I wrote this years ago but it’s still just as valid today.

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.

No matter where you are in life, whether you’re a mother or a father or neither or both, take this day to honor the person that you are and the path that you are on.  Because it is worth celebrating.

140 thoughts on “Happy Whatever.

Read comments below or add one.

  1. Thank you Jenny! Wonderful blog on this day, truly you nailed it right on the head.

  2. I really needed to read that, especially the last two sentences. Thank you for reposting it.
    And may this day be another joyous day in your life with your daughter. The photo you captioned “Almost Gone” with her sailing upward on the swing has stayed with me.
    Thanks, Jenny’s mom. You raised a good one.

  3. I repost this every year (and yes, give you credit) because nothing had hit home more.

  4. Thank you ❤️ I want to appreciate this day because I have an amazing mom but as a single, no children, 41 year old who always imagined a house full of kids…I have come to hate and dread this day. Not because mother’s arent worth celebrating but because it turns into “I didn’t realize how meaningless my life was until I had kids” (mmmkay) and “I don’t know what I did to deserve such blessings” (love the implication there…) and a million other little digs about our (supposed) easy, carefree, meaningless lives. It can’t just be “I love my mother and am grateful for my kids!” I have learned to stay off Facebook and hide out because half of the comments are backhanded slaps in the face to those who don’t have children. To all the mother’s out there – I hope you have a happy day and are celebrated by your kids! Despite my whining I truly wish you a day of celebration because I can see that it is hard and crazy and overwhelming no matter how much you love your kids! And to all who want to be, but aren’t for whatever reason, you are still valuable and worthy.

  5. So true..I lost my son coming up on 2 years ago in July…hugs for all Moms regardless of what you have been going through or will go through…one of the hardest jobs in the world…and one of the best!

  6. Thanks for saying all this. Mother’s Day is a hard day for a lot of us and your words are very much appreciated.

  7. Thank you, jenny. I miss the child I never had the chance to have and I hate feeling like i’m not worthy of “crone” status because I missed the mother part of being female.

  8. Every human being is amazing, and deserves ‘days’ (not just one) where someone treats them to something special. Why wait for designated calendar days, just to buy flowers, candy, or go out to dinner? Maybe waiting until that once a year day might be too late. Make every day count. Not just a few.

  9. Lets just call it everyone day then? Why can’t we just celebrate mothers in all their shapes, or configurations. If you don’t want to then don’t but including everyone isn’t the point unless you want to call it Everyone Day but I’m going to celebrate Mother’s today because without them none of us would be here.

  10. Thanks for that Jenny. I chose furry kids over human ones because my life as a veterinarian was my true passion. I’ve been guilted for not having kids and that hurts. I also didn’t want to pass down my mental illness issues. Thank you for making that ok.

  11. Thanks, Jenny. I think it’s all of those things. A lot of worth as a female is wrapped up in being a mom. I have gargantuan respect for motherhood, but golly it is hard when not being one drops my womanliness quotient by a bunch, and mostly it’s in the eyes of women. It was not a choice for me.

    Thanks for thinking of us today, too, Jenny.

  12. How did you manage to Cover Every Single Base? I’m in your list at least twice, actually. Thank You.

    Happy Mother’s Day to you, Jenny. <3

  13. I was blessed with three amazing (now grown) children. I know many ladies who had difficulty getting pregnant (my best friend is one)or carrying a baby to term. I know others who have chosen to not have children. I hope I have never said or done anything to make them feel like less of a woman. My thoughts with all the ladies today – no matter what your situation! And even to the dads who are having to be “Mom” too!

  14. Thank you. Thank you for this posting. I know so many women that have tried to have a child, and have not been successful, or they lost a child (or two) before they had a chance to meet. This day is hard for them, especially. Bless you, Jenny. Celebrate who YOU are; there will never be another person exactly like you.

  15. I have a difficult relationship with my mother. And a day of “Remember to call your mom cause She Loves You And That Overrides All Else” is hard. Thanks for remembering the rest of us.

