Monday, May 9, 2011
The edge of the world
My entire little family was sick last week. All week. For three awful days Cormac was running a fever of 102 degrees. My husband was home from work a lot (which was nice, I like having him around, except we were all sick). I felt miserable. The aching in my body was nearly unbearable. And if all of that wasn't enough to deal with Cormac dealt with his misery by crying nonstop for those three days.
And now that we are mostly recovered I'm tired.
With that in mind, I would like to say I had a wonderful Mother's Day. Mother's Day is tricky for me. We dealt with unexplained infertility for a little over two years. And we are going through it all again. During those two years I yearned for a little one. I had spent a good portion of my life thinking I would never be a mom. But when we decided that we wanted to become parents I was ready. I was ready right then. But I had to wait.
Every Mother's Day was hard. While I knew it shouldn't even be about me, it should be about celebrating my own mother and my mother-in-law, the truth was, it was all about me. It was a painful day all about what was lacking in my life.
I could go on. Those were hard years. They were painful. And while two years isn't very long compared to what some are asked to deal with, we all must deal with the trials handed to us, and for me, that was a trial.
I have now celebrated two Mother's Days as a mother. Last year I was ecstatic about being able to proudly walk through church with my 6 month old in tow. I was a mother.
This year I was still proud of my little one (now 18 months old), but I was plagued by other feelings as well. Mostly feelings of guilt.
Guilt over the fact that I am a mother when others are not.
Guilt over the fact that I've been so upset that I'm not yet expecting my second baby. Who am I to want another baby when others don't even have one yet? And why am I feeling down about it anyway, we've been through this before and I need to not feel down. . . right. . .?
Guilt that I'm not a better mother.
Guilt that I was making my husband wait on me for the entire day. I mean, the poor guy was sick all last week too, he could use a rest as well.
Guilt over the two beautiful dresses that my boys got me as a gift for Mother's Day.
But mostly guilt that I was a mother while so many people are in pain because they are not.
This really isn't all that logical. I know that. But Mother's Day is really a loaded holiday (I didn't mean for that to rhyme). Even more loaded when you throw in a bit of infertility. For people who are dealing with a body that isn't working the way that we all feel like our bodies should work Mother's Day is a slap in the face. And accepting and loving your body on a day like that may be harder than ever.
And I wish I could tell you I have the answer right now. The magic bullet for how to love yourself, especially in the face of hard trials (like when your body isn't functioning like you think it should). But I don't. That is still a lesson I'm trying to learn on a daily basis.
But I do know that it gets easier to love yourself. Even when dealing with health trials. I guess the way I do it is by taking it one day at a time. When I try to take it in bigger chunks I become overwhelmed. But when I take it one day at a time; when I honor my body by eating healthy, exercising, and getting rest just for today; when I stop negative thoughts before they are able to form barriers that can't be crossed; when I tell myself I'm worth something those are the days when I am at peace with who I am and with this body. It's nothing big, or magical, but it seems to work.
You can love your body despite pain and heartache. You really can. Just give it time and lots of practice.
P.S. I want to give a shout out to all the wonderful mother's in my life. My amazing mother-in-law who never ceases to amaze me. I love her dearly and hope she had a wonderful day. My incredible sisters-in-law who are inspirational to me. I want to be a mother like these women. They are wonderful in so many ways. I love all 5 of them. Happy late Mother's Day.
And most of all to my own dear mother. Mum, I love you so much. I could never have survived my first year and a half as a mother without you there to advise and cheer me on. I am still in awe at how you were able to do so many things and still be there for me and my siblings. I appreciate you and love you. Thank you for being an incredible mother.