Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Mother's Day Anxiety

Mother’s Day is fast approaching.  It’s a little less than three weeks away. 

I have been keeping a count-down of sorts to this holiday.

It’s a holiday that was started in the United States in 1908 by Anna Jarvis to honor her mother, who was a peace activist who cared for wounded soldiers on both sides of the Civil War, and to honor all mothers, “the person who has done more for you than anyone in the world.”  Which is actually very cool, if you think about how it started.  

Of course, now it’s more of holiday that seems to exist more for commercial purposes.

When I was growing up, Mother’s Day, was typically celebrated by spending time in the flower garden with my mother.  That’s all she ever wanted on Mother’s Day, that my sister and I help her plant, weed, and water.  I know at times, I was reluctant to participate in this family activity, but for the record, I always looked forward to it.

Early in my married life, Mother’s Day became a day that I quietly celebrated that I didn’t have children.  My husband and I were still very free from the responsibility of children and we loved it.  

About six years into our marriage, Mother’s Day became something that I secretly despised, because I wanted to be a mother and I wasn’t.  I was tired of being questioned on that day (and many other days throughout the year) about when I would have children. It made me feel sad and isolated and alone.

And now...I’m a mother.  

I’m a mother of a beautiful, sensitive, funny, strong three year old boy.  He is amazing!  He fills my heart with joy and love every single day.  I couldn’t imagine my life, or our family, without him.  He is my son.  I am his mother. 

He is also my son through adoption.  Which means that another woman carried him and gave birth to him.  

And here is where I struggle with Mother’s Day anxiety.

I have a lot of feelings about my son’s birth mother which will remain buried deep in my heart and never shared for all of eternity.  

My son’s adoption process, began almost a year and a half ago.  He was living with a foster family for several months as a two year old, before coming home to us. 

Read into that what you will, but it comes down to the fact that my son was taken from his birth mother by the state and was not returned to her. 

So, I count down to Mother’s Day...the day that I struggle deeply with a whole host of emotions for the woman who gave birth to my son.  

My heart and my head just cannot process and recognize Mother’s Day as a day to personally celebrate.  I celebrate every day that my son is who he is and that he is mine. However, Mother’s Day will never be a day that I proudly proclaim as “my holiday.” 

Maybe I’ll just go work in a flower garden and insist that my family help me.


  1. I love your honesty in your writing. I am so uncomfortable those Mother's Day sunday morning whenever mothers are celebrated by being asked to stand, or lauded in the sermon. I know there are women(and men) that dread the day and it only causes hurt. Thanks for sharing. Maybe we just change it to Glitter Day or Flower Day?

  2. I think you should celebrate Family Day the special day you all came together to become a family. Mother's Day is to overrated anyway. Once my children grew up and moved away from home I am lucky if I get a text or maybe a phone call. Their dad always made the plans when they were home. To them it is just another day. Like you said you celebrate everyday that he is your son. I celebrate everyday that Julie and Chris are my children.