Social media was blowing up all day yesterday with beautiful pictures and posts about our beloved holiday, Mother’s Day. The absolute truth is that mothers should be honored because,well, I believe moms are amazing. I became a mom almost 18 years ago and it forever changed who I am and how I view my life. Mothers are quintessentially the essence of family,right? That is what I saw so beautifully displayed yesterday during our tradition of celebrating Mother’s Day. But, what if that isn’t true? What if that isn’t the dynamic of all families? I will admit that I’m dancing around this topic because I’m conflicted. I’ve lived on both sides of this truth and what I am really trying to say is that for many, Mother’s Day is special, but the other side of truth is that for some, Mother’s Day is just painful. For those who have followed us on In the Moment, you know that Chrissie and I are moms to several children of all different ages and backgrounds. You may have also noticed that we’ve remained quiet lately. I’ve said it before, but we started this idea of being In the Moment because we believe there is value in sharing life’s experiences in good times as well as in the bad times. Life has been hard lately, for both of us, and this Mother’s Day was not one that was greeted with great anticipation of brunch and flowers, but rather one that allowed us to relate to those who also struggled to watch all of the beautiful sides of Mother’s Day play out on social media or in front of us, in real life. We have shared our hearts with several people and found that right away, there are others who were living in the same space we were, so we decided it was time to be In the Momentwith you.
First, here is the heart of a dear friend of mine as she looked Mother's Day right in the face.
Hey fiend – I just wanted you to know that I am thinking of you today and I love you. I don’t presume to know exactly how you feel going into Mother’s Day tomorrow, but after our recent conversations, I realized that we have been feeling pretty similar. I’m feeling kind of hollow and numb. Not the way that I want to feel about mothering or Mother’s Day or anything like that. I’m struggling. Struggling with children that act like they don’t want me to love them, but maybe they do and they definitely need me to, but I don’t like their biological mom or sometimes I don’t like them, even though I’m trying to LOVE the whole mess. And two kids who need me to love them and do love me back, but I feel like I have not an emotional drop left for that. And my own mom who won’t talk to me except to spout random facts or weird advice that makes no sense. No accepting of invitations or actual emotional connection. It all rolls together to make me feel kind of icky about this whole Mother’s Day thing. I wish it would just get over with. And my poor husband is trying to love me through this and do kind things for me and I just want to slap him for it. The reason I lay all of this at your feet, is just to let you know that there are others feeling weird about Mother’s Day, just like you are. And I love you and I respect you for all that you are trying to do even if you don’t feel like you are doing it well. I sure don’t. And maybe these low points of ours can be God’s highest points. Maybe it’s ok if we aren’t doing it well. Maybe it’s ok that we are just doing it. Even when we don’t feel it. If He is made perfect in our weakness then his perfection should be shining all over the place!! That’s the only thing I can hold onto. The point of all of this is that I get it, I love you, and I’m praying for you.
I hope her words were as encouraging to someone else as they were to me on Saturday night. Soon after receiving the above message, I got the following blog from Chrissie. I trust her heart when she writes so passionately, so I knew it was time to lay it all out there.
When Mother’s Day isn’t like you dreamt it would be.
You know those friends who conceive their children a few months into “trying”? I am not one of those friends. I have four kids. One adopted, one miracle healing pregnancy, one “oh wow, that’s what it feels like to get pregnant without all of the trying”, and another adopted. My two oldest are my adopted (my newest is my oldest). God placed on my heart many years ago that I was the mom to four kids. I had visions of my family of six. We were loud and active and happy and laughing and together and happy! Did I say happy? But, this is not how my family looks these days. There are so many hard moments, moments I want to run from, moments I want to quit, moments that I question God. Tomorrow is Mother’s Day. It isn’t my first Mother’s Day or even my first Mother’s Day with all of my kids home. Goodness, I used to dream of Mother’s Day with all of my kids together! This Mother’s Day is coming in a season of dark trials and a lot of sadness. I’ve had to give up my vision of my family, clinging with all that I have, to God’s plan and purpose for my family. If you are struggling this Mother’s Day, I just want you to know, you aren’t alone. I always ache for those women who long to be mothers and are such blessings by mothering others (including my children). I ache for those women who wanted to conceive but never did, who miscarried, who had failed adoptions, had a child die (oh, Lord have mercy), or had dreams shattered because of real life. Today, I am speaking to and on behalf of those of us who “got what we asked for”, but it isn’t what we thought and it just hurts. You are not alone, you are not wrong, you are allowed to hurt, I’m hurting with you. Much love,Chrissie
At the end of the day, Chrissie and I both know where our strength comes from and we also understand that life’s challenges move us to higher levels of faith. I want to say that we are both okay and not to worry, but really it would be fine with us for you to just say a little prayer whenever the mood strikes you, because we have also learned that it’s okay to NOT be okay. Blessings, Lori