A Reflection on My First Mother’s Day

A sneak peek at my special self-portraits with my daughter.

mom and baby in apple orchard.

I thought this Mother’s Day might be different than the rest.

For so many years—years spent secretly longing for a child, years spent in fertility treatment limbo—I dreaded Mother’s Day.

The day that reminded me of my biological “inadequacy,” my invisibility as a stepmother, and the unrequited love that gnawed at my soul.

My journey to motherhood ends happily, yet I find myself engulfed in melancholy tinged with grief as I rock my almost one year old daughter to sleep.

I find myself engulfed in melancholy tinged with grief as I rock my almost one year old daughter to sleep.

 

I created this tiny human, a daughter more beautiful than I dared to dream, and yet I had no power to create her.

The perfect cocktail of injectable hormones and precision of timing and place couldn’t put a baby in my womb.

Yet here she is.

mother daughter apple orchard kissing

I still can’t come to terms with the gift I’ve been given.

My lack of power and control in my own life leaves me deeply uncomfortable.

My daughter is fiery and joyful. She takes up space everywhere she goes. She does not wilt under my desire for her compliance.

Of course she’s strong-willed.

She was the one strong enough to come to be after years of longing from her mother’s heart.

My friend says, “We’re given the child we need.”

I didn’t know how much I loved control until I met her. She’s a force I can guide, but not demand compliance of (unless we’re doing a diaper change, then I’m the boss).

I didn’t know how much I loved control until I met her. She’s a force I can guide, but not demand compliance of.

My love for her makes me vulnerable to every anxiety I can find.

As I want to control all of the variables, she shows me that it’s futile.

She’s the gift I had no power to create.

I am not yet a better person because of my daughter. Not even close.

I’m more forgetful, less self-reflective, more impatient.

But I’m hopeful that someone wiser is taking shape inside of me.

Someone who is learning to love whatever comes to be.

It’s a privilege to share these special portraits with you.

These little ones of ours don’t stay little for very long. If you’re a mom, like me, who wants to capture and preserve some of these moments, fill out my Family Art Plan request and let’s craft a vision together.