A Mother Without a Child

The first mother’s day after my divorce, my sons father had done nothing to help his children in celebrating this day. They had made cards with our childminder that they quickly thrust upon me at some ungodly hour of the morning, and no sooner had I opened them, my eldest, George, through teary eyes said ‘but it’s not enough Mummy’.
Both me and 5-year-old George learned a valuable lesson that day as my immediate and instinctive response was ‘YOU are enough’.
Now, I’m not about to pretend that I’m one of those Mothers who would claim that when my children are with me ‘every day is Mother’s Day’ because it isn’t. There are days when they drive me to scream into my pillow, but then, when it comes to those moments when little Charlie wanders over completely unprovoked, puts his head on my knee and says to me ‘you’re beautiful Mummy’, THAT is enough.
I’d give up each and every one of my Mother’s Days, if it would somehow prevent one single mother without a child the torture and gut wrenching pain they feel on that day.
This is a mother who, should her child in hindsight be with her, would know the true feeling of
‘YOU are enough’.
A mother who has the battle scars of pregnancy; the stretch marks, marks with which she shares a sort of love/hate relationship. They’re proof of a life, proof of having born a child, proof of motherhood, proof of what has been lost, of who has been lost. Were they for nothing…?
Mother’s Day will have these mothers on high alert. As much as a new mother relishes her first ever Mother’s Day, in eager anticipation as though she were not a real Mother until the actual day to celebrate it arrives to acknowledge it; this mother hides from the Mother’s Day she never had. Feeling the opposite, a fraud and unworthy of the title only to file it away with the significant dates of birthdays, anniversaries, and the ‘death day’.
Mother’s Day can place a lot of onus on the people who no longer have a mother, and while it is important to use dates such as this as a significant memorial to our lost parents, it’s important to remember the flip side.
Please, if you know A Mother Without a Child, don’t ignore the fact that her child is no longer with her. Love her intently this week. Ask her if she’d like to talk about her child, to share photos, videos and memories. Ask her what you can do to make this week a little more bearable.
Because while you won’t be enough for her this mother’s day, helping her to bring that life alive again for that one day might just be enough to get her through it.
Please, don’t place too much importance on all the cards, flowers and chocolates. Squeeze your little ones tight and thank God that THEY are enough on Mother’s Day.
Claire x