To the childless woman on Mother’s Day: You are not alone.

Childless

To the childless woman on Mother’s Day,

Today is going to be hard. In fact, most of the week has probably been difficult for you. Mother’s Day is a time to celebrate our mothers and thank them for all they have done for us. You will see your friends, family, fellow church members being celebrated and showered with love and hand painted gifts from their little ones, and nice thoughtful gifts from their husbands. You will watch all this happen, and maybe it will even bring a smile or two to your face as you celebrate with them. But I know there will be a moment, when seemingly out of nowhere, it will hit you. Maybe it is when you go to the restroom and are finally alone for a moment, and the reality will sink in. Maybe it will be the well intentioned question or comment about your possible future as a mother or wife. Maybe it will be a hurtful complaint by a mother about motherhood. Maybe it will be during the Sunday sermon full of verses about how a fruitful womb is a blessing from the Lord, or about mother’s being the most influential person in the life of a child. And maybe it will be walking past the empty nursery this Mother’s Day morning, only to walk in, curl up in the chair and sob. Because you are not a ‘mother’ today. You are not celebrated for the one thing you have longed to be, and have tried to achieve. Because there isn’t a little voice calling you “Momma”.

But you, dear woman, you are a mother. Every woman carries within her a motherly instinct, mothering abilities, and the ability to give life–spiritually, emotionally and physically. You step in to the role of mother every time you care for a child, when you counsel a young woman in the midst of her trouble, when you encourage the people in your life to follow their dreams, and when you breathe life into their hearts. Those are all qualities of a mother. You, dear friend, are important. You are needed. You are a woman, and a mother at the core of your soul. You are loved. You are seen. You are not alone…

I am the woman a few rows down from you at church. I am the woman that will be unsuccessfully fighting back tears during the church service. I am the woman that will get up quietly and leave the sanctuary to walk down the hall to the restroom where I will lock myself in the stall and cry. I am the woman that took another pregnancy test this week, only to see a negative result. I am the woman walking by the empty nursery. I am the woman that is not yet called “Momma”. I am the woman that sees you in your pain. I am the woman that reminds herself that I too, am a mothering woman despite my circumstances. I am the woman that longs to give you a comforting and understanding hug, buy you flowers, and send you a thoughtful card. But since I cannot, I am sending you this blog. In the hope that you know and believe that you matter. And that you are not alone.

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56 thoughts on “To the childless woman on Mother’s Day: You are not alone.

  1. Pingback: Happy Mother’s Day »

  2. Thank you so much for writing this. Invariably I am reading at church this weekend and constantly people are assuming I’m a mother. I’ve tried and I know God has a different plan for me but its hard. It’s eecially hard as I’m not with my mother or sisters either so the day is full of heartbreak. But this eased my mind and added a little perspective… God bless and big thanks.

    • Julie, thank you for your comment. You are not alone, I feel your pain with you and am praying for you today. May God comfort you today and on all the hard days. ❤️

    • May be as you said “god has a different plan” may be he is inviting you for mother post in different way, why can’t you be a mother to a child who has no mother , family, there are lots of kids waiting to see their family in children’s orphanages, don’t misunderstand me, I pray you will blessed with a one……

  3. Thank you for this. I’m 37 and recently had a hysterectomy due to endometriosis and a tumor and cysts on my ovaries and uterus i5 was the hardest thing ever for me to do but it was for my health and survival. I hurt so much from the pain in my heart of never having my own child I’m so happy to know I’m not alone in this and that others who know my pain are there for me.

    • Allison, thank you for sharing your struggle with me. You are not alone sweet sister, and I don’t think the pain ever goes away (this side of heaven). Please know you are being prayed for and that I and others are here to lend you a listening ear and support.

  4. Thank you so much for this. I had to have a hysterectomy at 35 (just recently) due to stage 4 endometriosis, multiple ovarian cysts (I had already lost one ovary to a chocolate cyst 3 years prior), a cyst in my bladder as well and so many other female complications. I had had my first surgery at 15 and finally had had enough. No woman should have to go through this pain.

    • Leslie, thank you for sharing your story with me. I am sorry that it has been so very hard. I think you made the best decision for your health. I am praying for you as you recover.