  16. Thank you!! As someone who once made a pregnant woman cry when I said I never wanted kids, it’s nice to have someone who is a mother recognise we are all different and it’s not for everyone.

  17. Or the mother who found out a week ago that her child is an addict but is trying to start over and stay clean. Wanting to believe but so frightened about his future.

  18. Thank goodness someone is sane enough to be saying this. Publicly.
    No surprise that it is you, Jenny, as I find you can often be counted on to be the sane voice in the babble, despite the broken parts of you. I would like to say the same of myself, and hope it is true.
    Thank you so much!♥♥♥♥♥♥

  19. As always, you are so right. If your mother is a good person, celebrate her every fucking day of her life. She deserves it. And if you’re a mom, be a good one who deserves to be celebrated every fucking day. And if you’re not a mom for whatever reason, just be a good goddamn human being every fucking day. You know what? Be a good goddamn human being if you ARE a mom too.

    I think that covers it.

  20. Thank you. I needed this today. I miss my mom so much it physically hurts and it’s been 9 years since I’ve had to step into her shoes as family matriarch. I am also struggling with my teen. He’s just at that age and I would give anything for my mother’s warm words of advice. You are right, we are all still here, alive, and hopefully kicking! Mother’s day is a day to celebrate those that have nurtured you and those you get the privilege of nurturing yourself. Thank you, you inspire me.

  21. I am one of those struggling to become a mother. Thank you for acknowledging those of us who are trying to get there. I needed to see this today. ❤️

  22. Thank you for this. Having lost last year what I feel like may have been my only shot at being a mother and slowly losing my own Mom to dementia, scrolling through FB and twitter has been exceptionally difficult today. Not begrudging everyone else’s happiness but mourning my own losses. Your compassion is more loving and helpful than you can know.

  23. Thank you for this. Having lost last year what I feel like may have been my only shot at being a mother and slowly losing my own Mom to dementia, scrolling through FB and twitter has been exceptionally difficult today. Not begrudging everyone else’s happiness but mourning my own losses. Your compassion is more loving and helpful than you can know.

  24. Remember the women who never got to have kids. Who never got to be married, or have sex or experience intimacy at all. We hurt on days like today. Thank you for celebrating the ones who aren’t mothers, on this painful day. It’s almost as bad as valentines day.

  25. Thank you for this… it was just what I needed to hear today. I lost my mum 8 years ago, and it’s just as hard now as it was then. I also don’t have kids (by choice).. and sometimes it’s a choice I struggle with and most times I’m happy with my decision.

  26. Mother of Five:
    Thank you for re-sharing this post! While I have five living children and two grandchildren, I’ve had a miscarriage in the middle of all my kids and my youngest son had to be in state custody due to major psychological behavior problems, leaving a void there. So, while I celebrate Mother’s Day, I also mourn it, for my child I never knew, my youngest son and my Momma whom I lost twice due to Alzheimer’s! I’m glad that you shared this and my heart is happy!! Thank you, again!!

  27. Thank you Jenny, as always, thank you. I really needed to be reminded of this today.

  28. I only know one mother in real life, and I already wished her a happy day. My best friend Briana was talking to her mom’s cousin on the phone yesterday and told her “As one non-mother to another, have a happy day tomorrow anyway.”

  29. THANK YOU.I always feel like most people don’t understand that not everyone has a relationship with their mother. I start feeling down around this time each year but today I’m trying to focus more on myself. Thank you for representing all people and for understanding that a lot of people can’t relate to those sugary-sweet Hallmark cards.

  30. Jenny, I hope you, Victor and Hailey are having a great day enjoying each others’ company and that of all the dead things and giant metal things in your home.

  31. Thank you. Today is You Aren’t Worth Shit Day for a lot of us.
    Jenny, you make the world worth living in. I wish I were as “broken” as you. I love you.

  32. Thank you so much for this. Most people don’t understand how deeply it runs to be a child-less mother, and a motherless woman. Most don’t get it how this day is, on some years, a total horror show.

