Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day Addendum - Celebrating Womanhood

I really loved my sister's blog post today. She has struggled with infertility for over a decade, and finally this past year had a beautiful baby boy through invitro. Some people have been critical of medical procedures when there are so many children that need homes, but to them I say, 1) it's none of your business, and 2) you have no clue unless you've been there. I loved her message about celebrating womanhood as opposed to focusing on motherhood. I am going to copy her post over because I thought the message was a fantastic one.

Celebrating Womanhood

A couple of thoughts.... random as usual...

Today I celebrate my first Mother's Day. Honestly it was a little bittersweet. Obviously I'm beyond thrilled to be a mama. But how can I be so happy when I have so many friends that are still struggling to have a family?

I won't lie... I've hated Mother's Day for the past 9-ish years... and I have a fabulous Mother... but the day was a reminder of everything that I couldn't have. My failed body. Motherhood... something I'd wanted to and planned on my whole life. And to sit on the bench at church every Mother's day and listen to talk and after talk about Motherhood and how it was our destiny and our greatest joy. And then to hear the children sing songs to their mothers. It got to be too much. I just couldn't handle it anymore. It was absolutely horrible. So about 6-ish years ago I stopped going to Church on Mother's Day... which is so not me... I believe in being to church every Sunday. But I just couldn't do it anymore. I don't feel proud about it and I wasn't trying to make a statement. It was just the only way I could deal with things.

And while you may be tired of hearing of my infertility woes... it really is a big part of who I am... its shaped who I've become. The 30-ish me after all of these years of struggles is much much different than the 20-ish me. I'm less confident than I was. I'm much less sure of myself. It really is a blow to the ego. You question and doubt yourself. Why am I not good enough? Am I being punished? Does God not love or trust me?

Why do these 13 year old drug head girls get to have a baby that they don't even want?? Why? Why? Always why? When that's all I've wanted in life to be a mother, why am I being denied this? And someday I'll get to ask Him in person. Was it a fluke... was I just a random infertility statistic or was this trial hand pick just for me by a loving Heavenly Father who can see a bigger picture than I do?

As with all trials in life I hope I've learned from it. Take away something from the experience that will make me a better person... Hopefully I have... Hopefully all my years of struggle were not in vain. I do feel that I've become a kinder and softer person. I'm less quick to judge (on some things... infertility doesn't make you perfect). I feel like I'm more compassionate and willing to stop and listen and cry with others.

And today I sat in church and I was finally on the other side of the fence. I was a mom. But as I listened to the talks and the songs my heart still hurt. It hurt for my dear friends who are struggling to have a family. It hurt for the friends who would like to be a wife and mother and haven't yet had the opportunity to marry. There are so many wonderful women who deserve to celebrate today.

When I was in Young Women's today I explained to the girls that there are so many great, wonderful women in the history of the world who were never "mothers" in the traditional sense. One of my favorite examples in Mother Teresa. She changed the world with her goodness and kindness and yet do we dismiss her because never had a child of her own?

So while I think its absolutely important to celebrate Motherhood (and I hope nobody feels like I'm diminishing that)...and I'm sooo grateful for the amazingly wonderful Mother that I have... and the mother that I hope to be... I also think it so important to celebrate Womanhood. Because really one woman can change the world.

Happy Womanhood day!