Mother’s Day: Wrong Answers Only

Since my son has been born I’ve become obsessed with dressing him in cute outfits. Although I live in Europe, I’m still a southerner at heart and love smocked clothing. I’ve joined all the buy sell trade groups on facebook and have been connected with moms who share my love of southern children’s rompers. On top of our clothing obsessions, we also share funny memes back and forth. The most recent one I saw and re-shared was:

What do you want for Mother’s Day? Wrong answers only.”

The answers I received were hilarious. “I want to clean my whole house while my partner naps.” “I want to cook a delicious meal that my toddler will hate.” “I want to step on a bunch of lego blocks.” My personal contribution, “I want spit up in my hair.”

I love being part of mom groups like these. We all share in the funny things happen with our spouses and children. Its’ a nice distraction from chaos and confusion. It’s also a nice distraction from the grief a lot of parents experience. After spending hours laughing at all of the comments, I started to think critically. “Wrong answers only.” If we’re being completely honest, the most honest answer is “a dead baby.”

Mother’s Day is such a hard day for so many of us. It’s a day where so many people are having so much fun and can share memes and funny comments, and yet so many are silently suffering. This year I find myself in the middle. I’ve spent the past two Mother’s Days convincing myself and others that I’m a mom. In 2019 my baby had just died and I spent this day sobbing. In 2020 I was more confident in myself as a mother and my role in my first child’s life. I was also visibly pregnant with our second child so people could begin to see me as a mother from my growing belly. This year is so very different. People know to wish me a Happy Mother’s Day. This year it actually is happy. The other years it was a genuine struggle.

We took family photos today and I was so overcome with emotion as I look at myself and how I’ve evolved as a parent. We took a few pictures of Me, James, and Emmett while holding our little pea pod symbolizing our babe who has gone on before us. I saw the snapshot in the camera screen and tears filled my eyes. Our family is so complete and so incomplete at the same time. So much joy and so much pain.

So today if you’re grieving, I can’t say it goes away. It only changes. We become more confident in ourselves as mothers, but the emptiness is still there. I love my family now. My son is the best thing that has ever happened to me. And yet, I’d give anything to have both of my kids in my arms. So– What do I want for Mother’s Day? Two living children.

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