    My aching little heart thanks you for seeing those of us this ‘holiday’ doesn’t.

  33. Thank you for this, Jenny! Mother’s Day has always made me feel like an outsider, having lost my mother to suicide when I was young, and being infertile and unable to have children of my own. You are so compassionate for posting this today. Happy Mother’s Day to you. <3

  34. Thank you for this. i’ve never wanted kids, and even if I did, my parts don’t work right. I have no contact with my blood relatives. Not a single one. My dad’s side purely because of distance and lack of interest on their part. My mom’s side is crazypants and full of abuse. I mourn what could have been on this day, and I always spend it extremely depressed. (no worries, no suicide risk, just really sad) Thankfully my inlaws are super supportive, so I have at least one person in my life to wish happy mother’s day.

  35. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I am not a mother and more than one of the groups you spoke about apply to me. As much as I love my own mother and I am happy to celebrate her, this day causes a lot of pain for a lot of people. And I thank you for putting that into words. As always, you’re amazing!

  36. Mother’s Day? I call it stay away from people and cry Day. It’s impossible for me to have children. So, apparently God made such a mistake with me He never wanted anything like me on this Earth. And when I try to explain my fundamental failure as a woman people just tell me I’m being silly. So, thanks for this.

  37. “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.”

    YES. Thank you for this. <3

  38. Thank you!
    My mom has been gone for 30+ years and I still miss her. And although married, I am childless by choice (Which doesn’t mean I hate children!!! But that’s another post 🙂 )So I am reallllllly not a fan of Mothers Day. But I don’t want to stomp all over it for other people and am not so thin skinned that I expect special treatment. So I’m glad you posted this. Because this 🙂

  39. @Nan#16, wow, way to totally miss Jenny’s point. Show a little compassion for the people who are hurt by this inundation of reminders if they’re not a mother in a perfect Hallmark relationship with their children and their own mother. For some the commercialized orgy of Mother’s Day just tears a bandage off and rubs salt in a painful wound.

  40. I lost my mom five years ago. Mother’s Day hurts like hell. And I have three boys who forget to appreciate me. I get it. They are all grown up but at that point where they aren’t thinking much about their moms. Thank this for this post. I’m avoiding social media today.

  41. Thank you for this. Like many readers, I’m sure, I have a … rocky relationship with my mother. I’m in the process of finding out if I’m infertile, or if my husband is, or if we just can’t conceive for some reason. I hate this day and its associated guilt, and hearing from someone who is herself a mom (and a great one at that) that it’s okay to have mixed emotions about this is so refreshing. So I’m staying in today, and not feeling guilty about not seeing my mother, and spoiling the hell out of my cats.

  42. I love everything you said in your “mother’s day“ blog, Jenny! Well put! I’m fortunate enough to be a mother of 2 wonderful children of my own, but I had a few years of trying with infertility treatments and then a miscarriage. More importantly, my own daughters (20 and 17) will never be able to have children biologically and so thank you for mentioning how difficult it is for them to already know this and how for them it can be a shitty day. They are still wonderful, beautiful and kind young women who should just be celebrated for that! Thank you, again, Jenny. Hugs

  43. You an amazing soul! Compassionate, thoughtful, and all around badass.
    Happy Mother’s Day to you. I hope you have the kind of day that YOU want!
    Bless all those would be Mother’s as well.

  44. Thank you for including those of us who find today difficult and painful. You are a true gift and I am super happy to be part of your tribe.

  45. Thank you! As some1 who was born to 2 people who should never in a million yrs had kids and who when telling people I made the decision not to & getting sht from people, this is such a refreshing change. I’ll say it ’till the day I die: parenthood is the hardest job in the world & *not everyone is cut out for it. “Choosing to have children is like choosing to play the bagpipes: you must do it well or not at all. Anything in between and you’ll really annoy your neighbors.”~~Nina Paley, cartoonist and animator

  46. Thank you, Jenny. My wife and I have been hoping and waiting to adopt our first child for years, and two weeks ago we had a beautiful brand-new little person in our arms. She was home with us for less than 24 hours before we learned that we would not be her forever parents. This year Mother’s Day is especially hard.

