I just read a post I made last Mother's Day in 2021 and there was a phrase I used that summed up how I feel about Mother's Day in general.
'Have a lovely day whether your heart is bursting, breaking or yearning.'
Having a poor relationship with my Dad, struggling on Father's Day wasn't strange to me. I blocked it out, saw the benefits in saving money on a card and was merely joyful in the love shown to my friends' Dads. In contrast, Mother's Day for me was always lovely and a celebration for how much my brother and I loved our Mum.
My earliest memories of trying our best to make her feel special was taking our 'pennies' (and I mean pennies) to the local wool shop in our village (said wool shop closed many, many years ago!), and buying a tiny little pot bear as a gift for Mum. We had gone together, on our bikes, all alone, and been so excited at being able to get a gift as a surprise for her. It wasn't about the gift, (thankfully as despite Mum keeping it for many years, it really was a crappy little pot bear) but I still remember the thrill of buying it ourselves, in secret, and surprising Mum with it! We called it HeAn - a mash up of Helen and Andrew and I'm pretty sure HeAn made Mum feel special.
And therein followed many a year with at least that one day dedicated to telling Mum how special both she, and my beloved Granma, were to us and how much we appreciated them and all they did for us.
And then all that changed. My love shown for my Mum was counter balanced by the love and loss of her Mum. I worshipped my Granma and she was a constant in my Mum's life. She'd lost her mother, I'd lost my idol and Mother's Day for us both would now be tinged with rawness at what was missing.
Crappy bears must be a common theme as my first baby Zac was barely three months old when I enjoyed my first Mother's Day, and Jason bought me a tacky cream, fluffy bear holding a pink heart that had Best Mum embroidered on it. It was horrid. Downright awful. But I loved it! I loved that it was meant for me and that I had a Mother's Day. I was a Mummy, hell yeh!
Mother's Days took on a new focus with my preparations each year to remind my Mum how special she was but also the thrill of looking forward to a treat from Jason and my boy! A reminder I was a Mum, a chance to take a moment to enjoy all that I did for them and a new reason to enjoy the day.
And yet, the loss of my beloved Granma and the struggle to conceive another baby gave me a new, not so welcome view of Mother's Day.
Three years of infertility was extremely hard, especially with a pregnancy loss and IVF failures, and as each yearly milestone passed it just reinforced my failure at producing another longed for baby. I had my son so I was lucky. I knew that. But I desperately wanted to give him a sibling. I could enjoy Mother's Day as I was a Mum when many other Mums still longed to have a baby and a reason to feel special on that day. And yet, my heart was breaking. Ever year, every Mother's Day that passed reminded me of my heart ache, and it hurt. It really hurt. Thankfully I was eventually fortunate to have healthy twins and my love for the day to celebrate that achievement returned in gusto - but I never forgot that pain I'd felt.
Thousands of girls will love waking up on Mother's Day this year but there are countless girls who will find it incredibly difficult. Whether they long for a baby, have lost a baby, have lost their Mum, have never known their Mum or have any other reason to feel hurt, they will rise, face the day and look at it differently from the majority of us.
Mother's Day is certainly a celebration of all Mums, but whatever your circumstances, it is surely a reminder of just how precious motherhood really is to us all.