It really is.
For years, before becoming a mother myself, I wanted to be one. Mother's Day celebrations at church were painful because they reminded me of what I was not but desperately wanted to be.
The same year that a dear friend and I finally became mothers together for the first time, her mother passed away. After that, Mother's Day celebrations were painful reminders of what she no longer had.
I watched my mom and my dad lose their mothers (ironically, around Mother's Day) one year apart. The sweetness of remembering what a blessing my wonderful grandmothers were was mixed with the pain of separation and longing to see them again.
Meanwhile, our little family grew to be a big-ish sized family, and the work of being a mom never stopped, even on Mother's Day. Years of practice have helped me be much better at letting go of expectations, but it was hard in the beginning. Wanting a day off, wanting things to be, for a few hours, all about me, and anticipating that love would be demonstrated by pre-planning all led to disappointment.
Then we added daughter H to our family, and Mother's Day became a painful reminder that I was not, in fact, her mother, and that my place in her heart brought many emotions to the surface that were often too big to handle well. I will forever and always, for better or for worse, share the role of mother with her first mom.
I am a mother. Wow. I AM A MOTHER. When for so many years I did not think I would be.
My friend had a wonderful relationship with her mom before her mom died. What a treasure. Even though it makes the separation more painful, it is such a blessing to have had a close relationship with one's mother.
My parents were strongly influenced and shaped by their mothers, and I am still benefiting from that today. My children are also benefiting from their "across the years" influence. What a tremendous blessing.
My husband and children may not be gifted with pre-planning, but their last minute preparations are no less heart-felt. They love me!
Daughter H, for better and for worse, will forever and always be a part of my heart and a part of our family. I could not in a million years have imagined the story that God is weaving with her and us.
Yes, Mother's Day is complicated. But it is also wonderful. I am so grateful to have a mom, to be a mom, and to know and be influenced by so many other godly mothers!