My First Mother's Day

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Mother's Day is a bit of a strange day for me.

I've spent so many years desperately wanting to be a mother. So many years spending a significant portion of Mother's Day crying my eyes out in the fetal position in our bed after putting on a happy face for loved ones. So many years feeling left out as relative and relative, and friend after friend, were inducted into the elusive, exclusive Mom Club. Even something that has (sometimes, especially in the earlier years) brought me a little bit of peace and hope in regards to my infertility, my faith, didn't help on Mother's Day; the one Mother's Day we spent in a church was so depressing for me that I haven't been in a church on Mother's Day since.

I normally dread Mother's Day.

But this year was different.

This year, I have two amazing little boys. And though I did not give birth to them, I am their mommy. For the first time, I actually looked forward to Mother's Day.

I have always been the kind of person who builds things up in my head. This often ends up with me being upset because I always set my expectations too high. That kind of happened this year.

Tom and the boys game me an amazingly thoughtful (and extremely appropriate) gift: a heart made up of puzzle pieces, with each piece having a different name of someone (two-legged or four-legged) who makes our family complete. He even put the boys' nicknames on there instead of their real names so that I could share it with others. It fits our family perfectly.

The Wednesday before Mother's Day was a very bad day, probably the worst behavior-wise since we've had the boys.

I was at my wits' end.

In an effort to cheer me up, Tom gave me my gift a few days early. It worked.

However, when we got to Mother's Day, since I'd already gotten my gift, it felt like any other Sunday. We woke up, had breakfast, hung out at home, had lunch with my best friend's family, cleaned a little, watched TV, and went to bed. Somewhere in there, I found myself crying in my bed again, which I certainly hadn't expected.

I feel so bad about that. I think it was a combination of things: the fact that the day didn't feel special, the fact that I'm still infertile, and the fact that my hormones and my uterus can't get their act together and are wreaking havoc on my lady bits. Tom felt really guilty, which made me feel even more horrible. And then I just kept making it worse, because when I'm upset, I have a tendency to do that. It's definitely not my finest trait.

Later that night, some time after Game of Thrones, it hit me how utterly selfish I was being.

I had spent so many years dreaming of being a mother, and here I was, finally a mother on Mother's Day, pouting like Veruca Salt because things didn't go the way I had hoped they would.

Yes, I had high hopes for my first Mother's Day, but Mother's Day isn't what matters.

Actually being a mother does.

Loving my boys matters. Making sure they feel safe matters. Making sure they're comforted matters. Engaging their brains and giving them new experiences matters. Giving all the hugs and kisses they can stand matters.

Mother's Day is great and all, but Mother's Day is meaningless in the long run. Fifty years from now, I won't care that I didn't wake up to flowers and jewelry on my first Mother's Day, but I will rejoice in the fact that these precious boys made me a mother that year.

And that is what matters.

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