By Kate Weldon LeBlanc
This week has been busy for me, personally and professionally, so Mother’s Day has snuck up on me this year. This is somewhat surprising since the Mother-Mom-Mama marketing is everywhere in these weeks and days leading up to the holiday. And when I was trying to conceive or mourning loss, this day was one of the most painful of the year. Although I am deeply grateful to now be parenting, Mothers Day is still a bittersweet holiday for me (and many others) because we know how challenging it is for so many women–including, but not limited to, those with infertility, dealing with pregnancy loss, or missing their own mothers (either from death or from absence in a variety of ways). I hold all of you in my heart and mind, especially on Sunday. A couple days ago I watched a beautiful and very emotional video shared by Today Parents (trigger warning, it focuses on pregnancy and infant loss). I feel it is very well done because it not only addresses the pain head on but also lets women know that they are seen and supported. But one part was like an “A-ha!” moment for me, and I hope might be for you too. The narrator said “Although it may not feel like it, Mothers Day belongs to you too.” YES. In years past I have tried to endure and/or avoid the holiday. And you still might, and I truly do get that. However, I believe there is no one who deserves to be honored and nurtured on Mothers Day as the ones struggling like hell to BECOME one, or those that are still a mother but do not have their baby or child to hold because of loss. These are the fiercest, strongest, mothers I have ever known. You may be trying to become a mother, you may be grieving a miscarriage, you may be coping with not parenting. But to me, this holiday is for you, ALL of you, because you have shown a strength that most people cannot understand. I wish you did not have to be this strong, but you are, and you are amazing.