Saturday, May 8, 2010

Mother's Day For Those Who Aren't Moms

This Mother's Day, I want to send out an embrace to those who aren't moms.  Because Mother's Day isn't always so great for them.

I struggled with infertility for 3+ years before I tried IVF and hit a one-round jackpot, becoming a twin mom.  This day reminds me of my luck.  But on this day, there are, no doubt, many moms-in-waiting who are experiencing that same struggle, and others who went through it and didn't wind up with a child, whether via assisted means, adoption, or just getting lucky.  I want to send out an embrace to all of you.

There are dear friends of mine who've wanted to become moms, but for one reason or another -- medical conditions that preclude it, or aging while still without a suitable partner and not wanting to handle the demands of single parenthood -- they haven't become moms.  Some friends of mine are in their mid or late thirties or forties, single, and still want a kid, but it hasn't happened yet.  I want to sent out an embrace to you too.

And there are those friends who've simply chosen not to have kids, and are happy with their choice.  You get a hug too, for putting up with listening to me talk about my kids and for reading my writing about my kids.  And for putting up with yet another Mother's Day, with all its lame Hallmark Card connotations, and the annoying cultural demands it places on everyone -- making those calls, sending those flowers.  Not to mention how it may make you feel different and singled out if you're not a mom, and never want to be one.  (For more on this, check out Anne Lamott's piece in Salon, here.)

As always, I feel empathy with anyone who's lost their mom, as someone who's been mom-less since 1992; there's no relationship quite like that one, and no one who'll ever love you quite the same way as the person who gave birth to you. 

I really truly want to hug you all today, whatever your relationship is to motherhood -- because even if you're not a mom, don't want to be one, still want to and haven't, whatever -- we all have this in common:  we had one.  So on a day that can be joyous for some, but hard to take for others, everybody deserves a hug.  I know it's true. 

Mom taught me.


William V. Madison said...

Here's a hug for moms who share the experience with those of us who don't have kids -- but like kids.

I know it was never in the cards for me to be a mother, but I'm grateful not to be shut out entirely.

Alex said...

And hugs back to you.