Mother's Day...

Mother's Day...

Last week my weekly newsletter was about my thoughts on Mother's Day and how it generated an opportunity for me to pause and reflect on my own journey to motherhood. 

Motherhood is one of the most challenging and rewarding journeys a woman will go on and so I thought the piece deserved a place on my Blog.....  

On my instagram account I put up a reel about Mother's Day. I referenced the hype we see in the media around Mothers Day and how your experience might be different... And that's ok. While it can be a lovely and joyous occasion for mothers to be celebrated, it can also be raw and emotional for many.

Maybe you are sill trying to conceive, maybe you are mourning your angel babies, maybe you are a new mother exhausted and doubting your abilities, maybe you didn't have the relationship with your own mother you would have liked, maybe your mother has passed and you have immeasurable grief, maybe your navigating peri-menopause/ menopause and maybe you are mothering children with additional needs. Whatever your experience all your feelings are valid.

Personally, I find Mothers Day hard...

Hard for lots of reasons, It serves to remind me of the journey I have travelled to become a mother and reminds me that motherhood is not the experience I thought it would be.

Broadcast can love every ounce of your children and find motherhood exhausting. I welcome and accept all my feelings.

My journey to motherhood came with many twists and turns. I got married at 27, I was working in financial services at the time and had no urge to become a mother straight away. I turned 30 and said to my husband I felt ready to start a family. Like most young couples we just expected it to happen, but when one month after the next went by with no success we began to worry something was wrong.

Little did we know what was ahead of us, as we embarked on a 7 year infertility journey....

There were tests, specialists, vitamins, Chinese medicine, charts, stickers, dietary changes, lots of money spent, temperature checks, ovulation sticks, hypnotherapy, acupuncture, healing, books, advice, counting days and more counting days.....and there was silence. Lots of silence.

There was worry, tears, anxiousness, fear, jealousy, frustration, overwhelm and there was loneliness as each mothers day passed and I hoped and wished for my turn to celebrate.

Trying to conceive is a very isolating experience, it becomes all consuming as you patiently wait month after month for those 2 lines that will change your world forever. Most people don't know what you are going through, as you take on challenge after challenge to get you to that place of babygrows and nappies.

After three failed IVF attempts and one miscarriage we got support that worked and I gave birth to our first child. We had this initial sense of elation....Yes we did it, we are going to be parents, but then the worry arrived and it was 8 months of mixed emotions. I ended up in hospital for a time before she was born and I remember lying in bed in the Rotunda Maternity Hospital looking out the window a the HARI Infertility Clinic in the grounds still not really believing that I was about to have a baby. I was so grateful and so scared all at the same time!

Fast forward to 2024 and we are blessed with two beautiful girls. I am a mother for nearly 12 years and the growth and changes that have occurred during that time is off the charts. Motherhood and my children are my greatest challenges and my greatest teachers. I've had many moments of regret and many moments of intense proudness.

Motherhood has cracked me open and showed me who I really am. I've learned to feel my emotions, to know that they are all valid and have a place in my life. I've learned patience. My children show me unconditional love. Love on the tough days and love on the easy days. They have shown me my true path and guided me towards this wonderful work that I get to do.

So, I say to you if you like me, have your own unique motherhood journey, celebrate it. Celebrate all that you have, celebrate the little moments of joy, the glimmers. And most importantly celebrate you and not just on Mothers Day... but everyday.

To be a mother is hard and it is a privilege and it takes strength deep within to navigate all the obstacles it will send your way.

How do I navigate my motherhood journey...

I do this by looking after myself and ensuring that my needs are met. It's non-negotiable. I practice gratitude, I journal, I listen to music, I light a candle, I get time to myself, I breathe deeply, I meet friends, I read books, I ask for help, I tap, I meditate, I go to the gym, I get the support of professionals.

There are lots and lots of tools in my toolkit and it is important for my emotional & mental health that I know they are there. My message to you this week is, Do a toolkit check....see what's in there. See what you haven't used in a while, see what you can add in and remember...

Self care isn't selfish, it's an act of survival.

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1 comment

What a beautiful, honest and heartfelt account of your motherhood journey. Thank you for sharing. x

Ailish Sarah Flaherty

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