Last year on Mother’s Day I stumbled upon this Instagram post that acknowledged all women. Mother’s in waiting, step-mums, aunties. It was an inclusive post wishing everyone a happy day. It was a super sweet message so I hit that like button and left a comment of thanks. I was shocked to discover a stream of angry comments all centered around the same theme – “It’s not your day”.
I couldn’t believe it. Yes, Mother’s Day is a time to celebrate all the mums in the world. But how did taking one tiny moment to acknowledge that someone else might be finding today tough make it any less your day?
I make no secret of the fact that I am childfree by choice. But I’m in the minority. It’s not a choice for most women, and Mother’s Day can be a tough day. So while you’re enjoying your Mother’s Day, spare a thought for the women who…
Can’t get pregnant
We’ve all heard stories of women who have spent thousands of dollars on failed IVF treatments. All that time, money and hope continually dashed. I can’t image how heartbreaking it must be. Then there’s the women who fall pregnant but suffer a miscarriage. I’m not sure which is crueler, failing to fall pregnant in the first place, or not being able to carry until full term. Then there are the cases where it is the man who can’t father children, and the women who love them enough for it not to matter.
Chose not to risk it
One of my co-workers is a married childfree woman in her early 50’s. We got talking one day and she opened up about the death of both her father and brothers. Turns out there is a hereditary disease in the family that only affects men. She told me the name of it, but I’d never heard of it before and can’t remember. There is no known cure. The outcome is an unavoidable early death. The chances of passing the gene onto a son are 100% guaranteed. I fought back tears as she told me she watched both her father and brothers battle this disease and die; she wasn’t going to risk passing that fate onto an unsuspecting child just so she could be a mum.
Waiting to find their soul mate
All props to the strong women out there who are brave enough to go it alone with a sperm donor. But for some, that’s not a reality they can deal with. I know we live in this world of female empowerment and if we truly want something we should make it happen. But wanting to meet your life partner before having kids isn’t that much of an old-fashioned notion.
Prefer to be an aunt
Technically there is an Aunt and Uncle Day, but I had to Google the date because it doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. It’s 26 July if you were wondering. In over 21 years never have my nieces wished me a happy Aunt Day. And I think of my nieces as the children I will never have. Yeah, as an aunt I get most of the fun stuff, but I rock up to every important occasion. Every dance recital, karate performance, school formal, holy communion, and birthday of course. I am always there cheering my girls on and taking photos. I don’t have to be there; I choose to be there. I would honestly lay down my life for my two girls. Isn’t that part of what parenthood is all about?
So whilst we celebrate Mother’s Day this Sunday a number of woman will find the day a little tough. To those I say, I see you, I feel you, I support you. And to those who have lost their mums, whether you’re a mother yourself or not, my sincere condolences.