• Sammy Jo Diffendaffer, M.S., LMFT-Associate

When Mother’s Day Isn’t Your Day

To the annual elephant in the room amongst women of ambiguous or non-existent "mom-titles" and the people who love them the most, you, Mother’s Day, deserve to be put in your place (and I mean that in the most therapeutic sense possible).


The second Sunday in May - it’s the point at which, unavoidably, step-moms, perhaps adopted moms, and those struggling with infertility are reminded (in case you’re able to forget during the other 364 days of the year) of what you’re not...”Mom with a capital M.“ To those unable to conceive, this day may feel more like a day of mourning, grief, and a reminder of the loss of the child you always dreamed you would mother. To the step-mom, perhaps it’s a feeling of inner-conflict and questioning of the value you add to a child who already has a Mom. To those who adopt, maybe Mother’s Day brings on feelings of being an imposter, or maybe you struggle a little extra with when and how to talk to your child about adoption on this particular day.


Regardless of what your ”mom-situation” may be, you are not alone. In fact, I believe we all (moms, step-moms, adoptive moms, and those longing-to-be-moms) have more in common than we actually have different. When we dig beneath the label of our specific mom-type, the truth is, we ALL face something difficult. The glories of motherhood, even in its simplest form, (if there exists a “simple form“) do not come without high price - an utter and lifelong commitment to sacrifice every part of your being, even your death, if ever necessary, for the sake of your child. Motherhood, in all its forms, is at least a life-altering experience for each woman it touches, and it is certainly an experience worth acknowledging. Whether you became a mother to someone at conception, birth, or later on in a child's life, you have done something both brave and difficult, you have taken on responsibility for another's life and well-being. If you have not yet taken on a child in physical form, but your heart aches for that day, you have also likely shared in the motherly responsibility of prepping your body, consuming your thoughts, and falling in love with the child you long to one day meet.


So, to the awkward, giant elephant in the room, may you kindly take your place where you belong - on the second weekend in May while incorporating MORE than just the birth moms of the world (who, I should add, are, alone, more than deserving of the Mother's Day title and recognition), but also to the "other moms" who volunteer their own undying love and sacrifice just the same.


To ALL the women who don’t get a break from your role as a parent and to those who have already turned your lives upside down for a baby that has not yet been born, YOU, too, are reason to celebrate. And to those who have ever been forgotten, may you know now, more than ever, that your time, your love, and your sacrifice have never been in vain. Happy Mother’s Day!

© 2016 by Sammy Jo Diffendaffer @ NTXCFT

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Licensed by the Texas State Board of Examiners of Marriage and Family Therapists (Lic. #202711)