Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Mother's Day for the Childless

If you are a Mom, this post is not for you. You may read it if you like. In fact, some of your friends who are struggling with being childless may appreciate it. But I will not attempt in this post to explain to you how those women are feeling or how you can help them. Please return for that post tomorrow.

Today I speak directly to those who are childless- and not by choice. This is a tough week for you. And I give you permission to be grouchy.

But before we discuss this permission further, I have a disclosure and a qualification.

Disclosure: I am no longer childless. I have a beautiful little girl who celebrates her fourth birthday next week. She happens to have been created by people other than my husband and I. And she has skin very different from ours. But she is ours. I am a Mom now. So if you choose not to read what I have to say, I get that. But I will always identify with women who want children and do not have them.

Qualification: I am not giving you permission to be mean and nasty. There is a difference between how you feel and how you behave. You have permission to feel lousy. You do not have permission to try to make others feel lousy.

So. Let's discuss.

This week. Man, this week, right? I'm watching The Today Show and every-other segment is about mothers. I remember how this week felt a few years ago. It's awful. It's everywhere you look. And the thing is, it's going to be awful. Because your situation is awful. And I'm so sorry you're going through it. But unfortunately there isn't really a way for this week not to suck. The best you can do is take care of yourself. That includes permission to be grouchy.

Of course you are going to feel badly this week. Of course it is going to hurt. So schedule some fun for yourself. Go to lunch with girlfriends. (girlfriends who don't have kids or know enough not to talk about them.) Go shopping. Have a chic flick marathon and cry fest. And on Sunday, if you're able to make it your own person holiday, do it.

For some people, this is impossible. You have family responsibilities, and I get that. Ideally, your family would understand and excuse you from Mother's Day festivities. But if that's not the case, see if you can make an appearance and then get the heck out of there.

If you're one of the lucky ones who isn't expected to be anywhere, for goodness' sake stay home. Make your favorite foods. Watch your favorite movies. (Not on TV. That will be a Mom-fest.) Spend time with your husband. And cry if you need to.

This week as Mother's Day approaches, set yourself up to be healthy. Stay away from the internet and TV. Know that it will hurt. Try to focus on the positive, but give yourself permission to grieve.

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