Easter is early this year and as a result all the “Hallmark holidays” are squeezed in together. Therefore, less than a week after Leap Day and just 3 weeks after Valentine’s Day we had Mothering Sunday, AKA Mother’s Day (and I had a very irate Gwen because I couldn’t be bothered sending her a card, even though I thought that the gift of my presence the weekend before on an impromptu visit would have been enough!)
I’ve been doing some reading about this holiday and I found this interesting article on the website gateway-women.com
It was originally a day when all domestic servants were given a coordinated day off so that they could visit their families and together attend a service at their “Mother” church. It was a family day. However, gradually that original meaning has been lost and has been overtaken by the “Mother’s Day” first introduced in the US by Anna Jarvis in 1914 and falling on the second Sunday in May. Interestingly, Anna Jarvis was childless and the scope of her Mother’s Day also included Aunts and Godmothers, although the focus is now on mothers only. Both traditions have now been subsumed into what is now a commercially-led celebration of birth-motherhood, alienating those who have lost their own mothers, or who have not had the chance (or chance yet) to become mothers themselves, those who are childless stepmothers and the many childfree women who choose to be involved in the lives and welfare of children.
As you know, I am a childless woman and, at the age of 41, I am finally accepting the fact that I will probably never be a mother.
However, this has been a difficult thing to come to terms with, especially because it didn’t happen by choice but by circumstance. My Sister, on the other hand, knew from her teens that she didn’t want to have children and she has always been content with that decision. But I feel cheated by my increasing age and diminishing eggs into a childess life that I did NOT choose.
So, for me, Mother’s Day is another opportunity to rub my nose in my childless existence. When I lived at home my Mother in Law always used to give me flowers and chocolates and an extra big hug on Mother’s Day as if to say sorry that I hadn’t experienced the joys of Motherhood and brought her a grandchild. Little did she know that this was Chris’s decision and not mine!
If you read last week’s post you’ll know how much I love my husband but if I’d known how vehemently he didn’t want children then perhaps I’d have reconsidered my proposal.
However, that was 12 years ago and I thought I would have convinced him by now. I also didn’t know quite how strong my longing for a child of my own would become as I ventured through my 30s.
It’s very isolating to mourn something that never existed but that’s how it feels sometimes – like grief. Added to this is the jealousy I feel when a close friend announces her latest pregnancy. Then I get angry when I hear stories about distant family members who are popping out babies like a Pez Dispenser. (Sorry but having 3 children to 3 different men before you are 21 is just ridiculous).
However, I do have my fur-baby Foxy to lavish my attention on and he really is the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. No matter how old he gets (he’ll be 7 this year) he’ll always be my baby. The only thing is, with his lack of opposable thumbs, he couldn’t get me a card on Sunday! 😉