Mother’s Day for the Single and Childless Woman

In Australia we just celebrated Mother’s Day…and I find it to be a strange day. On one hand, I am excited to celebrate my own mother, and my friends who are incredible mothers, but then I am also weighed down by the thought ‘I should have been a mother by now…”

I think this year was even more emotional for me because it was the first Mother’s Day that my beautiful Grandma wasn’t here for.  Add to that an old student of mine announcing her pregnancy on facebook… and I spent the day feeling a bit lost.

I was initially dreading going to Church because of the usual ‘all mothers stand up so we can celebrate you.’ Which makes me feel especially uncomfortable for the women who have experienced pregnancy loss…are they meant to stand even though they don’t have a baby in their arms, or are they meant to stay seated with tears in their eyes?

But I was brought to tears during the service for another reason.

As the flowers were being brought around for Mothers, the pastor said that today we celebrate all women…regardless of their circumstances. He mentioned that women take on a lot of mothering roles, and being a biological mother is just one of the roles we celebrate today.

We were encouraged to not refuse a gift. So for the very first time I accepted a gift on Mother’s Day. And I even managed to say thank you when the small child said ‘happy Mother’s Day’ to me.

As a teacher, I do feel that in some ways I have a mothering role. And it was nice to have this recognised, even though I acknowledge that it is very different from having a child with you 24/7 at home.

I decided to keep off facebook for most of the day, as I didn’t want to look at my friend’s posts with envy and become bitter. They should be able to celebrate being Mothers without worrying that everything they say will offend someone.

At least by being single AND childless on Mother’s Day I avoid the comments like ‘so when are you going to have a baby?!’ But then there’s a lot more conversations that are never had about how I long to be a Mother, because that is so far removed from my current life stage. And I think that’s what’s so strange about Mother’s Day for me…I can’t actually even imagine myself being a Mother, because it seems so unattainable when I can’t even get a date!! Seeing graduated students becoming pregnant just makes me feel so…far…behind where I hoped I would be.

But I am reminded that God has me in this time and place for my good…even if my expectations feel unmet.  And I’m exceptionally grateful to friends who understand how I felt yesterday, and a big shout out to those of you who felt the same as me yesterday.

 

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