  5. Thank you so much for posting this. I have felt the same things you’ve described for years. Friends would tell me my time would come. I wanted to believe it. My last pregnancy almost ended my own life and resulted in permanent infertility for me at age 40. I thought God was punishing me for the mistakes of my youth. I didn’t want to complain about it. I felt like I had failed my husband.

    One Mother’s Day at church, a young woman sitting next to me who knew my mother but not me, asked if I was a mom. I told her that I was not. She must have seen the sadness in my eyes because she asked me what happened. I told her about losing my baby and my fertlity. She gave me a hug and told me to have a happy Mother’s Day because I AM a mother and my child is in Heaven with Jesus and I would meet him someday. That the first time I had ever felt like others could see the mother in me. Your post expresses so well what I’ve been feeling for years. I have cried alone, but I now know there are many others who’ve felt this way. Thank you.

    • Bethany, thank you for your comment, I am so very sorry for the loss of your baby and the added pain of infertility. Please know God is ever-present in your circumstances and is the God of all Comfort, I am lifting you up in prayer. I am so thankful that young lady reached out to you and gave you that big hug and encouraging words-she truly was the hands, feet and mouth of Jesus to you. You are not alone, and it is my hope and my prayer that you can be a source of help, compassion and encouragement to women in your life that are dealing with infant loss and infertility. I pray that God would be gracious to you in this season and that He would give you spiritual children to love and disciple. Praying for you dear one.

  6. Reblogged this on Serena Rules! and commented:
    I got pregnant at 18 by accident but when I wanted to have another baby 10 years later it took time and patience and a lot a tears and negative pregnancy tests, prayers, doubt, shame…we were newlyweds, it was supposed to be easy. It was only two years for us. I have seen friends struggle much longer. I only know a bit of this pain and all day long I’ve thought about women I know and don’t know who choose to have children but cannot. How this time of year has to suck.

  7. Pingback: Happy Mother’s Day To All Of The Childless Mothers… | Analog Girl In A Digital World

  8. Mother’s Day can be so hard; not just from my not being a mom biologically but it’s also a reminder that my mother is no longer here as well. I’m a 13+ yr. survivor of infertility and had that chapter closed last year when I had a hysterectomy. I have been a foster mom, I’m a (bonus)mom of 8 and I’m a mommy to Angel babies. However, that emptiness still remains of knowing I will never have a child of my own here on earth. *hugs* to you and others.

  9. You know how you get that lump in your throat….this is so beautiful! I work with children daily mostly babies. I just hold them and pray for them. This just touched my heart so. I’m patiently waiting…

  10. Thank you. I didn’t realize how much I desperately needed to read this until I stumbled in. Sending you much love and light on this day and always ❤

    (Please forgive the edits, typing in the dark in glasses. Xoxo)

  11. While I can appreciate your sentiment and want for supporting women in your community, your message seems to come from a perspective that all of the childless women are struggling on or around Mother’s Day… but… not every woman without a child desires children, doesn’t feel bad about it, and doesn’t need anyone’s pity or “knowing looks”…

    • Jodie. Thank you for the input. I know that is true, however I can’t personally speak to that journey. That’s why my post has the focus that it does, because my journey is as it describes. I don’t think there is anything wrong with a woman who if childless by choice doesn’t struggle on Mother’s Day. Thank you for your thoughts b

  12. Thank you so very much. Reading your words of kindness and compassion really made my day. Mothering comes instinctually…so, don’t pressure yourself about children or get too caught up in the negatives. Focus on all the other positives. Light can only shine in the absence of darkness 🙂 chin up. Thank you again.

  13. Thank you. Today is my first mother’s day Sunday as a pastor’s wife. It also marks one more negative cycle of treatments, pills and hopes in our battle against infertility. It hurts. It is a monthly loss. It is lonely. And yet, your words made it feel a bit better. Thank you. Good bless you.

  14. Thank you. Today is my first mother’s day Sunday as a pastor’s wife. It was my first mother’s day away from my mother and grandmothers. It also marks one more negative cycle of treatments, pills and hopes in our battle against infertility. It hurts. It is a monthly loss. It is lonely. It makes me struggle with my faith. And yet, your words made it feel a bit better. Thank you. Good bless you.

