I was woken up at 5:30am (after only 4 hours of sleep) to tiny kicks from my youngest babe. What a beautifully exhausting way to “kick” of this day. With two children this close in age I should have also had my oldest waking me up in the middle of the night to feed. And yet, I’m still grateful for the time I had with our sweet pea and grateful for the jabs from my youngest.
Lauren is a pastor colleague of mine from Duke Hospital. She now serves as minister of pastoral care at The Church of the Resurrection, the largest United Methodist Church in the United States. A few days ago she asked me how Mother’s Day feels to me. After some thought I shared,
This Mother’s Day I just want to honor both of my children, neither of which I’ve been able to hold. I’ll likely hold my youngest in August, but I’m not guaranteed tomorrow so I’m soaking in the kicks today.”
I’ve spent the past year trying to remind myself of the reality of my motherhood. The journey has been physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausting. Last year was my first mother’s day and although I knew in my heart I was a mother it took a lot of work to convince my head. I still hold my breath when someone sees my pregnant belly and says something along the lines of how I “will” be a mother. Do I correct them? Do I nod? Do I just make it less confrontational and avoid explaining that my oldest died and I’ve been a mom for over a year? I’ve actually done all of these.
Since the death of my first child I’ve been overwhelmed with love and compassion as a mom. Multiple people have reached out to me and celebrated my motherhood. It is a true joy and honor to be recognized in this way. The thing is, all moms have their own journey. This is mine. Some moms take this day to lay in bed in cry. There is nothing wrong with that. In fact, I did that last year. Some moms spend time with their own mother. Some spend time with their living children. Some spend time connection with their deceased children. Some spend time longing for children. We’re all moms and we all celebrate in our own way.
So to all of you, whether you are holding your children, remembering them, or longing for them. I want to wish you a Happy Mother’s Day. You are amazing and no matter the journey you deserve to be recognized. May the love of our mother draw you in.