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Happy Day

Updated: May 12

I'm going to say Happy Mother's Day. What I mean is Happy Whatever You Want This To Be Day.

That's because, for a variety of reasons, Mother's Day has historically been one of my least favorite days of the year. Mother's Day and the anniversary of my father's death both pretty much fill me with the same feeling of anticipation and "please just let the day pass." What is meant to celebrate the women of our lives turns out to be more often a day of pleasing everyone else, stress, and reminders of things I wish not to be reminded of.

So today I am looking past the women that feel beloved and get showered with flowers and brunch and mimosas. Today I write a blog to the unseen woman. I say Happy Day to the woman who wants desperately to be a mother but has had years of infertility. I say Happy Day to the woman who has loved and lost their mother. The woman who floats through her life unseen by her husband and children. The woman who chose not to have children because she knows she would be a selfish motherdare I say, you made the most motherly of sacrifices, and society may have demonized you for something they should be admiring you for.

I say Happy Day to the young girl that just wants to escape her emotionally abusive mother and the girl that dreams more about becoming a doctor than what her wedding dress will look like. Happy Day to the mother of babies who gets up for another exhausting night of breastfeeding and crying. Happy Day to the men that allowed us to be the mothers we want to be. Happy Day to the woman who decided to take a different path than the one her family expected her to.

Happy Day to the woman who has lost children and cannot bear to see this day roll around and remind her of all she has lost. To the single mother and single daughter and the lonely woman who cannot seem to meet the right partner. To the woman who lives in the shadows and lives by the rules that someone else set for her. The ones who are trapped and the ones who are free. The ones who dream for more and the ones who are pleased and gratified because they demanded it. To the woman who fights, who will fail, who will succeed, and who will keep trying.

Happy Day to the woman who adores her children but mental health sometimes wins. To the woman who has nightmares of things she'd rather forget and still shows up to make lunches. To the woman doing this alone. To the one who escaped terrible things. To the one whose children are too little or angry to celebrate her. To the woman barely holding on. I see you.

Women mother in various ways. We nurture children and nieces and nephews, animals and plants and friendship, fostering and caretaking. We are mothers, or we came from mothers. Mothering has affected each of our lives, good and bad, for better or worse.

All of us should be recognized, for all we encompass and all we choose. The life of the unseen woman is maybe more common than the one this day of breakfast in bed represents. The unseen woman is all of us.

Today, I see you.

Happy Day to you.

1 comment

1 Comment

What a beautiful post, Kerry. Mother's Day means so many different things to different people, and it's not always good. There are so many ways that we are all effected by the roles of mothers and mothering in our lives. This is such a thoughtful and sensitive post, I am sure it will be a comfort to many people on this day.

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