  15. Pingback: Happy Mother’s Day, Daddy! | This Is My 50

  16. Thank you so much. I have literally just found out that yet again, this month, I will not be a Mummy. I am learning to realise that the likelihood of ever hearing someone call me ‘Mummy’ is more and more unlikely. My heart is broken, my tears would stream if they were able, but I have run dry.
    I hope beyond hope that you and the other posters here realise their dream one day.
    My love to you all.
    V XxX

  17. I wanted to be a mother, but the man I thought I would marry cheated on me after I was in a severe car accident while I was recovering. Since then I’ve seen an obgyn and I am no longer able to be a mother. Now, instead of children, I have a pet parrot who will live 30-40 years and consider him my baby. I also dote on my 2 year old nephew. That’s as much of a mother as I will ever be.

    Thank you for your kind post on this difficult day.

    • Thank for sharing your story LB. I know this day is difficult for many, I’m so sorry for all the pain you have experienced. Being an aunt is a huge blessing and source of impact for your nephew!

  18. Thank you. Mother’s Day is the hardest day of the year, and I wake up not wanting to go to church, and then I drag myself there. And everyone tells me to be grateful for my own mother (I am). Today, my caring church honored all women as mothers, so that was cool, but Facebook is unmerciful. I raised two stepchildren who are adults. I have precious grandchildren through my husband. I have taught thousands of children in the public school system. I feel incredibly blessed. However, I will never EVER forget the Mother’s Day when they handed out flowers in church (NOT the one I’m in today!) to the mothers. The usher started to hand me one and then pulled it back and said, “Oh, yeah…you’re not a mother.” That was during the time when I was raising the stepkids. Some people are cruel.

    • Julianne. Thank you for sharing your story. I can’t imagine how hurtful that was for you, as I am sure I would have been crushed! Thank you for being a mom to many and for being a voice and source of support for many women.

  19. Thank you for this, even though I am not young anymore my inability to have children still hurts every mothers day. I thought by age 46 it wouldnt hurt anymore, I was wrong. Bless you

    • Renee thank you for sharing, I imagine the pain never really does ago, and I am praying that you would be comforted today. You are loved dear sister.

  20. I love this Casey thank you for sharing. I have been struggling with endometriosis and P.C.O.S since 2012, got surgically diagnosed, and on September of 2012 I had a miscarriage. My husband and I have been trying to get pregnant but we’ve had no success and unfortunately the pain got so bad that I had to get back on meds.

    • Hi Valeria. Thank you for sharing your story. I am so sorry for the loss of your sweet baby. PCOS and Endometriosis together is a huge snare in the road of fertility. I’m so sorry that you’ve been in so much pain not just physically but emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. I am praying for you and your husband, may God guide you on a road to knowing Him deeply and may He give you children and comfort your heart.

  21. Thank you for sharing this. You’re the first person I’ve seen address being motherless on Mother’s day.
    I can identify with so much your post, but I confess I find it hard to call myself a mother because I have not brought a child into this world. It also makes me very sad & uncomfortable when people who know me & know I don’t have a child wish me Happy Mother’s day. That always cuts me to the core and makes the day even more difficult. When I ask them to please refrain from saying so they proceed to defend themselves and wish me happy mother’s day again saying I’m a mother to many, but it’s not the same and I wish they wouldn’t say it.
    So I stay home from church on Mother’s day.

    • Thank for sharing Kanece, I have a dear friend that feels the same way you do. I think in this area we tend to fall in two different methods of responses, some of us are uncomfortable with being acknowledged as “mothers” even when we have no children. Others don’t mind it and actually finds it helps them. Neither are wrong, I think we just process it differently. If staying home on Mother’s Day is best for you-then you are making the best choice. Praying for you as your journey continues.

      • Thank you Casey. I also struggled with feeling guilty in my response, but thanks for putting my heart at ease.
        I’ll pray for you too, that God grants you your miracle (hugs).

