I wear a lot of crowns these days, it seems.
Especially after Bereaved Mother’s Day was recognized last week, my thoughts have been all over the place. Mostly, they’ve been as tangled as the place I am in on this motherhood journey. I am one of those moms that appreciates a day set aside just for us. I also think that bereaved mothers have every right to be celebrated on the regular Mother’s Day, too.
Loss will always be a part of my motherhood.
The child that I lost is the one that made me a mother in the first place. I like that there’s a day set aside to honour that very unique part of my journey. That’s because it’s not a part that is experienced by most moms. Call me crazy, but how I perceive Bereaved Mother’s Day is a way of honouring and acknowledging the mothering experience I have endured that (thankfully) isn’t felt by most.
In my opinion, it’s about commemorating the strongest mothers in the world–the ones who live every day without their children. I don’t believe that the existence of Bereaved Mother’s Day means that we don’t get to celebrate with all of the other mothers the following week. To me, it’s purpose is to recognize and appreciate the unprecedented and unthinkable rollercoaster we have been on. Which definitely deserves its own day on top of the usual celebration for everyone else.
These last two Sundays have put me in a weird place. I’m now a loss mom, a rainbow mom, and an expecting mom. My identity as a mother been rattled with fragility and insecurity. I have always felt like I’ve had something to prove.
After my first died, I always felt this responsibility to validate him and my role as his mother. My loss happened in the middle of so many other family and friends’ babies being born. I worried that if I even let up a little bit, people would forget that I had a baby. I feared that they would forget that I was a mother, too.
Madeline was born just thirteen months afterwards. Every day after that, it was like I needed to “earn” her, and the respect that came along with being a mom. I was in the mindset that if I wasn’t driving myself crazy, I wasn’t doing enough.
Now with little Joey on the way, it’s as though I’ve come full circle.
Even on the days where I feel the weakest, I’m amazed at how resilient I’ve become. I never thought I would survive losing Rossi. Now, beautifully and chaotically, I’m juggling mothering his memory, nurturing my rainbow, and protecting the baby that lives inside of me.
It’s the strength only a mother can have.
Like I said, these holidays always put me in a weird place. Maybe it’s because motherhood was something I had to fight so hard for.
Other mamas wanted to sleep in, a glass of wine, maybe some jewellery or chocolate to let them know how much they are loved and appreciated this holiday.
This Mother’s Day, however, all I wanted was to feel my baby move every time I needed to ease my fears.
It’s definitely bittersweet.