Why Mother's Day Hurts

May 4, 2019

By Sanda Rathamone
Originally published: May 9, 2018


"A woman becomes a Mother the very moment she opens her heart to the idea of loving and caring for a child. It is in that very moment that her Mother Heart begins to blossom."

At the start of May, everywhere around me starts gearing up for Mother's Day. Shops and stores put up huge signs: "Get her something nice." and "She deserves this!"


There will be an aisle or a shelf in almost every store designated for Mother's Day. Things like "World's Best Mom" mugs, "Mom and Me" photo frames, Mother's Day cards, Mother/Daughter jewelry, Mom gift sets tied with a bow, vases and bouquets of roses or tulips are all colorfully and lovingly displayed, waiting for a set of hands to thoughtfully pick them up and buy them for their mother.

I heard conversations of, "What's the plan for Sunday?" and "What are you going to do for your mom?" Commercials on T.V. announce Mother's Day sales and "gifts that mom will love." Ads on Facebook and Instagram somehow pop up every 10 scrolls of smiling moms (or some random woman) and coupons with enlarged fonts for discounts.

"Take 20% OFF on MOTHER'S DAY!" 

Mother's Day in America is like Christmas:

The one day that families get together and buy gifts because it is a special day to celebrate. Except, it is a day about mothers and showering them with presents, posting sweet and happy photos with captions on social media about how much we love and appreciate our moms for their hard work, and taking our moms out to dinner (or making her dinner), so that she doesn't have to cook.

The posts of mothers with their small children, especially the babies, with captions of "grateful to be a mother" is the ever more sweet post...

However, Mother's Day for many women who have lost to miscarriage, stillbirth, SIDS, and infant death find this day extremely confusing and painful. Women - like myself - who has lost to stillbirth often wonder if we are included on Mother's Day.

Questions like these makes it confusing:

"Did my pregnancy before loss consider me a mother?" 
"Does my grief count as motherhood?"
"Is my love and pain for my lost child enough to meet the hard work of a loving and dedicated mother of one or ten?"
"Because my lost child isn't here, can I still celebrate Mother's Day?" 

And thoughts like these makes it painful:

"My baby would be this age on Mother's Day." 
"All I want is my baby on Mother's Day."
"Not many or no one is going to say 'Happy Mother's Day' to me." 

Mother's Day hurts because it was the day that my husband and I announced our pregnancy with Elijah. I still can't believe that two years ago, my husband and I hosted a "hot pot" dinner for the family on Mother's Day, secretly because we wanted to announce that we were 14 weeks pregnant.

What makes it unbelievable was that we couldn't get pregnant for years and that soon after the announcement, we lost. We lived as parent-to-be for only five months and then quickly became parents to a child we couldn't take home.

Mother's Day hurts even more because like last year on Mother's Day, I will not be announcing that I am pregnant on this Mother's Day. Infertility doubles my grief, it triples on Mother's Day, and soon it will quadruple on Elijah's birthday, which is coming up next month.


It's really hard to stay positive as the days are nearing Mother's Day. Pregnant women with big bellies and new mothers with newborns or tiny infants in strollers makes Mother's Day something that I don't look forward to - anymore. It just hurts to not be one of them. It hurts to see them, knowing that their Mother's Day includes their babies and not me with mine.

The only thing that I could hold onto is the memory that my first Mother's Day was when I was pregnant and waiting to know if we were having a boy or girl.

Sometimes, I don't feel special enough to be celebrated on Mother's Day. Other times, I feel that I deserve so much acknowledgement and recognition on Mother's Day for all of those days and nights (and pretty much every day) that I grieved so hard after losing Elijah.

Mother's Day hurts and will always hurt because one: I don't know if I could ever be a mother to a living child. And two: because I will never experience Mother's Day with Elijah.

All I want for Mother's Day is to be a mother...


For Pregnancy Loss Support, please visit: OurLovedBaby.com

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