Mother’s Day. After our crazy week last week, my mom flew to Wichita to visit and she was a very helpful (and timely) reminder of why we fight for this title of “mother”.

My mom lives in Florida right now and she flew into town with not even a 24-hour notice to organize our house, run errands for us, and lay on the couch with me while I binged The Great British Baking Show. I didn’t lift a finger for almost a week and somehow she crossed about 20 items off of our home project list. She’s a rockstar.

I have the most beautiful, compassionate, driven, role model of a mother to look up to and cherish each year. She’s successful in everything she does and there aren’t any words big enough to express the gratitude I have. Her example has helped me grow into a strong and resilient mother to two babies, even though I don’t get to hold either of them this year.

I was so nervous for this weekend because I know deep down that so many people don’t acknowledge me as a mom yet.

Mother's Day gift - Shannyn's bump day blog, week 22: strong as a mother

Author’s Personal Collection/Shannyn Hanson

I’ve heard the phrases “you’ll be the most incredible mother” and “mama-to-be” more times than I can count now. They’re sweet, in theory, but they sting. I try to give people grace and remind myself that they mean well, but I also want to scream and tell them to rid these phrases from their vocabulary.

Those phrases don’t acknowledge my daughter’s life. I grew Sophie, I gave birth to her and I love her just like any other mother. I also had to watch my daughter take her last breath, sign her death certificate, and pick up her ashes from a funeral home. These are decisions and duties that some moms don’t have to do in their lifetime, but I’ve had to do them before I even get to mother a living child. If something happened to my son, I would do this all again because I am his mother. I may get a bit defensive over this day, but all mothers deserve to be acknowledged and all of their babies deserve to be loved, regardless of how long they were in our lives.

Luckily, I have the most beautiful husband, family, and supportive group of friends that helped remind me of the title I have earned.

Being a mom is not easy. Actually, this is the hardest thing I have ever done and may ever have to do. But, I love being Sophie’s mom and I love every minute we’ve had with our son so far. I can only put one foot in front of the other and hope for the opportunity to hold our baby boy in my arms for the next Mother’s Day.

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