Many days I get home from work feeling exhausted and isolated. In our family-orientated society, I am constantly reminded of what I am missing. Now, I don’t want you to pity me. Please don’t do that. That is not why I write this.
Reaching your middle years alone, having just got there myself, plays havoc with your imagination. There’s nothing like reaching that landmark as a woman to make you feel like your seat at the table, never having been at the head, is now in a different room altogether.
Invisible and unsolicited by everyone.
When you lose your mother having never become one yourself, there is a part of you that is hollow. When a woman loses their mother something happens. Whether you are a parent or not, you have an empty spot.
I miss my mom. It’s odd. No one prepares you for the moment your mother ceases being here. No one prepares you for the moment when you realize that it is unlikely you will ever be a mom. It all hits home each May. You face pain.
It hurts us to not have our mothers. (No matter the time that passes, I still miss her.)
It hurts us to be people that are negated and looked upon as if our opinion doesn’t matter.
‘You’re not a parent.’
‘You don’t understand.’
Those sentences belittle us and makes us feel as if our sensible commentary means less than nothing.
It hurts us when people infer that the reason we never had children was because we are selfish. Some of us have had biology rip that option away.
I have certainly been awed watching friends’ children go from babbling to full sentences to high school graduates, college, weddings and lives of their own. I have weeped looking at photos of children of friends who wear cap and gowns.
Yes, I have had many thoughts about motherhood. I have thought about the modern miracles of medicine. There have been many things that have stopped me.
One major consideration was that there was no potential husband on the horizon.
Would I be willing, was motherhood important enough to me, to rear a child and raise him/her on my own? And if so, should I?
Was it a good or right thing to do, to choose half a home for a kid from the start? That part was easy for me to answer. It was a no. I could not imagine holding down a full time job, the odd hours mine demanded, the travel, weekend work, deadlines, etc. while juggling the needs of a child without a father.
At this time, I decided that if, in the next couple of years, a man I wanted to marry appeared in my life and he wanted a child, one of the first things we would do is look at adoption. But, a this moment raising a child is not something I want to do on my own.
Do I have regrets now? No.
Each year as I mourn my own mother, I face my own mortality and the fact that it appears no one will call me mom, or grandma.
How odd a thought it is to be a woman and not be defined by the thing that hallmarks women. Mother’s Day is a day that you become invisible to the world. It hurts.
I wish I had asked my mother a whole lot more questions than I did. And I wish so much that I were smarter than I am and could understand many things about which I fall short of “getting.”
Be kind to those of us mourning. We are women who have neither mom or child.