Loving the Woman Who Wants to Be a Mom

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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.


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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.

yellow flowers

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.

Love her.

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

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  1. Just be mindful of your words. The things that people have said to me in church on Mother’s Day. Well, not intending to be malicious, sent me off to an empty room bawling. And I can’t remember the last Mother’s Day that I sat there. I didn’t cry my eyes out. These days, I find every excuse to not be there on Mother’s Day. I’m on the worship team, so today I sang, and then bolted off to go to work. The fact that I am just here because I was looking for anything as a comfort. I know this post is old, and probably no one will look at this, but it is helpful just to write.

    1. Thanks for posting this. I struggled for several years to have a baby. We eventually adopted 2 daughters but those years during which we were dealing with infertility and waiting to adopt, Mother’s Day was one of the hardest days of the year for me.

  2. We lost our baby Thursday when i started hemoraging in target while shopping with our two youngest. I still grieve our son we lost in 2006 I can’t even begin to explain the giref I am experiencing now. I’ve heard over and over and over the last few days “At least you already have three amazing kids” Well yes I do and thanks for noticing but that certainly doesn’t take away the pain of the death of a child no matter how big or small they are. Sometimes it’s better if they just say nothing at all. But I give them credit. If they haven’t been through it they don’t know what we are going through. They are just trying to be kind in the best way they know how and I don’t think anyone ever means to hurt our feelings.

    1. Oh Diana….I am so sorry for your loss. I lost a little one between babies three and four as well. Regardless of how many you already have, a loss is still a loss. Please take gentle care of yourself, Praying that you find peace. (((HUGS)))

    2. Praying for you this week. May God meet you where you are and bring you comfort.

  3. Thanks for sharing these thoughts. I have one child and am expecting another to show up in September. My sister, who has two children, and I were extra excited because she was expecting another one to show up in October. After being so close all our lives, what fun to be having babies at the same time! But her baby went to see Jesus instead of coming to see us. It has been a struggle to be pregnant when she lost hers. She’s my best friend, and I don’t know what to say about my baby to her. Very awkward. Time has helped with that, but it’s good to be reminded, like in this post, of the ways I can reach out to her and that I can still be real with her about my baby. Thanks, Jessica.

  4. This post last year is what made me a devoted reader….. I have 3 angel babies myself and I clearly remember the grief that I went through. It was important for me to be allowed “my” time to mourn. I think a lot of people wanted me to get over it quickly and it took me a while…. everyone grieves at their own pace and I suppose mine was slow. I really appreciated the friends and family who granted me as much time as I needed.

  5. I lost my mother last year in February and I had just started a new job so I knew no one very well. One girl, jeannie, let me talk and say just about anything I needed about my mom and she didn’t complain once. We are good friends now. Little things would come up during the day and we would make jokes or laugh at something my mother might have done or said. I probably would be in a lot worse shape if it weren’t for her. She will never know just how much she helped me at a difficult time. I love you Jeannie.

  6. I love this post as much this time around as I did last year. And your readers’ heartfelt and moving comments have me in tears! I love Carla’s reminder of the motherless daughters (and sons) in our midst. I love the idea of using Mother’s Day as a day of giving and reaching out in compassion and love, not only to Mothers, but to those who may be hurting.


  7. A little different take on this, but I think it will be okay. I have never miscarried, or lost a child. But many years ago, a woman in our church died leaving a husband and a daughter around eleven years old. It was right before Mother’s Day. The first Mother’s Day without her mom I am sure was difficult. My husband invited them over after church for lunch on that Mother’s day. I think I cooked lunch, but my husband and kids bought me a cake that was boxed like roses. It had Happy Mother’s Day, so it was a definite reminder of the day. I felt like it was a bad idea to invite the widow and his daughter, but the invitation was already extended. We all had the best time, as it ended up! I am so glad my husband was wiser than me, and that they joined us. As I look back, I think it helped them. What if they had gone home to an empty house? What if they had gone out to eat, and saw all the others at the restaurant with their mom. I know it must have been on their hearts while at our home, but in this case, I think it lessened the pain at least a little, for a short time.

  8. I miscarried in between my 2 boys while it seemed that everyone around me was pregnant. I even met 2 different women who had the same due date that I would have had within 2 weeks of that date. It was nice that people let me talk about it without being awkward toward me. As for loving others, the lady who watches my little guys when I need to actually go out to work (I work mostly from home) was never able to have children. She delights in being a part-time mommy to the little ones she cares for in her home and does a wonderful job with them. We are going to bring her a bouquet of flowers this weekend to help her celebrate Mother’s Day. I think she’s just as much a mom as the rest of us!

  9. Thank you for this post. As you know, I had two miscarriages in fourth months. Then was diagnosed with a mild form of factor 5 (blood clotting disorder in pregnancy) and PCOS. Because I have a two year old, people constantly reminded me "atleast you have a baby, some have none." It was very painful to hear because it was like people were telling me to not be sad or I didn't have a right to be sad. We still want more children and Lord willing we will have more now that we know what could be causing this problem. So the only thing I could think to add to this conversation is to ask readers to please remember when talking to someone who is encountering secondary infertility, to please be kind and not shove in her face she already has a child. Secondary infertility is painful too. I remember telling my dental tech that was cleaning my teeth I had just miscarried and had a d&c. She asked how far along I was, when I told her 6 weeks, she said, "that is nothing, my cousin lost her baby at nine months." I felt so crushed. While yes, it is beyond painful to think about someone loosing a baby at nine months (or ever for that matter) it is not "nothing" to have a miscarriage. I guess what I am fumbling to say is, we as women need to support and listen to each other more and ultimately show compassion reguardless of the situation the mother faces in her journery of motherhood.

    1. In the midst of the pain, it is especially devastating to have someone diminish or invalidate your pain. Please know that your pain is as valid and real as anyone’s! I think this is why so many of us are afraid to tell anyone about our losses. My thoughts and prayers are with you!

  10. I wish that we lived closer so that you could bring on over one of those great meals! I would not feel it’s charity. 🙂 Thanks for your post.

  11. I also have a Heaven baby, but I am also blessed to have a wonderful son here on earth. I also have a few friends who are in that struggling stage of desperately wanting to be a mother. I try to be sympathetic to their feelings, and not complain about situations that they only wish they could be in. My prayer each day is that the Lord answer this prayer for them. Thanks for reminding us to be compassionate to those who long to be a Mother on this up-coming Mother’s day.

    1. I am the same Kimberly who wrote this comment 4 years ago. Since that time I have gained another son. One of my friends who I was thinking of when I wrote my original comment has been blessed with a son as well, after 9 year of struggling with infertility. The other friend I was thinking of has yet to have a child. I already know the next two weeks will be hard for her, as today (the first Sunday of May) is always Baby Dedication Day and next week being Mother’s Day. She has expressed to me how difficult these two weeks are for her. While I can’t completely understand her struggle, she has always told me that the best thing I can do is to love her, pray for her, and be a listening ear. And that’s what I try to do. And Lord willing, she will be a mother one day…in HIs timing and in HIs own way. I pray for other ladies in the same position as me……let’s love those women in our lives who yearn…….

      1. Thank you for sharing how God has grown your family — and for being a faithful reader for FOUR years! 🙂

  12. I lost Isaiah before I had any childrn. I was just into the ‘safe zone’ at 15 weeks.
    I am planning on doing a post about him sometime this month in hopes of helping someone get through it.
    There are so many sweet unborn babies up in Heaven!
    These are good thoughts!