For many years there was little talk or thought given to those who long to have children but cannot. Around would come Mother’s Day, and those facing the silent struggle of infertility would disappear to cry out their sorrows at home, or in the women’s bathroom at church.
Thankfully, over the past few years, that has changed. With many bloggers addressing the issue, it is becoming common knowledge that those who deal with childlessness will probably struggle on the day to honor mothers.
But what can you do about it?
Just being aware is a huge help, but beyond that, here are four things that others have done for me, that helped ease my burden on Mother’s Day:
Send her a card.
Just saying, “Hey, thinking of/praying for you today!” can be a huge gift. One of the most difficult parts of infertility is feeling alone, so anything you can do to let us know that we’re not?—is a blessing.I still have a card that I received several years ago from a blogging friend, who, at that time, I had never met in real life. Using her amazing artistic gifts, she created a handmade card that was inscribed, “She Loved With a Mother’s Heart and God Smiled” on the front. It is, hands down, one of my most treasured possessions.
Ask how she’s doing, and really listen if she wants to talk.
As awareness of infertility grows, there can be a lot of people who will say (in passing), “Oh, yeah. How are you doing with Mother’s Day this year?” It’s easy to just blow them off because an afterthought from someone usually feels like no thought at all, but if you really care?—be ready to listen. And if we don’t feel like talking about it?—don’t get offended. It might just be that we have nothing to say.
Flowers are for more than just mothers.
Seriously. If you send flowers to your mom, and your sister struggles with infertility—you might want to send her some too. Knowing that we matter, even if our bodies aren’t cooperating, is important. Years ago my husband started giving me Mother’s Day gifts, in honor of all the children I have loved through the years, none of which were my own. It makes the day beautiful, even if it hurts. And when someone else thoughtfully remembers me with a flower or gift, it blesses my socks off.
Prayers are truly priceless.
Infertility is a real battle, one that has to be fought continually. Blessing us, by praying specifically for our struggles, is worth more than any gift, any conversation, any thought. And don’t just pray that we will someday bear a child. Pray, also, that we will be faithful. Pray that our hearts will be wholly devoted to God and that we will continue to learn to accept-with-joy the path He has given us to travel.
Do you have other ideas—ways that you’ve been blessed or have blessed someone else? Share them in the comments!