Mother’s Day Open Mouth Insert Foot Moments

Dawn Davenport


Mother’s Day Open Mouth Insert Foot Moments

Mother’s Day Open Mouth Insert Foot Moments

I’m a mom. I like Mothers Day. It’s fun to be pandered to, and it’s the only day I can guilt my teens into going on a hike with me without complaining. It seems to me, however, that we’ve turned Mother’s Day into a universal Let’s Celebrate Women’s Day. Every woman over the age of about 30 get’s greeted on the second Sunday in May with a cheery “Happy Mother’s Day”. News flash: Not every woman is a mom or has a living mom. 

I realize most people don’t mean to cause pain and are acting out of ignorance not meanness. In my book, intent does matter. I also realize that once you’ve stuck your foot in your mouth it sometimes gets wedged in. Consider the following examples from the Creating a Family Facebook Support Group:

Clueless: Happy Mother’s Day (said to a woman she knew had suffered a miscarriage 4 months previously, but had probably momentarily forgotten)

Miscarriage Sufferer: Thanks… but I’m not celebrating .

Clueless: But you ARE a mother! Your babies are just in Heaven!

Miscarriage Sufferer: Remind me again how that makes it a HAPPY Mother’s Day?


Clueless: Happy Mother’s Day (said to a woman she knew had been struggling for years with infertility and miscarriages, but had probably momentarily forgotten)

Infertility Sufferer: Thanks, but I’m not a mom.

Clueless: Oh, but you are a mom to your pets.

Infertility Sufferer: {thought but not said} I love my pets but REALLY?!?!

I’m all in favor of creating a Let’s Celebrate Women Day. I think we women are awesome and deserve a day to be celebrated. That day, however, is not the second Sunday in May. In the midst of being kind to us moms, please, please be especially sensitive to those who aren’t moms.

Any other open mouth insert foot Mother’s Day moments you’d care to share.

Image Credit: Creating a Family Pinterest Infertility Inspiration Board

08/05/2013 | by Dawn Davenport | Categories: Blog, Infertility, Infertility Blog | 9 Comments

9 Responses to Mother’s Day Open Mouth Insert Foot Moments

  1. Avatar Melissa says:

    I just love being asked if I have kids. How do you explain that you have several children you would love to adopt and consider to be your children but their country is closed to international adoptions? I love my kids fiercely but I always feel like I’m not a “real” mom to other people.

  2. Avatar Lori Lavender Luz says:

    This can be such a painful time of year for those of us pursuing motherhood. Out of one of those moments last year came this post:

  3. Avatar Christi says:

    saw this on a friend’s f/b page today and it made my heart ache for her.
    “Had someone tell me have a happy mothers day. I said thank you but I can never be a mother as i held back the tears!”
    It was even worse with some of her friends saying some not-so-nice things like:
    “But you can be a mother! A woman that doesn’t have her own children can be a mother to soooo many and you are awesome!”
    “You could be a great Mom … Adoption”
    but my absolute ‘favorite’ is:
    “Aww sweetie I’m sorry… Keep Ur eyes on god sweetie never say never. If god wants to he would bless u with a child”

    Because you know, every infertile, childless woman wants and needs to be told that she can mother other people’s kids (she works with children) and that, essentially, God just doesn’t want her to have kids. Uggh… Yes I responded and told them they should just say “I’m sorry”

  4. Avatar Karen says:

    After facing mothers day without my own mother since age 12 and now years of not being a mother myself despite great desire, I still struggle on this day. I still don’t know what to say when people wish me a happy mothers day kindly — or sometimes so rudely I can only think of some very dark humor to draw upon. I do know, however, that what helps — what touches my heart in a positive way around this time, is posts like these. They help me feel acknowledged. And reminds me that my pain/edginess on this day, does not mean I am a permanantly grumpy, sad person who should just go get a cat (I love cats, so no offense intended to my feline friends!). Rather, I am just one woman, who is part of a larger community of women through blogs like this one, having just one particularly hard day. Thanks

  5. Great post Dawn. Mothers Day is bittersweet for me having lost the most important person in my life almost 19 years ago. Bringing the sensitivity to the holiday is necessary and appreciated!

  6. Avatar MJ says:

    This blog entry describes this year’s MD to a T. My mother died this past February and it will be the 6th yr that my husband and I will be “celebrating” MD as an infertile couple. Thankfully we have the chance to hide away from the rest of the world on that day, so we can hide from all of the “Foot in Mouthers” that we might encounter. I will probably avoid looking at FB that day, too, although I am deeply tempted to make my status update for that day read as follows “Happy Mother’s Day, everyone (else)! I’ve told my husband that I can’t guarantee that I will be good company this Sunday, but we will see what happens. At least we don’t have to be in church on “flaunt your fertility day” this year. Great article. Thanks for it!

  7. Avatar anon says:

    I’m happy enough to just be a mom: I don’t need a shout out at church or comments from strangers that have no clue what my path to motherhood was. I think Mother’s Day is just another example of how weird and excessive Americans get over their holidays.

    • Avatar Dawn says:

      anon, I feel that way about Valentines Day. Hubby and I don’t celebrate it. We’d rather celebrate a day that truly means something to us–like our anniversary.

  8. This can be such a painful time of year for those of us pursuing motherhood. Out of one of those moments last year came this post:

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