• Angie

Not-So-Mothers' Day

While people celebrate and honor their mothers on Mothers' Day, there is another side to this holiday that is often unspoken. What I reference is the many women that want children but struggle with conception or steady relationships which prevent then from the opportunity to experience being a mother.

Imagine going through life without hair. Seeing everyone around you having long luxurious hair and everyone praising them for it. You hear from teachers, doctors, and loved ones that "one day" you'd be able to have hair. That you've always wanted hair and just not had the opportunity to grow hair. They all told you that if you are "good, get married, get in a relationship" that you'll grow hair one day. All the other people around you with hair talk about how difficult it is to wash, comb, and maintain but that it's "the most rewarding thing you'll ever experience". You think to yourself... "I want that... I want hair someday". You do all the right things, get in a relationship, eat healthy, prepare yourself and your body to make hair. You decide one day to try. You wash with shampoo hoping that in 30 days you'd find it, the little sprout of new growth on the top of your head. Shampoo isn't working. So you try supplements and additives that on all accounts will make you "ready" to have new growth. That didn't work. So you go see a doctor. The doctor says everything is fine you should be able to have hair and to hold new growth. After another 3 months of shampooing and tracking how often you shampoo you feel lost, confused, and hopeless. You can't figure out why you don't have any new growth. Your relationship becomes a mess. Your partner becomes angry and frustrated because showering has become more of a task, there's shampoo everywhere, and there is no fun in the process anymore. You have this secret yearning that just doesn't seem to go away, despite anything that you do. Once a year there is a celebration of all the people with hair. Everywhere you go people are congratulating people with hair, with gray hair, with long hair, and you walk around all of it feeling so exposed and dissatisfied. People walk up to you on that day and say Happy Hair Day and wish you hope for the future. It doesn't do anything to that gnawing feeling like you've missed out on some part of life that you've always wanted to be part of, but just can't.

The above metaphor is similar to the experiences of women across the nation that struggle with fertility issues. They live this unspoken struggle with their bodies and their identity. Mothers Day is often one of those haunting days where the thing that they want most is out of reach yet so widely praised.

What Can I Do

  • Be aware that not all women are mothers

  • Be cautious in saying "Happy Mothers Day" to every woman

  • Understand that Mothers Day might cause a reaction in others (ie noticing them becoming more withdrawn, sullen, or irritable)

  • Understand that the struggles are real and be considerate towards others situations.

  • Often times women feel as though their bodies have betrayed them and lose a sense of security in them selves. Be gentle and patient with yourself.

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