Mother’s Day? Nope, I’ll pass.

364 days of the year mothers teach, nurture, and care for their children. They pour their heart and soul into the tiny humans  with whom they have been entrusted. They stash their independent, coffee-sipping, stylish lifestyle and trade it in for a minivan, cold coffee or sensible shoes.

It’s a small price to pay for the wonders of motherhood.

Then, that one special day arrives where moms get the day off, where they are celebrated, pampered, and devoid of all responsibility for 24 hours of pure nirvana, right?

Wrong.

In our house, Mother’s Day is celebrated every day. Father’s Day too–because it is important to us that our children show love and respect to those around them.  Some days they are grateful and kind, other days they are not. But, hey…some days I am a great mom, and other days I am not. 

I entered my first few Mother’s Days in ignorant bliss. It wasn’t until a few years in that I realized I needed to lower my expectations of what this day entails. My children will still argue. Dishes will still need to be washed. I will still need to purchase my own gift so that no one feels bad for forgetting my “special” day. 

I will still have to be ‘mom’.

Don’t get me wrong; my husband is a rock star. He would cover it all. But, I have realized you can’t turn off motherhood any more than you can turn off time. Nor should you. It is a constant. It keeps moving forward regardless of circumstance. From the moment you see those two pink lines on a pregnancy test, you are a mother and you are needed. You are needed to grow a baby, nurture your toddler, guide an adolescent, or reassure your adult-child.

Mother’s Day is a reminder that I don’t want a day where my child doesn’t need me.

Because I know how that feels.

A few years ago, we lost our son. Mother’s Day now reminds me I have a child that doesn’t need me, and it is a painfully awful reminder. I dread this day now more than ever, as it is another day that exacerbates the loss.

Time lost. Milestones lost. Dreams … lost.

When you bury a child, you bury a part of yourself. A new me had to emerge out of that darkness, and though I wouldn’t say I am any better or any worse, I am most definitely different. I am no longer the same daughter, sister, or friend that I was before. I am not the same wife, nor am I the same mother.

Many have commented on how I should be “over it” by now.

When you send your child off to preschool, do you forget about her?

If he leaves for college, do you love him any less?

The day you walk her down the aisle and give her away, is she any less yours?

Sending my child to Heaven does not remove him from my heart. I will never stop loving my child, therefore, I will never stop grieving his loss.

Mothers Day is bittersweet for many. While many will relish the embrace of their child in celebration, many others will lament their infertility. 1 in 4 pregnancies will have ended in miscarriage.  Another 1 in 100 pregnancies will have ended in stillbirth and nearly 4 in 1,000 will have encountered neonatal death. Motherhood and the path to get there can be a winding, messy road that creates a division on days like Mother’s Day of those who can “celebrate” and those who cannot.

If you are struggling to celebrate this Mother’s Day, I encourage you to honor your motherhood or your hard-fought battle to get there with us. Comment below about your beautiful child gone-too-soon. These beautiful souls deserve to have their names spoken or their spirits remembered today because you are their mother. Today and always. Whether you carried your child for hours, days, or months…inside of the womb or out…witnessed the first breath or not, you are a mother that has every right to share about the amazing life you created, nurtured, or raised. Today and every day. Through celebration or remembrance. 

So, Mother’s Day? Nope. I’ll pass. I will celebrate every day–sometimes through laughter and sometimes through tears. 

Jaclyn is an Iowa native with roots in the Midwest, but a heart full of wanderlust. She loves to run, read and travel. She and her husband, Mark, have 3 daughters (13, 11, and 7) and an incredible baby boy in Heaven. She spends her days split quite evenly between teaching Spanish at Xavier High School and taxiing her girls around CR as they try to find their passions. She’s a firm believer that it’s not joy that makes us grateful, but rather gratitude that makes us joyful.