Mother’s Day When You’re Not the Real Mom


Mother’s Day. The day we honor our Moms and all they have done for us. The day we appreciate their sacrifices, their love, and their caring hearts. And a day where many of you are being honored in your spectacular role in motherhood. A blessed day and a cherished day for so many.

Mother’s Day is quite the opposite for me. It is possibly the most challenging day of the year for my otherwise strong, turned fragile heart. It isn’t a celebration (Even though I celebrate my Mom and other amazing Moms that I know and love.) It is a reminder of my shortcomings and my never-meant-to-be’s. My failures. My missed opportunities.

You see, Mother’s Day is not the same festive occasion for all of us. When all you’ve ever wanted was to have children of your own, but that wasn’t in God’s plan. When you remember the long and painful road of infertility. When you are a step-mom to grown boys who can’t begin to understand the challenges you faced trying to make their lives better, only to have your efforts go unacknowledged and your love sometimes unreturned. When you are not the real Mom. When you are not a Mom at all.

Today opens a wound for me that is otherwise covered by a big fat bandaid. A vibrant and colorful bandaid, but a bandaid nonetheless. Other days I can be fine and not miss what I always wanted. Other days I can celebrate my other amazing blessings in life and not get stuck in the things I never had. But today, not-so-much. That bandaid is ripped off, leaving the sting in my heart and the scar fully exposed.

I am sharing this, not as a sob story for you to pity. But as a tribute to the other not-the-real-moms out there who may feel the same way I do on this difficult day. You are not alone in your sadness, in your regret, or in your tears. You are not the only one.

Remember the blessings today. Instead of getting stuck like I often do in what you are not. Get wrapped up in what you are. And you are a beautiful, loving, giving soul that has other gifts and purpose in this life.

Today, rejoice in where this journey has taken you, even though it is not the path you planned for yourself. Today, know that despite all your imperfections, you are perfect in God’s eyes. Today, love yourself and everything brilliant and wonderful that you are.


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6 thoughts on “Mother’s Day When You’re Not the Real Mom

  1. margretdj May 11, 2014 at 11:14 am Reply

    love your story and your gratitude for having what God gave to you…

  2. Shaina May 11, 2014 at 8:48 pm Reply

    …as I read this when I came across the sentence “not the real mom and not a mom at all” something inside me stung my heart because I strongly disagree with you there! A mother is so much more than giving birth to a child and even though I know just how badly you have wanted that role in your life please know that you ARE a mom. You are Brody’s mom and Cinders’ mom and have been a mom to other furry loves that have come and gone…AND you are just as much of a Mom to two boys you welcomed into your life and home with open arms and into your heart unconditionally thru the good and the bad. That’s what a mom does and what a mom is…YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY A MOM!! ❤ and don't you forget it 🙂

    • trisbendickson May 12, 2014 at 6:58 am Reply

      Thank you for reminding me that my role as doggy mommy is valid and real. Love you more than words can say!

  3. Tonia Bendickson May 13, 2014 at 6:22 am Reply

    Sweet sister, thank you for so honestly and beautifully sharing the truth of this day for so many. Your story, and others like it reveal a painful reality too easily overlooked. What God can do (and is doing) through you is a testimony to His hope and love. His love never fails. Thank you for revealing something of yourself to teach us all how to lean into Him in our times of confusion, sorrow, and pain. You are SO brave and I love you!

    • trisbendickson May 13, 2014 at 7:15 am Reply

      Thank you for reminding me that there is value outside of motherhood. Grateful for your grace and encouraging words. Love you!

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