Miscarriage,  Pregnancy

Every Mother Honored

I never really thought much about Mother’s Day until we started trying to conceive. It was always a big deal, especially having grown up in church. Sermons were given on the importance of motherhood. Women who were easily identified as mothers were asked to stand. On the way out, flowers and candy were distributed to the worthy. It always seemed like a sweet, simple way to honor the mothers who do much thankless work, and it is. But as I struggled to conceive and carry a baby to term, it became apparent that Mother’s Day is anything but simple.

Bitterness, shame, grief, regret, anger, disappointment, annoyance…these are the emotions that Mother’s Day evokes for so many women. Those who are not easily identified as mothers, those whose circumstances delay motherhood, those who don’t have a good relationship with their mothers, those who never knew their mother, those who have lost their mother, those who have no desire to become a mother but feel an incredible sense of societal pressure to reproduce…for such as these, Mother’s Day is not so sweet.

Especially over the past two years, I’ve really struggled with Mother’s Day. I was newly pregnant with Vincent for Mother’s Day 2019, and It was the first time I’d been pregnant on Mother’s Day. Even though no one knew about my condition at that point, it was hard. Seeing “mother’s-to-be” celebrated, or not quite celebrated “yet” was HARD. It was another reminder that people don’t see you as a mother unless and until you have a living baby in your arms–even people who apparently believe that life begins at conception. It was validation of my hesitancy to celebrate the life that was growing within me.

Then last year, I celebrated my “first official Mother’s Day”. And I was angry. I was angry for so many reasons, and I didn’t want any attention. I didn’t want to be celebrated. I didn’t want to feel like I was agreeing with the (intentional or otherwise) message that only now was I a “real” mother. Even though my womb held four other babies before Vincent, it seemed my status as a mother only counted when he arrived. I was now a visible mother, and I hated being seen by those who refused to acknowledge my other babies. I had been a part of this invisible motherhood community for so long, and being thrown into the totally different world of visible motherhood shook me to my core. Because I fully realized how quickly people forget the babies who aren’t here, and their mothers are left without honor or celebration.

So, I channeled all of my sorrow and anger into celebrating mothers who might not be acknowledged otherwise, just as a few precious others had done for me. This year I want to do it again, but on a much larger scale. I hope you will consider joining me in making Mother’s Day a little less miserable for invisible mothers.

I have launched a Bonfire T-Shirt Campain to help celebrate as many invisible mothers as possible! The design is simple, but powerful, and will be appreciated by the mothers in your life who are going through loss or infertility. Even if you have no experience with loss or infertility, please consider purchasing a shirt to show your support this Mother’s Day. All the proceeds from this campaign will be used to celebrate invisible mothers locally (more details to come!). The campaign runs for 21 days (beginning today), and orders should arrive just in time for Mother’s Day (shipping will begin on April 21st). Please share the campaign using #everymotherhonored, and send me pictures if you decide to order!

Premium Unisex Tee comes in 5 different colors.
Sweatshirt comes in 5 different colors.
Unisex v-neck tee comes in 3 different colors.

I am so thankful for the individuals in my life who always took the time to acknowledge every aspect of my motherhood. Once you see the reality that is unconventional motherhood, you can never unsee it. And I wouldn’t want to. Every mother deserves and NEEDS to be honored, remembered, celebrated, seen, held, and loved.

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