  47. Thank you so much for this.

    Every Mother’s Day for the past 14 years and 9 years respectively, I’ve always said a silent ‘Thank you.” and sent good thoughts/wishes on this day to the two wonderfully brave women who chose to do what was best for their babies and gave them up for adoption. Because if they hadn’t, then my nephew and niece wouldn’t be a part of our family and I can’t imagine our crazy ass family without those two in it. I say thank you to whatever powers there are that these two babies were placed in the loving hands and hearts of my SIL and her husband, because even if they weren’t looking for these kids specifically, SOMEBODY knew that they were the right people to parent them.

    I’m also a mom myself, to a 14 yr old with autism, ADHD and a shit ton of other co-morbid conditions that often tag along for the ride with autism like apraxia, dyspraxia, anxiety, etc. It’s been a wild ride..sometimes fun, sometimes absolutely maddening, sometimes heartbreaking. But I wouldn’t change it for a minute..I have always said that I was uniquely prepared (though I had no idea I was being prepared for this) to parent special needs child due to the way I was raised and the people in my life when I was growing up. This is NOT the journey I was prepared to go on when I found out I was pregnant, but damn if I don’t love my tour guide.

  48. Thank you for this post! Best Mother’s Day post ever! I am one of the women who never wanted my own children and have been made to feel less than for not wanting to push one out of my vagina. I am also one of the ones who was raised by a shitty mother (and father) until I was able to get out and have been on my own since.

  49. Every year at Mass on Mother’s Day our priest reads a reflection. Basically it talks about all the ways women are mothers to others (birth, adoptive, spiritual, foster, etc). The reflection also talks about grieving with those who want to be mothers but can’t be, those who have suffered miscarriages or still births, those who are estranged from their kids, etc. So, basically, he celebrates all women. I’ve always appreciated that.

  50. For this reason I don’t make Mother’s Day a big deal. It’s another Hallmark holiday like V-day. I don’t post or broadcast about “how blessed I am being a mom” blah blah blah. I don’t need the world to know that. Deep down it’s just another day and the world will keep rotating whether or not we make this day a big deal.

  51. I get how you feel Chelle. I think it’s sad that we have to avoid social media just to get through this day like a sane person. Personally I don’t care for social media, and being a new mom, I don’t need the mushy heart felt feelings about how blessed people are and the need to be heard online. My family doesn’t make a big deal out of this day. There were no cards, no brunch, no flowers, and to top things off, my husband had to leave today with the baby so I’m on my own for the next several weeks. Happy unconventional Mother’s Day to you too 😅

  52. Didn’t know I needed this till I read it. Thank you for your words and for caring.

  53. To Remy ~ I am so sorry that this happened to you. I am lifting you and your wife up in my heart. ❤️

  54. I love this! As a woman who chose not to have kids, i have heard it ALL. One store clerk asked if my kids were enjoying summer break. i responded that i didn’t have children. She looked shocked and immediately said, “Don’t you like kids??” Wow. Of COURSE i like children..why would someone jump to that conclusion? i just chose not to have any – i never felt the urge – and i have never regretted it. i have a great life! It’s odd that some folks think you aren’t a real woman unless you fulfilled your duty of “pushing a baby out your vagina.” Thanks for this, Jenny!

  55. As someone who recently had a miscarriage and has 2 step kids I spent all day feeling lost in what a mom is and at what point someone actually calls you a mom. It has been awful and confusing, and this brought me a little peace in the middle of grief.

