I want to wish a happy Mother's Day not just to mothers, but to anyone who wants to be a mom someday, and anyone missing their mom. Even though this holiday makes many people happy, there are also plenty of blog posts from people around the 'net who say the holiday reminds them of something sad.
I have known many people who wanted to be mothers but who struggled with infertility. I also have read many blogs on this topic (folks struggling with infertility often keep blogs as a way to get support, and sometimes even to stay sane while undergoing so many treatments, rounds of IVF, etc.) Wanting to have a child isn't like wanting a fancy house or vacation. It's something that can affect every moment of your life, every hour of the day, every ounce of your soul (just like actually having kids does). A desire for a child/children is very deep and visceral. I read a blog recently by a woman who waited a long time to have kids, then realized how badly she wanted them, but she couldn't get pregnant. Her husband was fine with the fertility treatments, but at one point he griped to her she was "obsessed." I have seen that sentiment before. More people would have that "obsession" if they weren't able to conceive so easily. The majority of younger people have no problem getting pregnant, and so they never have to face questions like, "Why isn't this happening? Why do I want kids? Should I stop eating dairy/drinking coffee/drinking soda? Should my husband eat walnuts every day because they're supposed to help his fertility? What's wrong?" Most people who want kids just have them as a matter of course. So for a woman who is denied something that is so visceral, if it's important to her she is going to think about it often. Fertility treatments involve dozens of tests, shots, etc., so it's a big undertaking for a couple.
Once you have kids, it changes your life, so remaining in a holding pattern waiting for it to happen no matter what you try, that's a tough thing. You might not know how much money you need to save for treatments, etc. So anyone who deeply wants kids should have the right to think and talk about it constantly without being dismissed as "obsessed." It can be part of a person's being, not just a physical thing. And it can be painful. Especially around Mother's Day.
Why did I get off on this tangent? Maybe because as an older mom (and one who's very lucky to be one, at my age!!), I've come into contact with lots of people my age who have told me stories about infertility. Maybe because I've seen one too many cruel internet comments blaming women for their infertility (I admire Giuliana Rancic for having the guts to talk publicly about her struggles; it's too bad that when she does, she gets comments on the 'net like "She just needs to put on five pounds" "She should stop working" etc. Yeah, it's really that easy and she just hasn't thought of that yet! Oh, and then there's the "just adopt." While adoption is a fine option and very rewarding, it's not easy, financially, emotionally, process wise, so not everyone can "just" do that.)
So happy Mother's Day to everyone with love in their heart - uncles, aunts, people who don't want their own kids but think kids are kinda cool anyway, nannies, teachers, dads, people who feel very alone, and anyone who for some reason is still reading this. Spread your love on this holiday, even if it has nothing to do with motherhood. Even if it's just by feeling happy with the choices you've made in life, and wanting that happiness for others too.
PS: For those who don't want kids, there is of course nothing wrong with that either. There are enough kids in the world.