Friday, May 8, 2009

Barren Awareness Day

Have you ever been single on Valentine's Day?

Think hard. Back to the days before you met your spouse, or significant other. (Some of you may be very lucky, and the only time you didn't have a Valentine was in Junior High, but the rest of us . . . well . . . I'm sure there were a few years without a Valentine . . . )

Do you remember how you felt? Seeing your friends blissfully in love, opening thoughtful gifts, reading gushy love letters and eating chocolate?

Valentine's day to the unattached person is known as "Single Awareness Day."

This Sunday is Mother's Day. For years, (and I mean years) I met this day with sadness and anger. For many, Mother's Day is a day you recognize your mother, or you are recognized as a mother. As a mother, you find joy in your children, and realize the only reason you have children is because you are a mother.

See, everything goes hand in hand.

For many women, this Sunday, Mother's Day, is a reminder that their oven is empty. To the childless woman, Mother's Day is known as "Barren Awareness Day."

I always dreaded going to church on Mother's Day. 364 days a year, no one notices that you come to church without children. On Mother's Day, it's like you arrive with a blinking neon sign that says "I'm not really a mother. But recognize me because I'm married."


Actually, what I really wanted my invisible neon sign to say is, "Please don't recognize me. It's GLARINGLY obvious I don't fit in. Thanks."

So year, after year, after year, after year, after year, after year, after year, after year, (yes, there were eight years of this awkwardness) I would arrive to church with a smile on my face, hiding the pain that cut so deeply.

I wanted to be a mother.

Did the Lord think I was unfit?

Why, then, was I not blessed with children?

I will never know the answers to these questions.

But, I do know this Sunday will mark the third anniversary of my mommyhood and absence of that obnoxious blinking neon sign.

Thank goodness for that.

Where am I going with this?

I'm not really sure.

If you're a mother, cherish your children and be grateful you have them.

If you're not a mother (yet) and you long to be one, channel your energy into loving your own mom. Your time will come. It may not be in this lifetime, but it will come.

If you know someone who is struggling to have children, be extra sensitive to them. Especially on Mother's Day.

Happy Mother's Day everyone!


The Painter's said...

Wow, I needed this post today. I've been feeling down, and also very aware of my childless state with the upcoming mother's day holiday. I often ask myself the same questions! I keep telling myself that i need to stay positive because my time it will come! Thanks for making others aware of "Barren Awareness Day"!

Kritta22 said...

Thank you for sharing! I totally felt this pain for years!! In fact, many a Mother's day I didn't go to church for this very reason.

Now we have been trying to have another one, have been for two years and I get the When's the next one questions?

You are right. Time will come!

Lindsay and Mike said...

You rock Emily! Hugs!

Heatherlady said...

I love your posts. I've never had to face this trial, but have SO many dear friends who have and are struggling with it. I've been thinking a lot about it and realize that EVERY woman really is a mother whether she bears children on this earth or not. Because within each woman's soul (body and spirit) there are divine seeds of motherhood-- just because they don't take root and bear fruit on this earth doesn't mean that they won't in the eternal world to come. We have to remember that this life is such a short part of our eternal role as a woman and as a mother.

Walker Family said...

That's why I wish Mother's Day (which I still don't like even now that I do have kids, because of the same reasons you mentioned), where called "Nurturing Women's Day" or something that recognized the role that all women play (think of your child's favorite aunt who isn't married or doesn't have kids for whatever reason but has a huge impact in their lives), not just those fortunate enough to be mothers!