Thursday, May 8, 2014

mother's day 2014: game plan

It's that time of year again. This is my third Mother's Day as a married, childless woman (thank God we got married at the end of May!) and I still remember how awful the first one was. Almost one year TTC, no baby, I felt completely blindsided at Sunday mass, the pain searing my heart from out of nowhere as I looked around at all the smiling mothers with their children and felt what felt like a bottomless longing to join their ranks.

(FYI: that's the day I quit Facebook, probably forever. I read something by a new mom about "the best club I've ever joined!" and knew I just had to get out.)

How horrible - the worst part of Mother's Day for me is how happy all the mothers are and how much I wish I was them. I hate even writing that! But it's true, and I have to deal with it.

Strategy for Mother's Day #2 was to get the heck out of town. We went to Mr. M's hometown for a visit, which actually worked really well. We could focus on his mom, who is a beautiful, gracious woman not at all prone to asking probing questions about when more grandchildren are coming. And I could grieve at mass surrounded by strangers instead of having to act happy and socially interact with friends.

This year we were planning on doing the same thing but aren't for several reasons that are too boring to list. So we'll be here, and the strategy looks like this:

1. Attend the 7:30 a.m. mass where presumably mothers with young children will not be, since they'll be getting their breakfast in bed (ha). Give myself permission to grieve, basically among strangers since we usually attend a later mass. Avoid seeing all my mom friends and their adorable children. I love them! I just can't handle them on Mother's Day. I feel more left out than any other time.

1a. We wrote to our parish asking them to include intentions for women struggling with infertility, so hopefully that will happen.

2. Invite another childless couple over for brunch. I did not want to go out anywhere on Mother's Day - I have a strong, strong aversion to going to a restaurant and hearing either "Happy Mother's Day!" or "Are you a mother?" Ugh ugh ugh. I prefer to be at home, in a controlled environment, and I'll be so glad to be with friends who (sadly) "get it" too.

Yessss. All of these.

3. Eat yummy brunchy food and several mimosas!! (This is a key component of the strategy.) Talk about our lives, maybe kvetch a little about being childless on Mother's Day, enjoy the sunshine, play a game, try my best to not drown in a puddle of self-pity. Have another mimosa!

(I should add, of course, that I'll call my mom and my mother-in-law and thank them for their friendship, love, and motherly care because overall I feel pretty blessed on the mom/MIL front.)

4. Mr. M said he got me a gift - that will be consoling!!

I will be so thankful when Mother's Day is over and I don't have a bajillion emails about Mother's Day deals and sales and products! Even buying a card for my mom felt extra-hard this year. Just reading the titles of cards was killing me!! Although I did see a card for someone "like a mother" - a nice sentiment.

I'm glad I've come to terms that some days are just way too hard to handle by trying to act normally. I am fertility challenged, and I need a little extra TLC on Mother's Day. Hence the strategy. Thank God for understanding husbands and wonderful friends! I'll be praying for all childless women (married and single) on Sunday, big time.



  1. I think your strategy sounds like a good one! I may have to employ the mimosa part of that plan. Yeah, I've been planning how to deal with it as well. Sad, no? I have to have a plan for several holidays and birthdays. I don't think there's much I can do about Mass. I know I'll be gritting my teeth almost the whole time, waiting for the blessing. I'm supposed to do a tough hike Saturday, weather permitting, so hopefully I'll be too wiped out to care too much! And I will be praying for everyone dealing with Mother's Day with any and all sorts of complications that go with that.

  2. I wish I could come to your brunch! That is a great idea and those mimosas sound delish! I really hope the parish uses the suggestions for the intentions you shared. I am kind of afraid that mine will end up not using it and I will be even more bitter...ughhh. I hope I can hold it together. I think your strategy is great! I pray one day you won't need it but in the meantime thanks for sharing:-)

  3. Come to CR to visit us, Sunday is not Mother's Day here :)

  4. Great plan, and what's more, a great idea to HAVE a plan. I feel blindsided by Mother's Day every year...I know it's coming, but when it's here, it just crushes me with no warning. I should sit down and write out a plan like you did. Inspiring--great idea! Prayers that your brunch is wonderful and relaxing, and that you can enjoy time with friends and your husband this weekend!!

  5. SO glad you wrote this post. You've totally inspired me to embrace Mother's Day and treat it like a day of celebration... for ME! Even if we don't have babies, we DEFINITELY have the desire AND just a mothering way about us in our every day lives. So we deserve a little celebration too. Yummy meals and mimosas sound fantastic. Avoiding Mass with lots of mommies sounds great too. I REALLY hope your pastor includes a blessing or intention of IF couples. Please tell us if they do, or don't. If they don't, we should get a whole group of us to write the church letters next year, or for Father's Day. And you crack me up with "I am fertility challenged." Hugs! And happy (almost) Mother's Day, because YOU deserve to hear that and be blessed by those words too!

  6. Well, it is our 11th married year (!), but we haven't really been trying for kids until just about five years ago. Mother's Day didn't really start tugging at my heartstrings until SIL got pregnant THREE TIMES within the span of us finally figuring out that we have an actual fertility issue. So... I get you... I really do. Thanks for having the courage to put this out there, it helps those of us in a different "club" feel less alone!

  7. I like your game plan for tomorrow. :) I hope your priest includes IF in the intentions. I'm sure others at your parish will appreciate your efforts. A couple people I know have been successful at getting their priest to agree to mention IF in the intentions.

  8. I really like your game plan! Ours is to go to Latin Mass where they don't do the blessing for mothers and then go out to eat with our moms if they want to come. I will be praying for you tomorrow.

  9. Hope you were able to enjoy the day, it always helps to have a plan, and that sounds like a good one! We went to mass at a Byzantine monastery in the middle of no where, because I didn't feel up to a big to do at mother's day masses. This is such a true and helpful realization it took me awhile to learn:
    "I'm glad I've come to terms that some days are just way too hard to handle by trying to act normally. I am fertility challenged, and I need a little extra TLC on Mother's Day." Amen!!!!