Mother’s Day was always a day to celebrate my Mum & Granny, a day for saying thank you. I have memories of making daffodil cards from egg boxes at school, going on an early morning walk with my Granny one Mothering Sunday looking for wild flowers for my Mum. Making breakfast in bed for my Mum (even though she never ate breakfast) family roast dinners with Buck’s Fizz & I’m sure cakes of some sort.
When we first started trying to have a baby it became a “oh maybe this time next year I’ll be a mum”, but as the years rolled on & that wasn’t the case it became an incredibly painful reminder of what everyone around me had & what was so desperately missing from my life. Friends posting photos of seemingly idyllic Mother's Days filled with little ones, snaps of flowers & home made cards. The heavy feeling in my heart & the thought of “will it ever be my turn, will I ever get to be a mum”.
On Mother’s Day three years ago it took on a new meaning as this was the day we announced to our families that our frozen cycle of IVF had worked & we were having a baby, a truly magical & memorable Mother’s Day the start of a new chapter & perhaps a renewed love of this special day.
On my first Mother’s Day as a mum I think I wanted so desperately to make up for all the lost time & the heartache that I went totally overboard creating this “wonderful” afternoon tea for both of our families with no expense spared, home made cakes, balloons, flowers you name it & I did it & in the process I completely & utterly exhausted myself. On Mother’s Day itself all the sadness resurfaced, (I don’t think it ever leaves) & I spent much of that day crying after having an argument with my husband as I didn’t feel he had made the effort that I’d so desperately wished for & the acknowledgment I so desperately needed that life had been incredibly tough & it was ok not to feel all “warm & fuzzy” ( like a imagined for so long). I just kept looking at our daughter & crying feeling such a mixture of emotions.
On my second Mother’s Day as a mum I had big plans, this was going to be the Mother’s Day we completely surprised our families with the news we were expecting another baby, news we felt would come as a total surprise to everyone & I had plans to reveal our news & gender of our second baby in all sorts of elaborate ways, M was going to have the token “big sister” top & it was going to be such a magical day. Just a few weeks before Mother’s Day we received the devastating news that our babies heart had stopped beating & with it all the hopes, the dreams, the future plans were in that instant taken away. Mother’s Day became again a day to get through, to smile & pretend it’s was all ok when all I wanted was to scream & cry at how incredibly unfair it all was. Whilst also holding on to my daughter so tightly & in total awe of the miracle she really is.
This year I approach Mother’s Day with trepidation, I can’t say it’s a day I look forward to & I'm starting to accept that I’m not sure it ever will. Just like Valentine’s Day, etc it has become a day of “enforced” celebration that does not hold up to the ideals created by the advertisements & Instagram polished moments we are fed. It’s a day of immense joy for my daughter but also a day of sadness for the babies we never got to meet, the ones who never made it home, who at times feel forgotten by everyone except me.
What advice would I offer to anyone struggling or feeling lost or alone this Mother’s Day? Be kind to yourself & the other women in your life. You may not know what is going on behind the scenes, behind the smiles.
Don’t put pressure on yourself to do anything you don’t want to do for fear of letting others down. Your own happiness & well-being is just as important as everyone else’s.
Don’t forget your trainers & what a valuable tool they can be, you don’t need to run but just getting out even for 10 minutes in the fresh air can make the world of difference, it can provide a quiet moment to contemplate, a chance to re set. Run, walk, practice yoga, sit & meditate, enjoy a bath ~ what ever YOU need to care for yourself.
Please know that you are not alone, I will be holding an Instagram live at 10am on Mother’s Day to give us all a chance to connect with each other, to help each other through the day ahead, for a “virtual” rainbow running club meet up ~ join me for a cup of tea & a cake! I will also be here via DM so please reach out.
If you are reading this & wondering how you can help a friend then I would say please please please acknowledge that you understand that this might be a difficult day & that you are there. If a friend has lost a baby please don’t be afraid to ask questions about her baby or about how she is feeling. Please don’t just say nothing even if it makes you feel uncomfortable, your friend would much rather you said something rather than nothing. Silence is incredibly lonely. There is nothing more isolating than feeling misunderstood or forgotten because you don’t fit what society deems as the picture perfect Mother.
Over the next week I am going to be sharing a blog post each day written by some truly wonderful ladies that will provide differing insights of what Mothers Day means to them & their tips for helping to navigate the build up & day itself. I am so excited to share them with you & I really hope they will offer support & a reminder that no matter where you are on your “path” to Motherhood you aren’t alone & that we are all alongside you.