When Mother’s Day is not all candy and flowers


If you asked me last week what Mother’s Day is about, I would have been quick with an answer: It’s the day we set aside to honor the woman who gave birth to us.

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If you asked me today, my answer would largely be the same with one caveat: We also have to set aside a few moments in the day to remember how lucky we are to have children, and that motherhood does not come easily to all women. In fact, for some women becoming a mother is nothing short of the fight of their lives.

Since Karen and I became parents 10 years ago, I’ve approached Mother’s Day much the same way every year: Pick up a greeting card. Wrestle with what funny gifts to buy Karen. Be sure the kids have something to give. Call my mom.

I’m embarrassed to say I’ve thought little, if any, about the hardships some women go through to become mothers, I suppose in part because that wasn’t our experience.

I sneezed and Karen became pregnant.

But it’s not so easy for some women.

Some can’t conceive on their own, and need help from modern medicine and surrogates to have a child.

Others are bedridden for weeks and need powerful drugs to stop contractions so they can carry their baby to term, or at least a few more weeks to allow their baby to grow in the womb as God intended.

And still others spend Mother’s Day mourning the loss of a newly conceived child, a pain I have never known and an emptiness I can only imagine as I look in the eyes of my own children.

So while Mother’s Day will always be a day for me to appreciate my own mother and wife, I will forever take a few moments on the second Sunday in May to remember how lucky I am to have children and say a little prayer for every woman struggling to become a mother.

After all, a woman willing to go to such lengths to become a mother is the kind of mother every child deserves. I pray they will one day know the joy Karen and I feel when we hear our children laugh.

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