Mothers’ Day used to be so easy. I could joyfully celebrate the amazing mothers and grandmothers in my life. Blissfully unaware that not everyone was happily celebrating the day.

But life changed and I grew up, got married, and became a stepmom.

Slowly, I’ve begun to feel the gnawing and sadness of four years of desperately wanting and trying for a baby. Sure, I’m a stepmom, but that just brings a load of confusion with it.

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I know I am fully blessed that my own mother is still here with me to celebrate. Especially this year, when her COVID-19 pneumonia could so easily have taken her away from me. It came closer than I want to think about.

And now I have an amazing mother-in-law who we get to celebrate every year.

But my faith that I will one day have a child of my own is still a cold comfort when I feel uncomfortable and heartbroken when someone wishes me “Happy Mother’s Day.”

It was slowly coming over the last five years, but it finally happened.

I have officially joined the ranks of women who are sad and anxious instead of happy on Mother’s Day.

And let me tell you, there are a lot of us.

There are the women who long to be a mother. They wish for a husband and a family.  Or maybe they have a husband but suffer through infertility.

There are mothers who will never be the same after the loss of a child. Some knew loss before they ever got to hold their baby, and some felt the pain after they were born.

There are adult children who have lost their precious mothers. Who would give anything in this world to hold their mother one more time and tell her they love her.

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There are women who never knew what a mother’s love could feel like and mourn the not-knowing.

And maybe it’s not just me? The stepmoms or foster moms who cringe inside, worried someone will judge our being called mother. We constantly balance our roles and avoid stepping on toes or taking credit where it isn’t due. 

Knowing I’m not alone in my Mother’s Day misery doesn’t ease the ache, though.

Because no one calls me mom. And celebrating me on this day is strange.

It magnifies the years of infertility struggles and longing for a baby to call my own.

I keep going by reminding myself God has not forgotten me.

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalms 147:3).

He sees my pain on Mother’s Day.

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And He will heal my heartache. Whether it be through time and becoming more comfortable with who I am as a childless stepmom. Or by answering my prayers with a child who calls me Mom.

But until then, I long for those days when Mother’s Day was so easy.

Amanda Polson

I am a Christian stepmom of one teenage boy and two pre-teen girls. I’m an ardent lover of starting and encouraging family traditions, my Newfoundland rescue mutt Gus, and beautiful springs/cozy winters. I blog about home, health, and happiness on my blog