Mother’s Day is just a week away. I thought I would bring back this old post of mine from 2008 as a reminder to reach out in love to the women in our midst who may be facing the challenge of not mothering their children.
Let’s remember the woman who wants to be a mom and is struggling in that area.
There are women all around us who are feeling the aches of a lost child, a failed hope, a lost dream. You may know her, you may be her: the mom whose daughter died just days before her fifth birthday, the mom who’s suffering a second miscarriage in two years, the woman who yearns to become a mom, yet struggles with infertility.
Between my first and second children, I miscarried three times in the course of eleven months. While it’s true that I was already a mom, I desperately yearned to have more children. To become pregnant and to have it end abruptly was heartbreaking, over and over.
And over again.
Another sad but true fact about that time is that the very sight of pregnant women, friends or not, often had the power to prompt anger or resentment in me. I am sure I am not the only one who has felt that. There are probably women you know who struggle with that today.
Perhaps you are one of them.
I am thankful that God has worked that out for me, at least over that issue. Though it is a powerful reminder to me of the danger of envy. I’ve known many women for whom Mother’s Day was a horrible day to endure.
There are all sorts of platitudes that we can share with a woman struggling with issues of infertility or miscarriage. Believe me, I heard a lot of them. I’m not sure that there is a universal “great-way-to-respond.” But, as we approach Mother’s Day, there may be a woman in your midst for whom Sunday will be very difficult. Here are some thoughts about how to think about her situation:
Ask if she wants to talk about it.
I was really helped by the opportunity to share what happened to me. So if you’re not squeamish, offer to listen. (Thank you, Christina and Julie and Jessika!)
Take a surprise meal.
There were days when my motivation was at an all-time low. Since I love to eat, food was a great comforter to me — as long as I didn’t need to fix it. It’s a great way to show someone you care, provided that it doesn’t feel like a charity donation, but rather a joyful surprise.
Invite her (and hubby and/or kids) for a fun activity.
Being stuck at home can leave us focused on our sadness of state. Distractions and looking outside ourselves can be really helpful.
Include your friend in what you’re doing.
Pray for her.
I’m sure there were more friends praying for me than I knew at the time. God has brought great healing since then — and five more children!
Lift up your friend to the Only One who truly knows what she feels and what she needs.
Don’t be embarrassed that you have kids or are pregnant when she is not.
Children are a blessing! Don’t apologize for having children.
That said, try not to complain about how hard your life is. It may be really hard at times, but I would bet she’d give anything to have the trials you have. If she seems receptive, invite her to be a part of your day-to-day lives. This may be a little difficult to discern. Everyone is different, but be mindful of including her in your life.
Call her. Just talk to her. Be her friend.
What can you do to love the woman who hurts?
How have others loved you? Share it in the comments.
*art – allposters