Mothering is unique. For me, it was long awaited, by design. We didn’t want school debt dictating two full time incomes while we raised our children, especially when they were young, so we took care of that first.
This delay brought health issues which limited the number of children we were able to have. It was hard to accept, and I often wondered what our family experience would have looked like with more children. Looking back, it was the very best plan.
I am the mother of two sons. I feel tremendous gratitude, being chosen by God, to be their Mom. The hours of everyday effort involved in keeping our household sane was at breakneck speed during their young years.
One never stopped talking and the other never stopped moving. Literally.
Month, after month, after month, the first words out of my mouth every morning were a prayer, “Lord, help me make it through the day and thank you for my healthy children.”
My love for them is inexplicable.
But for some, their longing to be a mother never comes, evoking feelings of being “less” or even “lost” without this womb-fruit. I admire the women I know who have taken this reality and become mothers in other ways. Caring for, nurturing and loving, advancing the cause and mentoring young and old alike.
Any version of this is no less important than my own experience.
And for those whose bellies have held life and said hello and goodbye all at once, I mourn with you. I understand this pain. The constant wondering about details in faces we never saw, the futures never planned, and countless days of looking forward to “some day” when we will see them. Though it is for another story, I have found a blessing inside this loss of mine.
For the mothers who hear their children’s voices from the grave, and “gone to soon” attributed to their loss, it all seems trite and of little comfort for the incessant sting of loss. The celebration of Motherhood is tainted, silenced only (in part) by the presence of their other children. The grief is indeed overwhelming and ever present . . . always . . . Forever.
If you’ve lost your mother, yesterday, last year, or before she ever knew who you became, she is with you. You carry on, with her, for her. You would, and do make her joyous, even in her absence because . . . You. Are.
And for the ones who bear scars from your mother, wear them the best you can.
It is with deep hope, more than you may ever know, that I mourn with you this loss of something great missing in your life. A piece of you that should have been.
Know this, your mother loved you the best she could.
Because that is what every mother does . . . The best she can.
For the mothers looking back on choices you made for your child, and you sob.
Your tears are not in vain.
They are the tender mercies of knowing you wanted it to be different.
Let those droplets of pain roll down your face and neck, to caress the skin between your breasts. Let them sink deep into your heart. Forgive yourself and be at peace.
To every woman who sacrifices a part of her soul to love beyond herself, you bear Motherhood. Even in your brokenness, you deliver and bring forth abundance and beauty.