  22. Beautiful written. Unfortunately it usually takes someone who is struggling/has struggled with infertility to understand. I spent long time in my closed FB support group yesterday “talking” to members who had been cruelly treated by their family/friends yesterday. They had been brave enough to express the pain and loss they feel on Mother’s Day on the time-lines only for mothers aggressively tell them to stop being selfish and attention seeking on a day that’s about Mothers of actual children and not the struggles to become a mother. Very sad state of affairs indeed. More of us need to speak out or write about the devastation that infertility causes so that attitudes change and the fertile world shows us a little more understanding, support and compassion. Thanks again. Nicci

    • You are so right. Sunday was difficult and the comments made to me in person were so uncomfortable and hurtful, I can only imagine the hurt those women endured. People prefer us to remain silent, they don’t want us to speak up, but I agree we need to. They need to be educated so they can become more understanding, supporting and compassionate.

  23. Thank you. It is so good to hear not just from another woman, but a fellow pastors wife. Our church has two services so I served in kids ministry the first service, and found an excuse to bow out for the second service. The sermon was about mothers which of course is a beautiful thing on that special day, and they also took some time to have special moment that honoured and prayed over all women. I just knew with the raw emotions I was feeling that were lingering on the surface could bubble over at any moment. So instead I hid away in my husbands office and tried to work, sometimes cried as the realty of what that day meant for me set in. Then we went to the grandmothers house where everyone else were moms except me. They all got cards and flowers and I was definitely able to celebrate them and the joy of their children with them. I didn’t need cards or flowers or attention – it wasn’t that. It was just hard being the only one that wasn’t a mom.

    After 2 years of trying, this is the first time I experienced this particular grief on Mother’s Day. Now I understand and join in with those who know the unique struggle of this day. Definitely enough awkward and ignorant comments for one day. But I try to believe the best in others, knowing they don’t understand unless they walked in it themselves. I try to continue to see beyond myself and celebrate with others. As time passes I realize this get harder, but as I walked into church this past Sunday I chose to place my hurt in Gods hands, knowing they are tender towards me, and to set my emotions in obedience to Christ so I have grace to give gentle answers to those who are ignorant. And when I feel my emotions are too raw like they were this Sunday, I have allowed myself to step back. This Sunday, Mother’s Day service, was one of those days as I sat in my husbands office instead. And I know that is okay too. May you ladies be blessed on this journey! Sending love as we share our hearts.

  24. Casey,

    May 5th I found out I miscarried my twins. My d&c procedure was the next day. I am almost 27 years old and this sadly was my 2nd miscarriage. I miscarried at 19 and my husband and I tried for years before separating. It took almost 7 years for me to get pregnant again. And when I found out I was having twins I was even more ecstatic. But tragedy took my twins from me. Mother’s day was a very hard and trying day for me. But reading this has made me realize that there is hope and that I can be a mother to any child but in a different way. I have so much love to give that I just never thought about it the way u describe in your blog.

  25. Thank you for this. I wholeheartedly wish I was a mom. Especially after being rejected by my own, I long to give a child what I was refused; unconditional love. I would give everything to be a mother. I’m such a nurturer at heart. But so far, unsuccessful. I’m still trying, but my heart is heavy with the fear that it may not be in my cards. And it’s hard not to cry or be envious when I see mothers & babies at the park, or all my friends (even one’s who are already horrible mothers) are having kids. It gets to me often. But thank you again for this comforting article. I needed to hear this!

  26. Casey Mae, Thank you for posting this particular blog. I at (almost) 85-years of age am a Mother of four live births; however, I miss the one daughter who has chosen (with her husband and two of our grandchildren) to distance themselves from our family & her husband’s family. We don’t know why. It’s been a long 13 years since we’ve heard from them or seen them. For those awaiting their first child, I want to encourage you. My oldest son and his wife had several miscarriages and then – in the 20th year of their marriage – a son was born 3 months early. He is now 12-years old. My other son and his wife are praying and waiting for a child. God knows their heart’s desire and along with them, I pray God will bless every Mother who has written (& every Father who is also waiting). May God’s constant love, care and comfort be theirs. I know God loves each one, and His love never waivers. God bless each one, and again – THANKS Casey Mae. BIG hugs to all.

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