Why I Don’t Go to Church on Mother’s Day

I know, I know. Mother’s Day was last weekend.

And it’s been ages since I wrote anything here.

But I’ve been thinking a lot about Mother’s Day and I just had to get it all out.

I was in 7th grade the first time I realized Mother’s Day wasn’t all bouquets of flowers, chocolates and macaroni art.

I vividly remember sitting in church listening to one of my classmates sobbing. Gut wrenching, soul crushing, sorrow filled sobs. Her mother had died in a car accident a few weeks earlier and the minister was droning on and on about the importance of mothers. Whiskey tango foxtrot was he thinking?! Um, HELLO?!?!

I will never, ever forget the sound. It was pure anguish. Poor thing.

From that Sunday on, I wasn’t a fan of Mother’s Day sermons.

Fast forward to 2010. B and I had just found out a few months before that I probably wouldn’t be able to have children. Mother’s Day this year, I reluctantly went to church with B. (We both grew up in religious households that put a serious emphasis on church attendance.) We were sporadically attending a church where there were 3 married couples who had been married more than a few months and were not pregnant. B and me, his two brothers and their wives. How’s that for irony… It was an extremely conservative, old school church. Things I definitely am not.

I distinctly remember sitting in the pew and fuming. The pastor was preaching on the importance of being a mother and how it is the woman’s duty to give her husband children and devote her entire being to raising these children.

Children I had recently been told I wouldn’t have.

I was a bad woman and a bad wife.

Such bullshit.

I’m sure there are churches that don’t put a lot of emphasis on Motherhood on Mother’s Day. They exist.

They have to.

Once burned, twice shy. It may be small and petty, but I haven’t darkened the door of a church on Mother’s Day in 5 years and I don’t plan on doing it any time soon.

Too many people/women/couples have a hard time on Mother’s Day. There’s too much heartache associated with a mother that’s passed away. Or a strained relationship with a mother. Or families, however they’re made up, who have empty arms, wombs and hearts for whatever reason.

To all the women sitting in church on Mother’s Day feeling like they’ve been sucker punched in their broken/empty lady bits and feeling like less of a fill-in-the-blank: You are more than your cystic ovaries/fibrous uterus/blocked fallopian tubes/endo riddled insides. You are not defined by your vagina.

You are not less than because you don’t have children.

You are not less than.

Period.

You are important.

You are a good wife.

You are appreciated.

You are remembered.

You are loved.