― Donna Ball, At Home on Ladybug Farm
I always have mixed feelings on Mother's Day. Joseph was born 3 days before Australian Mother's Day, the second Sunday in May. To me that is true Mother's Day, for all that this one is more traditional. I loved that my Aussie friends sent me little messages on Facebook wishing me happiness on my first Mother's Day with a baby that I could not hold. But he was here, and finally I could call myself a mother.
For so many people Mother's Day is a very tough day for many reasons. Perhaps their own mothers are no longer with them. Perhaps they are estranged from their mothers, or past hurts have interrupted that bond and the day brings painful reminders, and reinforces the relationship they would have like to have had but do not.
There are mothers like Jennie at Edspire who face Mother's Day with a heavy heart, as they mourn a child. And also celebrate with the children that are still living.
There are those who have had babies who could not stay. Who to me are mothers, but the rest of the world appear childless. Those who have had miscarriages and stillbirth, rounds of IVF and other procedures. To me, the desire to be one, makes you a mother.
I was reminded today of this post by my sister Penni who writes at Eglantine's Cake. I am so grateful for my son Joseph, but even today I still feel sad at the choices that we had to make, the choice that chose us, to have just one child. When my sister first wrote this I had mixed feelings, my emotions still so raw. Now I see it differently. Sometimes life is about choice, about decision making, and sometimes it isn't, it's fate, or chance, or God's hand at work, whatever you like to believe. But sometimes, the path we tread isn't of our choosing.
Today has been a lovely one, relaxing, just the three of us. Homemade cards, flowers, chocolate and a book. But the greatest gift for me, is finally being a mum. I lost two babies on the way, had Joseph at 27 weeks gestation, and have had to say goodbye to my dream of being a mum of more than one child. But I am a mother. And I am happy.
I didn't choose to give birth prematurely. I chose to make the biggest bottle of lemonade I could from the lemons I felt I had been given. I have a new life and a new purpose. The birth of Joseph gave me a whole new set of choices.
As you reflect on your own journey today, as a mother, whether your children are with you, or not, or waiting to be born, or allocated to you, or a mother who mourns, I hope you can find peace in this day.