Mother's Day is Complicated

by Krystin St. George

I remember how excited I used to get for Mother's Day, excited to soak up the love and spoiling. But that was before loss.

My first Mother's Day as an angel mom was extremely difficult. It was still so fresh, I didn't want any part of Mother's Day. I felt like I wanted it to come to a screeching halt on its approach. Enough time hadn't passed after losing Bentley to even come close to my being prepared to face a holiday dedicated to mothers. I still had so much guilt. Like I had failed at the one thing I thought I couldn’t fail at: carrying a living baby to term and birthing that living child. Yes, I had a then five-year-old son wanting to celebrate his mommy, but I remember feeling so unsure of what kind of mother I was; the feeling of failure mixed with grief was almost too much to handle.

Last year was a bit better.  It was easier to handle. I tried to focus on how blessed we are to have our living son. I still treated Mother’s Day as just a day to spend with my husband and son. I deferred to them, choosing to do something they enjoyed.  

This Mother’s Day, we’ve just recently moved to North Carolina.  When my husband asked what I wanted to do, I said I wanted to go to a baseball game.  Our son has never been, and there are a lot of minor league teams around, and it is so family-friendly.  I was thinking he might enjoy it, and baseball has always been my favorite sport.  I knew he wanted to celebrate me, but I don’t care about going out or getting gifts.  The guilt—all the feelings, they are still there.

My mom was on the phone with me the other night, talking about Mother's Day and how she'll be sure to call me. I found myself saying, “It's just a day”.  Beyond my husband and son, anyone else reaching out makes me feel kind of meh. I still want and need the love.  I don't feel like I don't want to celebrate Mother's Day—I sort of want to—but it is not what it used to be because of that little beautiful baby boy whose absence leaves a gaping hole in my heart.

Two years later, and there are still feelings I don’t know what to do with.  I want other moms like me to know this.  Mother’s Day might get easier, but there might always be these strange and unwelcome feelings we don’t know how to manage.  And that’s perfectly okay.  

Good luck.
Happy Mother’s Day.