Why Mother’s Day S*#%s

I hate Mother’s Day. Now, I know that might make you think that I don’t love my mother, but that’s just not true. My mom is awesome. She is one of my biggest supporters, and she has always encouraged me to be the best that I can possibly be. 

I hate Mother’s Day because I am not a traditional mother. That’s the part that sucks. If you have read my previous posts, you know that I have faced unexplained fertility for the last fifteen years. You also know that I am an adoptive mother to an adult son who is on the Autism spectrum. That’s not the part that sucks. Being an untraditional mother is what sucks.

For the last ten years, I have had to be ok with the fact that my son does not always know how to show that he appreciates me on Mother’s Day, let alone any other day of the year. Our first Mother’s Day together was terrible. Because he lost his biological mom when he was only nine years old, he was very uncomfortable on Mother’s Day. I had expectations that I know weren’t fair. Instead of wanting to do something nice for me, he wanted to spend the $5 that he had from his allowance. So my husband and I spent about a half an hour standing in the toy aisle of Walmart, waiting for him to pick something out. Nothing for me, of course. 

Some years he hasn’t even said Happy Mother’s Day until he hears someone else say it to me. Usually it’s at church. And it’s usually someone who is older who acknowledges my role as a mother. Then, my son sheepishly repeats the phrase, hoping that I won’t be upset with him. I’m sure it’s just as uncomfortable for him as it is for me. 

And yesterday, he just disappeared. In January, my son moved back in with us after he was unsuccessful at Navy boot camp. We decided that we would try to help him to get on his feet so that eventually he could have his own place. So far, that hasn’t been very successful. He has gone through four jobs in as much time as he has lived with us. So, on Saturday afternoon, he let me know that he was going to work and then staying at his friend’s house afterward. He said that he would be back home the next morning, but that was yesterday, and I still haven’t heard from him.

So, on Mother’s Day, I went to church where adult sons and daughters came to spend the day with their mothers. My son did not text me or let me know that he was ok. I try not to take it personally, but I really don’t know how I can’t. I feel like I am less than other mothers. I feel like I’m not a real mother. I feel like there will always be an emptiness inside of me because my son either doesn’t care about me or he simply doesn’t know how to express that he does.

It sucks. I know that’s not the best language to use, especially since I am a pastor’s wife. But it sucks. 

This morning, I tried to remind myself that there are young adults who do appreciate me. And they tell me regularly, especially at the end of the school year. I teach mostly seniors, and many of them tell me how much they appreciate me as a teacher. They appreciate that I treat them like they are human. They appreciate that I show them that I care about them individually. Because of this, I try to remind myself that I use some of my motherly talents to nurture other people’s children. And believe me, I’ve tried to nurture my son, but he won’t let me. He never had a chance to bond with his biological mother, so I don’t know if he can ever bond with me or anyone else in our family.

This is the part that sucks. I wouldn’t go back and change my mind about fostering and eventually adopting my son. I have learned so much about God’s love for each of us through loving my son. But it is more difficult than many people would like to admit – raising someone else’s child and accepting that they may never express their gratitude for what has been sacrificed. 

That’s it. That’s what sucks. And it’s a constant battle every day, not just on Mother’s Day. Mother’s Day just brings it all to light – I’m not my son’s mother, but I am. God, help me to continue to extend grace and love even when I don’t get it back.


Published by bagmac77

I am a high school English teacher, wife, and mother. I love writing about the ways in which faith intersects our modern world.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: