Confession: I hate Mother’s Day.
I’d love to be able to type some kind of eloquent, inspirational string of prose that speaks to my inner strength about how I’m right where I should be in life and I’m blessed in so many other ways and keep your chin up and blah blah blah. But I’d be a big fat liar, because the truth of where I am in my grieving process is that I effing hate Mother’s Day. And I don’t see that changing dramatically any time within the foreseeable future.
Ever since the sobering realization that I will never be a mom, it’s the one day a year I really struggle to stay positive. Normally, I have a firm grip on my reality, a conviction to be optimistic on this new path, even as I carve out what this path might be. But on Mother’s Day? In order to make it through without feeling repeatedly gut-punched, I need a crusty exterior, a coping mechanism of completely ignoring what’s going on around me. So as the world vomits reminders of my life-sentence-level failure from every conceivable corner, I hide.
This Mother’s Day, however, I have to perform. On stage. In a Mother's Day-themed show. Singing songs about how beautiful it is to be a mother. To honor a room filled with mothers. We’re even going to pass out flowers to every mother in the auditorium. I will have a very visible representation of what I do not have. What I will never have, no matter how much I want it. It’s salt in a wound that hasn’t healed, and I have to do the pouring. It is the complete opposite of hiding, and while it exhibits a strength I hope to have someday, I'm not ready yet. I'm not ready yet.
I don't trust that people understand how hard this has been for me. How hard this will be for me. To stand up there and deliver a stirring performance while attempting to forget that every word feels like a knife, and I’d rather be literally anywhere else. I expressed my hesitation to a single person. Their response: “Well, you have a mother, right?” It only reminded me of how forgotten and misunderstood one becomes once they're an "infertile". I haven’t quit the show yet, but I’ve considered it. Multiple times. I won’t split hairs or make excuses: I just don’t want to do this.
Most days, I retain my objectivity to the difference in perspectives. Most days, I understand. Right now? I'm just mad. What stage of grief is anger? Because I’m pretty sure that’s where I’m living right now. I thought I was past that part, but apparently you can get sucked backward. Just the fact that my everyday reality doesn't even register to most people as something to consider makes me indignant.
I don't even have a point to this post. I guess just to throw out into the world, to the very few reading this who can actually relate: you’re not alone. I know you feel like you are - GOD, DO I KNOW IT - but you’re not.
To everyone else, as you flood Facebook with pictures of your adorably misspelled cards written in crayon, your burnt breakfasts, your dandelions picked from the yard, your slobbery kisses and I love you, Moms, please remember this day isn’t easy for everyone. For some of us, this is the hardest day of the year.
Please be sensitive to that.