A Mother's Heart

Happy Mother’s Day

Motherhood is such an emotionally charged word and subject.  Currently, my biological mother and I are not on speaking terms, and my heart aches today, as it always does, for the relationship I desire to have with her and for the desire of things that simply can’t be.  Meanwhile, my once severed relationship with the mother who raised me has been restored and we are closer than ever, which has been a source of life and love this past year greater than I would have imagined. 

Growing up, I was terrified of motherhood.  I desired to have children, yet I was overwhelmed with the weight of failure I already felt regarding my ability to love them well.  Yet, as I type this, my husband is in our bed, snuggling both of our healthy girls, who may someday carry that weight as well; I am struck with the enormous need to instill in them that they are enough and perfection is unobtainable, and that’s okay. 

Despite the flowers and the chocolate, the beauty of spring and the smiling faces, Mother’s Day is a heavy holiday.  This year, a dear friend of mine suffered the loss of a child, and my heart breaks for her as she faces today.  This year, someone I know lost their mother and as they receive calls and love from their own children, I know they will mourn the ability to call and love on their own mother.

Professionally, outside of managing Wild Grace Workshop, I am a doula.  It is my job and my passion to support mothers.  I am overwhelmed by the strength and power of the women I encounter. No matter the choice, epidural or none, cloth diapers or disposable, baby wearing or stroller, school or home, mothers are constantly in the position of decision maker and feel the weight of knowing their decisions affect someone other than themselves.  It is always an honor to support their decision and to combat that voice in their head which always tries to tell them they’re not enough. 

This past year John and I have been commissioned to create memorial boxes for babies that were lost.  Yesterday, we stood in our dining room and cried with a family as they came to collect the box we created for their beautiful baby girl, who was born just a little too soon.  When we make these boxes, the weight of what we are creating is heavy.  John in meticulous, as usual, but even more of his heart goes into their creation. 

The first box we made for a child who was lost was made when I was pregnant with Sophia, who is now 8- months old.  After applying the final coat of finish John hugged me and we cried, grateful for the child we were about to have and devastated at the loss others have felt. 

The mother who accepted this box yesterday encouraged us to share the photos, something we typically keep private out of respect.  She does not want other mothers to feel alone.  I was struck speechless as she told me that just recently she visited a mother whose loss was almost identical to her own.  She wanted to show the mom, she can laugh again, she is still standing, it still hurts but life will go on.  The beauty and honesty in those words struck me.  That is what a mother does, she takes the hurt and the lessons from her own life and uses them to strengthen and protect those around her.

We live in a world where loss in inevitable, and as mothers, so often we carry the weight of that for ourselves and our children.  However, again and again scripture promises us the restoration of all things.  This world is not it, and our suffering is not forever. 

This Mother’s Day, whether you are joyfully holding your newborn, visiting your mother in the hospital, mourning the mother postpartum depression has taken your ability away from being, feeling the loss of the child you wish you were holding, missing your mother, or feeling the weight of infertility, we stand with you.  Wild Grace Workshop wants to say, you are not alone and life will move forward. 

Happy Mother’s Day, thank you for what you do.