Thursday, May 18, 2017

That day

There are things in life that you should do.  Because they are the right thing to do.  And because they are the socially acceptable thing to do.

Like sucking it up enough to wish your own mother a Happy Mother's Day.

Yet this year, for the first time ever (including the really hard years during infertility), I didn't have it in me.  I. Could. Not. Do. It.

It wasn't a terrible day.  I avoided the usual social media triggers.  I went out and about shopping for a few things for our upcoming trip (though I'm not going to lie, I purposefully selected checkout lanes with early 20s appearing males figuring they were the least likely to wish me a Happy Mother's Day). I had a long chat with Sarah.  Despite the fact that she has a fuckton of stuff on her plate right now, Cristy made it a point to check in on me throughout the day.  And I got several other texts or emails from friends made through blogging but don't have blogs themselves.

But despite all of the love and support from friends there was an intense feeling of being different, especially when it came to my family.  I was caught in the middle of a group chat with my mom and my sisters. Messages were flying back and forth.  Plans for the day.  Pictures.  Descriptions of gifts. Not one big hurt, but 100 little hurts.  And not one inquiry about me or how I was doing.

As the day wore on, I knew I couldn't call.  Or even text.  I didn't have it in me.  I cried a little.  Hubs reassured me that I didn't have to do it.

I've heard that my mom's feelings are hurt, so there will probably be fences to mend when we talk next.

The day is not about me, nor will it ever be.  And I'm not trying to make it about me.  But I don't think it's asking a lot for my family to realize that the day might be difficult for me and to cut me a little bit of slack.


  1. It hurts me to hear that the focus was solely on others and no one in your family checked in to see how you were doing. Hence why I get angry to hear your mom was hurt you didn't call. Because really, what kind of mother puts her own wants above the needs of her own child? Even though that child is now an adult?

    You did what you needed to do. You didn't hijack anything and frankly I think you handled all of this with grace and strength. Your family owes you the apology.

  2. I know.... Warm hugs from Europe.

  3. I completely agree with Cristy. Sending hugs as well!

  4. Ouch! That group chat sounds painful. I'm sorry.

    You know what? This is the first year I didn't call and wish my mother a Happy MD. I thought about it but I just didn't want to acknowledge the day really. I was on vacation and I was enjoying it. I thought about whether or not her feelings would be hurt but ultimately decided that if she needed that kind of validation at her age, then that was not my problem. (Sometimes I think I can sound harsh, but if I don't put my own needs and feelings first, it doesn't seem like anyone else will.)

    I'm sorry for your day and the lack of consideration you were shown. <3

    1. I like this a lot ---> "I thought about whether or not her feelings would be hurt but ultimately decided that if she needed that kind of validation at her age, then that was not my problem. (Sometimes I think I can sound harsh, but if I don't put my own needs and feelings first, it doesn't seem like anyone else will.)"

  5. I am so sorry. I get it, totally get not being able to wish the Happy Mother's Day in the midst of the group chat where your feelings have been completely discounted. To want support you don't get from your family on tough days and be left feeling like you are responsible for comforting someone else in the middle of your own hurts. I agree with Cristy. And I'm sorry the day was hard, so hard, for layers of reasons.

  6. Cristy wrote exactly what was in my head.

    I have had similar experiences to Phoenix as far as having to put my needs first. You do such an amazing job at that, even, or especially when you're under fire. XOXO

  7. I had a long post and then hit "sign out" by accident but my dander is up over this. Summary: your family, I don't get em.

  8. You mean you were in on a group chat and not one person acknowledged your presence, even casually asked what your plans for the day were, what you were up to, what's new??? Ugh. :p

    I didn't call my mother either, but then, I knew she was away for the weekend, so I didn't even try. ;) I did send her a card. I don't think she really noticed. Thank goodness.

  9. Ugh, that sounds awful. I'm an avoider so I understand your urge to avoid the mother's day wishes. I would hope your mother would understand your feelings and experiences and look for validation elsewhere, but maybe she doesn't.

    I wonder, if it would work to wish your mom a Happy Mother's day early (like a day or two before) and then arrange to be somewhere inaccessible on the day on the day walking by yourself in a park with no phone. :-)

  10. Oh, that sucks. I'm so sorry you never got any acknowledgement. I've only ever had any acknowledgement from anyone except those who've known loss or infertility. Others just don't give it a second thought. So it's up to us to either speak up, or protect ourselves. I like Torthuil's suggestion of calling a day or two before. We used to take out the mother-in-law the day before, with the excuse that reservations were hard to get on the day. But that wasn't the reason at all!

    Hoping your travels are making this a far distant memory.

  11. A little late to the party, but ... I sooooo get this. I'm lucky that my birthday is typically a few days after Mother's Day, so I fete my mom then. But actual Mother's Day? It's rough, even when you know you've made the right choices for you, even when people are just trying to be nice. It's a giant reminder that you're a weirdo and always will be. I'm right there with you.

  12. I could have written his post. yep, no acknowledgement WHATSOEVER from anyone in my real-life "support system" or a "how are you doing?" at all during this journey. zero. zilch. The only person who did write me a text to say "thinking of you" was an extremely precocious 25yo who used to do my hair. She texted me that a year or two ago. We have since lost touch. My mother goes to my sister's place in another state each for the past three years. my sister became a mom in 2015 after trying one month. So I was able to "escape" from having to make the call for the past three years. And she didn't hold it against me. A year ago, my mother got so mad at me that I didn't call my dad on Father's Day last year. I send greeting cards for both holidays which I think is enough. There were several months where we weren't talking. why does Mother's Day have to magnify the self-centeredness and selfishness in the "reproductively privileged" (h/t to Sarah for that phrase)? It's like are then reproductively privileged incapable of any empathy at all? I'm sorry your sisters and mother for their insensitivity toward you by omission.