No one tells you how challenging it will be to eat your food while it’s still hot, nonetheless juggle friendships, marriage, and a career that you love. No one tells you that you’ll be able to love another human being so much and want to bury them in the backyard all at the same time. No one tells you how sharp baby teeth really are or that sweet potatoes have a striking distance of about four feet. No one tells you that while you may become more patient . . . you’ll also become less tolerant (of mean people and bad drivers!). No one tells you how hard it is to be a decent human being when you haven’t had enough sleep, and no one tells you how precious stain remover becomes. No one tells you any of these things before you become a parent.
Even if they did . . . would you have believed them anyway? Would you ever have believed how much joy you could feel and how much fear you could bear?
But no one ever tells you, either, that you might wake up one Mother’s Day and spend it visiting a cemetery. No one ever tells you where to buy a card when you’re in the darkest years of your relationship with the woman who gave you life. No one ever tells you that you might spend Mother’s Day in bed crying because you wonder if the only thing harder than being a Mother . . . is not being one.
No one ever tells you.
Because the biggest and truest parts about Mother’s Day aren’t written in a book. You can’t find them in a pamphlet or Google them online. You can’t sit across from your doctor and studiously take notes in preparation.
But something will happen one day; maybe you’ll be up in the night with a sick baby or wake up one morning on the flip side of toddlerhood. Maybe you’ll just see a photo of your own mother or catch a glimpse of yourself in her eyes. Maybe you’ll be in a room full of other women who are listening to you cry, or maybe you’ll be the one reaching out your hand to someone in the darkness. And you’ll suddenly realize that you know . . .
You know that for every bouquet of flowers being handed out over brunch . . . there’s another bouquet being placed alongside a gravestone. For every handmade card and macaroni necklace . . . there’s a mother and her child struggling to get past the hurt. For everyone celebrating today for the first time as a mother . . . there is someone else waking up for the first time as a grieving one.
You know that not all Mother’s Days are created equal.
It’s hard . . . but you know.
But on Mother’s Day, we stand together. With the brand-new moms bursting with excitement and with the hurting ones just trying to get through the day. With the mothers who gave us life and with the ones that opened their arms to us along the way. With the ones that we share our lives with on a day-to-day basis and with the ones we’ve never met. With the ones who will hug their mothers and with the ones who can’t. With the ones who help us raise our own children and with the ones who help raise us as parents.
Let us rejoice in the happy ones and share our hearts through the painful ones.
Because we’re all in this together.
Happy Mother’s Day!