Mother’s Day 2016, after finishing my 3rd year of law school, I suddenly became sick to my stomach and instantly knew I was pregnant. My husband and I had been trying to conceive for seven months. About two weeks after Mother’s Day, I had a positive pregnancy test to confirm what I already knew. While I was finding a cute way to announce the good news, I miscarried.
While my mother, grandmother and aunts are still with me, Mother’s Day now stings a little bit. I can handle the sting of it, but what is annoying are the people (mostly older women who did not struggle to conceive) who always manage to say things like “what are you waiting for?” or “don’t wait too late” or “you have your degree now, so it’s time.”
Here are some tips for speaking to a woman who doesn’t have children on Mother’s Day.
- Don’t ask me why I’m waiting so long or inquire about why I’m waiting. I’m waiting on God. I’m waiting on a miracle. I’m waiting on these hormones to work or give my OB/GYN a clue as to what treatment should be next.
- Don’t explain to me all the ways I am still a mother, after I told you I’m not. Telling me that I am still a mother because I feed, cloth or love somebody’s kid, doesn’t make me feel better either. Not right now. I still long to carry my OWN flesh and blood in my womb, so that doesn’t help.
- Don’t assume I put my career first. Some people legitimately struggle with infertility. Infertility has always been a thing and shows up repeatedly in the Bible. I ended up going to two church services on Mother’s Day and both sermons were about women who were barren. The sermons brought up emotions that I wasn’t prepared to address.
- Don’t assume I do not want children. Again, making the decision to have children is a very personal decision. I have friends with medical conditions that prevent them from having children. Unless we are close friends and you are ready for me to start crying and prepared to deal with that, don’t ask, especially not on Mother’s Day.
Remember, all women are different. This is my list, other women may feel differently. Some do not mind being acknowledged on Mother’s Day. Other’s, like myself, would rather not. I enjoy seeing all the pictures of everyone’s children and grandchildren. Mother’s should always be celebrated. Just because it stings a bit doesn’t mean I don’t sincerely wish every mother the happiest Mother’s Day.