  56. Thank you so very much for posting this. My relationship with my stepdaughter is complicated and this day can be so hard. Her mother died suddenly years ago but not before poisoning my stepdaughter against me (the standard “she stole your father from us” despite the fact that my husband had left the mother years before we met). It was very difficult to transition into being a full time parent of a grieving, distrustful preteen. Add to that the extreme pressure to “replace” her mom so that she could have a mother figure and the general pressure to be a perfect mom and I just about had a mental breakdown. We have navigated a relationship where I am more like an aunt than a mother. It works for us but I still feel guilt and pressure. I feel like the day is bullshit because of how much is expected of mothers in this society.
    It is a very difficult day for my stepdaughter as she misses her mom. They also had a complicated relationship because her mother was (unknown to us) an addict. She was sometimes neglectful or even abusive due to her drug use, so along with the good memories are some horrible ones, as well as the knowledge that her mother chose drugs over her. This day just all around sucks for us. But my stepdaughter got me a nice gift and a card that really got the gist of our relationship. She’s a great kid.

  57. 2 children lost but 2 beautiful girls still living and both strong beautiful women. My own mother passed away ON mother’s day, and 2step mothers gone as well….no grandkids because that choice is up to my girls and their hubbys certainly not me…a wonderful day spent with my DH and one girl, her hubby and pup..and a loving phone call from the one who lives far away….and grateful that past conflicts are indeed past…..yep, it is a mixed bag of sadness and joy, but mostly joy and most of all LOVE.

  58. Thank you for this. I’m blessed to have an amazing mom still with me, who has been my best friend my entire life. But I’m very aware that many people didn’t have that. And as much fun as I’ve been having with my mom today I’m also aware of the pain that she must be feeling, although she never mentions it…. I was her ‘miracle baby’, she had five miscarriages before me and her doctor warned her that getting pregnant again could be fatal. Of course she didn’t listen, and I’m glad she didn’t, but I’m sure on days like this she must wonder about the ‘what ifs’, if those miscarriages hadn’t happened.

  59. Jenny thank you. I too needed to read this today. I’m so happy to celebrate the moms I love, but it’s a sad and constant reminder of my little one who was never born. I want to cry every time I get asked why I don’t have children. Whatever our circumstances or choices, it lightens my heart to be remembered and to remember my silent sisters and all mothers who love their children, born and unborn.

  60. Really, really needed this today. I lost both my son and daughter at the same time, as well as my husband and brother (car accident, which I was in.) It’s been years, but this day never gets any easier. My anxiety starts to skyrocket leading up to Mother’s Day. For weeks I can’t even go into the damn grocery store without all of it in my face. It hurts to know that no one will ever call me mom again. Last night at a restaurant I heard a waitres tell every woman with kids that was sitting within a 20 mile radius, “Happy Mother’s Day!” She didn’t say anything to me because I didn’t have children at my table. That doesn’t mean that they aren’t in my panic-stricken head and my torn-apart heart every second, but to the outside world that part of me is invisible. It’s extremely painful, and one of the only things that makes it any easier is knowing that it’s not just me out there having a hard time with this holiday. There are lots of us, and there are lots of different reasons why. And to the person who said why not call it Everyone Day, that’s not what was being said at all. It’s still Mother’s Day, that’s the whole point. Mother’s Day is a great thing to have, I enjoyed it so much when I still had my kids. No one is taking it away from mothers or implying that a day celebrating mothers isn’t a good thing to have. It is. It’s just that the joy of celebrating that day has been taken away from some of us. It’s good to remember that there are a lot of ways that people can feel about this day and not all of them are simple or comfortable or anything less than heartbreaking. All Jenny was doing was giving a shout out to those of us who live our lives with these invisible scars, and as someone who silently carries a lot of grief all the time which only gets heavier around days like this, it’s so comforting to hear someone say, “I see you.” Thank you, Jenny, and everyone else here. It brings me a measure of peace amidst the pain to be reminded that I’m not the only one.

  61. Thoughtfully written and a great reminder of so many things about ourselves as we connect as spiritual sisters in happiness, sadness, understanding and support.

  62. Thanks for this post. it’s a tough day for many women for many reasons. Father’s Day is even worse for me since my kids’ dad died of an overdose as part of the opiate crisis. These things aren’t easy and there’s no hallmark card for that. But there is so much good too. Sending my best to all.

