Being Childfree on Mother’s Day

We all have mothers, but we are not all mothers.

A pretty obvious statement, but one that I think many people forget.  The advertising companies certainly do, as nearly every other advert on TV, or popping up on Facebook is reminding you, it’s not too late and you can still buy a present for your mother.

I chose to be childfree and my mother died seventeen years ago, so I no longer celebrate Mother’s Day. I wish my friends to have a lovely day and comment on their social media posts – I’m not a Mother’s Day Grinch.

The hardest celebration I had with my mother was when Mother’s Day fell a week after I’d had a termination. I was divorced, childless, aged 40, and not in love with the father; it was purely physical attraction.  Because I’d been married for eighteen years previously, I didn’t think the morning-after-pill was a real thing. The joke was on me!  

After making that mistake, I was sterilised, as I didn’t want to have a child at that age. My mother was 39 when she had me, and although we had a good relationship, I didn’t want, to be like her, an older mother with an only child.

Sitting through the lunch with her and my step-dad was hard work. Under no circumstances could I have told her what I had been through, she would have had a heart attack there and then, mid Sunday roast!

Many of you will disagree with my choice, but I’m extremely grateful to live in a country where I could make that decision.

Also, I didn’t share that story because I want people to feel sorry for me, but because I wanted to explain the dichotomy of choosing to have the termination, yet feeling upset about it. 

If you do choose to have a termination, you have still been a mother, even if for only a short time. Your hormones tell you, even if you know in your heart you are doing the right thing. 

The reason I’m writing this, Mothers’ Day isn’t a day of celebration for many women, for different reasons.

For these reasons, when everybody else is talking, sharing tales about what presents they had, some women will be fighting back tears and emotions.

Seven reasons why people may not want to celebrate Mother’s Day:

  • You may be estranged from your mother and are unable or unwilling to contact her.
  • You have an unhealthy relationship with her, and have completely lost touch with her.
  • Be estranged from one of more of your children due to all sorts of different circumstances, none of which make the situation any better to bear.
  • Your mother passed away when you were very young and don’t remember her, but still feel her loss in your life and don’t want to dwell on it.
  • Your mother passed away recently and the loss is too hard to contemplate celebrating.
  • You are battling infertility and having mother’ day shoved in your face, just reminds you of what you are missing out on.
  • You may have recently lost a child. Nothing is going to console you for this.
  • You may have had to give your child up for adoption or recently aborted your child, and the thought of not being able to hold your child can be terrible. And you can be made to feel like a failure.

Mother’s Day is a wonderful time to celebrate your mother, or people in your life who ‘mother’ you, and support you.

We are all unique, accepting what life throws at us in our own ways.  However, I would say, give a thought to those women who are dreading the day, and may not have the capacity to fully invest their emotions along with the rest of us.