Yesterday my husband and I picked out Mother’s Day cards for our moms. We are both blessed to have our parents still married to each other and have good relationships with our moms. Celebrating our moms and being thankful for them is the easy part of Mother’s Day.
The hard part of Mother’s Day is dealing with the fact that well into our ninth year of marriage we remain childless. For whatever reason, God has not chosen to bless us with any children.
Well, that’s not exactly accurate which is what makes this Mother’s Day even more of a challenge for me.
Like most women who want children and don’t have them, Mother’s Day can present a real dilemma. Of course we want to honor our own mothers. At the same time, we would prefer to just skip the day all together since it can be a hard reminder of something painful in our lives.
The first few years we were married, Mother’s Day didn’t bother me too much. We hadn’t been “trying” very hard and we were open to letting God decide the size and timing of our family. However, each year it became a little harder, especially going to church where everything revolved around honoring mothers that day. So, like many couples, the past few years we have simply chosen to worship at home on Mother’s Day rather than deal with all the “stuff” associated with the day. It is a choice we have been content with.
This year presents a new challenge because in October we had a miscarriage around the sixth week. I actually got out my calendar yesterday and counted. If I had not lost that baby, I would be around thirty weeks right now. I would have gone into Mother’s Day just about ready to deliver. And David would have had a beautiful new baby to carry into church on Father’s Day in June.
Which I guess gets me to the main point of this entry. How does a childless mother celebrate Mother’s Day?
What does it mean to be a childless mother on Mother’s Day?
After my miscarriage I posted some questions on a Christian women’s discussion board since I was trying to sort through the whole thing. For me, the hardest part has been the theological aspect. When something like a miscarriage happens, you think about all kinds of things that never crossed your mind before. Am I a mom? What do I do on Mother’s Day? If I’m in church and they ask all the mothers to stand, do I stand up? To stand up seems awkward since I have no living children. And yet to not stand up seems to minimize the life of the child who was only here so briefly and is now with Christ.
I still haven’t found an answer that completely satisfies me.
So this year my heart goes out not only to the childless women as it has each year before, but to the women like me who are childless mothers on Mother’s Day. I pray that God’s grace will be poured out on each of us during this season.