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Do Tell: If You Don’t Have Kids, What’s Mother’s Day Like For You?

Whether you deliberately chose a childfree life or wanted children and never had them, Mother's Day can be your least favorite holiday.

Mother’s Day is almost here. I want to make it clear: No thoughts here of disrespecting the day that we remember the woman who gave us life.  I’m glad there is a Mother’s Day. Truly. What I'm questioning is, how do women without children — NotMoms — handle the day?

Reading comments to this blog and others by and for childfree and By Chance women, and by talking to childless friends, it seems clear that this holiday has hidden speed bumps.  But, I also know women who are rather matter-of-fact. They wanted kids, didn't have them, and now, they don't think much about it, nor does Mother's Day mean anything to them but another Sunday. Are there as many reactions as there are NotMoms?

Some women said they prefer to stay at home on Mother’s Day to avoid being given a free flower or other business “gifts” to women customers. Either they quietly accept the rose or whatever, or they refuse it, saying “I’m not a mother.” Consensus feedback is that gift-givers generally push it more firmly in your direction saying, “Take one anyway” adopting a tone bordering on sympathy.  No childfree woman ever wants that kind of sympathy, and few By Chance women can bear it.

By now, I'm never surprised when childless-by-choice friends tend to be a bit peeved when confronted with ubiquitous pink and cheery, misdirected good wishes. Likewise, women who once dreamed of their own Mother’s Day breakfast in bed had responses that ranged from sad to (confrontational) when asked a simple question:

“As a woman without children, what impact does Mother’s Day have on you, if any?”

What about you, Dear Reader? Does Mother’s Day affect you positively, negatively, or not at all? Do you spend so much time with your own mother that you really don’t think about the more personal side of the day? Or do you go to the movies and lose yourself in a good comedy?

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Karen Malone Wright May 13, 2012 at 04:18 PM
I am sending you BIG hugs, Sherri, as I have been where you are. Professional counseling may be of some help, and you may note that speaking about your feelings -- or writing about them -- can provide a needed release as well.
Karen Malone Wright May 13, 2012 at 04:28 PM
Frank - You're an awesome husband. Hug your wife, then hug her again. Let her cry, in your arms if need be. Calm yourself by remembering there is nothing you can do or say to make her pain completely disappear. Keep talking to her about the Hard Stuff, sharing your individual and shared frustration and hurt. There's no easy answers here.
FionaH October 02, 2012 at 10:17 PM
It is unbearably sad and painful. I tried to have children for almost a decade. I will be thirty one in three weeks and now my boyfriend just called me, saying he would like to discontinue trying until (maybe a year from now) I could not convince him otherwise. I have four sisters, all in their late twenties/early thirties who do not have children and no brothers. There is nobody to carry the family name, and my sister is dying of hepatitis C. Not only do I not know what it is like to be a mother, but not even an aunt. I cry every day. I am so unbearably sad.
Karen Malone Wright October 03, 2012 at 12:06 AM
Big big hugs from cyberspace to you, Fiona. I am childless not by choice as well, and I am also the "last of the line", I am a godmother, but as an only child, I'm not an aunt, either. Once I realized that motherhood wasn't going to happen for me, and adoption wasn't a viable option, t was blessed to find a retreat that helped me release the grief and move on. From there, I launched my blog/website, TheNotMom.com, which I hope is a resource for all women without children, regardless of how they got there. For me, it felt as though no one else understood what I was going through. The Internet, and the world, can be a very Mom-centered place. I know now that I wasn't alone, and neither are you. I pray that you find peace. Thank you for sharing your story.
Ayana G. May 12, 2013 at 02:45 PM
Hi everyone, this was a question that really hit me this year. I am the oldest in my family and the one with no children. At times there is a void from not having my own, and sometimes i try and not think about it. maybe right now it is best i don't have any. later on, I believe god will hear me and grant me that special child with a loving father.

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