  63. Thank you Jenny. It makes me sad that you doubt yourself because you are so deeply amazing.

  64. @Deva #94 — oh Deva, my heart breaks for you. There aren’t any words… <3 <3

  65. I have never pushed a child out of my vagina and never will. But I still class myself as a mother/mum to my 2 fur babies x x

  66. Today I celebrate that I am a mother! It took many, many years, heartbreak, sickness from treatments, more heartbreak, and waiting (so much waiting). Almost three years ago, through the miracle of adoption, my wait finally ended and I became a mom. That’s what I celebrate today; it’s a reminder of a very long journey that had a very happy ending.

  67. Thank you. Thank you. THANK YOU.

    People forget how hard this day is for those of us who were never blessed with the child we hoped for,dreamed of, prayed for,wished for, and had to mourn for because they never came.

  68. Yes,this. My mom died unexpectedly last fall. Our relationship was bad, very bad. She was an unhappy, bitter person from whom I had tobdistance myself. Sunday, I felt relief at not having to try to please her. I love on my mother-in-law’s.

  69. I wanted to be a Mom more than anything in the world but it didn’t happen for me. It is a sorce of very deep sadness. Having Bipolar Disorder, I think maybe it just wasn’t meant to be. But I’ll always be sad that I didn’t get to be a Mom.

  70. Thank you! I avoided Mothers Day (yesterday). I lost my mom 2 yrs ago and miss her terribly. I thought about her all day. I also am childless, not by choice, and listening to women brag about their wonderful kids and grandkids sometimes leaves a hole in my heart that can’t be filled. I miss the Mother’s Day cards that my mom used to send me with kitty’s on them (I am a ‘kitty mom’) so the day was just another sad reminder for me. I’m glad it’s over.

  71. WOW. This is an awesome message. You are so sweet to show consideration for so many who need it. We do not live in a perfect world. Thank you!!!!

  72. Thank you Jenny. My mother died of cancer when I was a teenager. I had a hysterectomy earlier this year after being diagnosed with endometrial precancer. I lost one of my cats to cancer on Saturday, the day before Mother’s Day. Do you see a pattern here? I like Mother’s Day even less this year than usual.

  73. Yeah I so agree. I had a Mom who was sick much of my tween and teen years. Died when I was 15. As bad a parent as she was often, I still miss her and miss what might have been.

  74. This is a beautiful piece. I fit in the having kids but also having one who I got to hold her only after she died (born at 5 months prematurely and her lungs weren’t developed enough). Thank you for such a wonderfully complete list.

  75. Jenny, no offense, but sometimes you seem to relate your identify to “ill person,” malfunctioning person, I-can-only-foresee-myself-as-sick person. If you were to “get better,” would you actually be able to recognize it in yourself? What if like Dorothy you had the means to happiness all along? You wouldn’t lose any of these people (except perhaps those who want others to be ill with them); you would still be funny and smart. Are you ever afraid to face who you might be WITHOUT your phobias? This article shows how incredible you really are. I think that you really are so fantastic you might actually intimidate yourself into staying “broken.” And in case you’re thinking I’m a paragon of mental heath, forget it! I am 61 years old and only in the past few years have a seen a glimmer at the end of the tunnel. My life pretty much sucks, but even more so when I let it, or indulge myself in it. On the other hand, it can be exhausting to keep trying to see the good stuff when feeling like crap, so it’s not like I don’t understand. Did you ever read “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”? In it the main character learns to fly by throwing himself as hard as he can against the ground, and missing. May you learn to miss, my dear.

  76. Yes. All. Of. This. I am a mother to a late first term miscarriage baby boy and two additional early losses from a five year battle, head-on, against infertility. And IVF failed us. And I stopped fighting. But I haven’t stopped living, and under no circumstance require one little day to define anything when we have our whole lives to shape who we are and who we want to be. Thank you for sharing, Jenny.

  77. You hit the nail right on the head with that post. I hope your mother’s day was glorious, because you deserve many accolades for remembering those who might have been forgotten.

