The second Sunday in May each year, Australians celebrate and give thanks to their mothers for everything that they do for us. It's a wonderful time for mums to be pampered and treated like queens and so they should be. However, for adoptive families, it's also bittersweet as they remember the birthmothers and the loss that is felt for them and for the children who will always wonder 'what if...?'.
Of course, for waiting parents and women struggling with fertility issues, (and even those who make a choice not to be a mother), I don't have to tell you how hard it is to struggle through another childless Mother's Day, but to all the fulfilled mothers out there in blogland, (Yes, you!) please know that we, the childless women, all hurt this weekend and will need extra love too.
Many of us will steer clear of social media today, as it makes it all too easy for you to share your joy and for us to feel the pain. So if we choose not to 'Like' your status or 'retweet' your photo of the royal treatment you've been given for the tenth time today by your magnificent brood, please do not be surprised. Heather Barmore says it best in her recent post On being the childless friend: "Every once in awhile a post will pop up just to remind those of us without kids how unfulfilled our lives are." An 'other' woman, Melanie Notkin, in her article, Celebrating Other's Day, also writes: "The focus on motherhood as success and the norm can make women without children feel less-than, as if they only fully become women once they are mothers."
Now, I know you don't mean to continually post about your children as a way to make us, childless women, feel bad. I really do know that you are merely documenting the celebration of your life – and why wouldn’t you? You are entitled to use social media as it is intended. But, there are moments where just one more photograph of your darling child, or one more comment about how hard tired you are as a mother, makes me want to block you forever and pretend we never were friends in the first place.
So it is with a heavy heart, I wait out my tenth Mother’s Day by avoiding Facebook and the friends who have kids, to wallow in the misery that the long adoption journey bestows upon me. I do this, not by staying home snuggled in bed with a cuppa, a block of chocolate and a book, I stupidly go to a shopping centre where what seems like hundreds of women and their offspring are congregating.
Thankfully, as my childless BFF and I sip our cappuccinos over breakfast, we pretend that there is no one else around us, ignoring the generational success of motherhood, and focus on building each other up with words that keep our tired hearts beating.
Happy Mother's Day.