Today is Mother’s Day. A day to celebrate my mom, my sister, my aunt, my grandma, and other motherly relationships in my life. This is the day that I try to focus on those relationships and not sulk in my own self pity. But, that’s not what this blog is about. This is a space to be honest and put my heart on the page.
Many of my friends are in the prime of their motherhood experiences, with young children at home, capturing milestones, and being absorbed into a world of little people and their daily routines. I’m watching it all go by. I never thought this would be me. I always thought ‘I still have time,’ so I didn’t risk or date to find the man to build a family with. And now, time is rushing past and I realize I never opened myself up to the possibility of having my own family. No one gave me a chance. No one sought to get to know me better. No one saw me as someone who could be their wife. I truly believe this will never happen for me. At this point in my journey, I’m not looking for it and I don’t think I’d be open to it even if it were to present itself to me. Why is that? Could it be that when I was convinced I had found ‘the one’ and held on to that promise for years, I discovered that no matter how certain I was that I was following God’s plan, how perfect he seemed to be or how right he was for me, in the end, I was just wrong. He was not the perfect match I thought he was. I waited for him for what felt like forever and it still wasn’t long enough. My once-thought flawless intuition into God’s plan for my life became marred. I don’t ever want to go through that again. I don’t want to find the man who I feel without a shadow of a doubt is Mr. Right, only to realize after years of chasing that he wasn’t the one for me. It’s exhausting. It’s maddening. And, if chasing the wrong guys before finding the right one is the process, then I don’t want to go through it.
Each year, Mother’s Day falls near my birthday, which is always a joy-filled occasion, but in recent years, also serves as a reminder of growing older without a family of my own. I don’t even realize the effect it has on me until I catch a glimpse of what I’m missing or have to explain that ‘no, I’m not a mom,’ which then launches me into a tailspin of sadness and isolation. Last year, an usher at church attempted to hand me a flower in honor of Mother’s Day. When I told her that I’m not a mother, she said, ‘that’s ok, honey, you can still have a flower.’ I remember being so upset and refusing to take the flower because, no, it wasn’t ok. I’m not a mom. And, although I spend my workdays with children and feel that maternal role throughout my week, it’s not the same thing. It doesn’t take the place of being a mother to your own children and Mother’s Day should be about those mothers.
As the years go by, I realize how difficult Mother’s Day is for many people. I have precious people in my life who lost their moms when they were young, who are estranged from their children, who don’t have a close relationship with their mom, or who ache to have children of their own. So even though Mother’s Day is a ‘Hallmark Holiday,’ it doesn’t lessen the emotions, happy or sad as they may be.
So, will I have moments of reflecting on what I’m missing this Mother’s Day? Absolutely. But, I treasure my mom and my sister, my aunt and my grandma and I celebrate them and their role in supporting and loving me and their children. I’ll always want for something I don’t have. I’ll never be completely satisfied this side of heaven. So, even though I catch glimpses of want, my joy in the Lord remains strong. My place, my home, my family is filled with my soulmates – those friends and family members I keep the closest. In those relationships, grace abounds and Christ’s love never fails.