Today is a bitter day for me, for multiple reasons. When I was young, heck, even well into my teen years, my mother was absolutely horrible to me. She constantly verbally abused me and made me feel terrible about myself. Today was a day where I had to pretend to love her and put on a happy face for the rest of the family and I hated every second of it. I felt myself growing more bitter and resentful every year. Perhaps, I haven't let go of some of that anger, because I still hate today.
Mother's Day also means something else to me now. It's a day that reminds me of unattainable dreams and broken wishes. When I was young, I never wanted to be a mother, even in college, I swore to myself that I never would be. Maybe young me was right about something. When I met Hubbs and we later got married, I saw the reasons why people wanted to have kids. I wondered what they would look like, or what little personality traits of ours they'd pick up.
After about six months of marriage we started trying, and six months after that we found out about my IF. We tried some things and failed, tried again, and again. For a long time I had given up hope and I was so incredibly sad. The sight of babies made my cry, and then one sister in-law announced that she was pregnant. After a few months, another sister in-law was pregnant. Everywhere I looked there were pregnant women waddling over here and over there and I really couldn't handle it. I'd say about 70% of the women I knew who were pregnant weren't even trying, it just happened magically all on its own. I was a wreck.
We looked in to adoption and were so hopeful. We'd chosen an agency and went to our orientation meeting, where once again our hopes and dreams were dashed to pieces. This wasn't going to work for us. It felt so much like "buying" a kid. Not to mention, they only had newborns, and we were more interested in say, a 2 or 3 year old, a fact we didn't manage to uncover in our months of research and waiting for this orientation. With all of these road blocks, a part of me slowly started to realize that maybe, parenthood just wasn't in the cards.
Then something amazing happened, I went through the stages of grief. At first, yes, I was definitely in denial, I was like, "no, everything's fine, we're totally gonna make a tiny human!"
Anger set in. I'd see a pregnant woman and just hate her. Someone would ask us when we were going to start having kids and I wanted to yell in their face that "we're trying but can't because I'm broken and thank you SOOOOO much for reminding me when I'd managed to forget about it for ten seconds."
During bargaining, I'd make all sorts of promises to myself. "I'll lose weight! I'll be a better wife. Just give me the opportunity to prove what a great mother I'll be!"
Depression... when all hope had failed me. The sight of babies and their little chubby faces made me cry. There was one morning where Hubbs had gotten pretty fed up with me, and told me to just get over it. I lost it and spent the rest of the morning in bed in the fetal position, racking with sobs. It kind of helped in a way though, I felt like I'd cried all of the tears I could ever cry about it, and maybe would never cry about it again.
Finally, acceptance. I cannot tell you how great it feels to be in this stage. Sure occasionally, I'm reminded of the pain I felt at first, especially on days like today. Now though, I'm happy I don't have kids. Hubbs and I have talked about kids over the last few months, and after everything that we've been through, we've decided to remain childless. It is a wonderful, freeing feeling. We're planning our early retirement and envisioning all of the wonderful places we will see and the things we will do.
Maybe now, I can try to learn to see Mother's Day, not as a painful reminder of the past, but as my Emancipation Day. The day I freed myself from the great weight of motherhood, and just celebrate me and the awesome person that I have become in spite of the struggles it took to get me here.
I guess I will end this with saying Happy Mother's Day to my Birth Mother, for giving me up, and even though I've been through a lot, and my life wasn't always the best, I turned out OK, and I think you made the right choice. Happy Mother's Day to those who open their homes and hearts to a child and give them love and raise them well. Happy Mother's Day to those to sacrifice their own chance at motherhood to give that chance to others. Happy Mother's Day to the women who guide, advise, cherish you in their hearts, and take on the epic task of mothering, it certainly not easy and you deserve praise as well, even if you may not be legally or biologically a mother, you're a mother in the hearts of those who love you. Thanks to all of you and the great job that you do.