  78. This was the first Mother’s Day since my Mom passed away …. so I skipped it. I stayed home alone and binge watched junk TV all day, took a bubble bath and read. It worked for me.

  79. I love this… shared it. I am the mom of twin boys (who will be 11 years on in 10 short days)… but the road to motherhood was brutal. PCOS caused a lot of frustration and heart ache, and even still, I wish I could have had more kids…. but life has it’s own agenda I suppose.

  80. When I was 16 I put my newborn up for adoption after running away from an abusive home. After this I had custody of my niece for 5 years before her mother was able to function off drugs and take her home. I miscarried a few years after that and don’t have children now. Mother’s Day has always been… confusing. And, sad.

    I became a foster mom with the hope of adopting this year and it was to be my first Mother’s Day. But, as it turned out, my girl had more problems than I could help with. Last week, she had to be taken to a behavioral health hospital for her own safety and will not be released to me because I am not licensed for her new level of care. I found myself childless on Mother’s Day. Again.

    My heart has broken in ways I don’t think it can ever recover.

    But, I am thankful for the strength of the community of women around me – mothers, aunts, sisters, daughters, and friends. They have held me up this week and carried me through. Thank you to all women everywhere. My heart will never fully heal. But, maybe that’s not what life is about. Maybe next year, things will be different. And, maybe the cracks in my heart will make the love leak out all the more for that someday child I hope for.

  81. I am a mom, but I have also had 2 miscarriages, and the loss of a grandchild (to adoption). My mom, aunts, grandmothers even mother in laws have all passed. Mother’s Day is very hard for me. This year, I saw this lovely video a family member posted, it addressed all of us.
    https://www.facebook.com/todayparents/videos/10154664534097984/

    Also, I found this essay that says soooo much:
    Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 13. For many people that means flowers and handmade cards and brunches and hugs and laughter. It means celebration and gratitude and rejoicing.

    But for some it just means tears.

    For many moms and adult children out there, this day is a stark unsolicited reminder of what was but no longer is, or it is a heavy holiday of mourning what never was at all.

    This day might bring with it the scalding sting of grief for the empty chair around a table.

    It might come with choking regret for a relationship that has been horribly severed.

    It might be a day of looking around at other mothers and other children, and feeling the unwelcome intrusion of jealousy that comes with comparison.

    Consider this a love letter to you who are struggling; you whose Mother’s Day experience might be rather bittersweet— or perhaps only bitter.

    This is consent to feel fully the contents of your own heart without censorship.

    If you are hurting; hurt.

    May you feel permission to cry, to grieve, to be not alright.

    May you relieve yourself of the burden of pretending everything is fine or faking stability or concealing the damage.

    May you feel not a trace of guilt for any twinge of pain or anger that seizes you today, because it is your right to feel.

    Above all though, may you find in your very sadness, the proof that your heart though badly broken, still works.

    See your grief as the terrible tax on loving people well, and see your unquenched longing for something better as a reminder of the goodness within you that desires a soft place to land.

    If on this Mother’s Day you are hurting, know that you are not alone.

    May these words be the flowers that you wait for or the call that won’t come or the conversation that you can’t have or the reunion that has not yet arrived.

    In your profound anguish, know that you are seen and heard and that you are more loved than you realize. -JOHN PAVLOVITZ 2015

  82. Thank you so much Jenny! I have always hated Mother’s Day (even after I had kids of my own) because not everyone’s mother is June Cleaver or the mom from the Wonder Years. Almost every holiday was ruined because of my mother, and my relationship with her is very rocky at best. Thank you again for including all the women who need to hear this! You are amazing!

  83. Mother’s Day….one thing that isn’t really thought about are the women who have lost their husbands and who still have young children at home. Because it is usually the father who helps the kids do the celebrating….and when the father dies, you are left with this pit of awful reminders and rather than celebrating yourself as a mom, you end up being super sad, missing them.

  84. I have searched for this post and read it over and over for years. It helps ease the pain that comes on Mother’s Day (and other days, too.)
    So thank you for giving words to things many of us only feel.

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