Do you know that every time I share a picture or a post about my children, I think of you? Every time. Do you know that every time I talk about my parenting, my days filled with all the frustrations and joys of raising my kids, I think of you? I do.
And a piece of my mama heart breaks each time.
I may never truly understand your pain, but I picture your face, your tears, your deep and heavy sighs, and your ongoing breath of sadness for the child you don't have in your arms, and in your life. I imagine the ongoing tests and trials you have endured desperately attempting to keep a growing baby in your womb, and the devastation that breaks open your entire being each time it fails. I think of those silent moments of questioning, of begging, of pleading for the one thing you want most of all in this life... and I hear the silence echo back with resounding emptiness.
I can only guess that is how you feel. Empty of dreams, empty of hope, empty of the life you thought you'd have as a mother.
And you see all the pictures of kids, of families so full of stories that you could never tell. You read all the funny quotes and birthday milestones and wonder what your life with your precious child would be like, as you take in the experiences of others and wonder, "Why them?" I bet you have had to walk away, turn away and turn off notifications just to protect your broken heart from all the incessant updates that scream the very truth right at you -- the truth you believe because you are without. And the hardest reality rears its ugly head over and over again, each time you are reminded that you are a failure, less than a woman: A Childless Mother.
But that is a lie. You are more of a mother than I could ever be.
I long for you to truly understand that you are NOT a failure, and not less than a woman, you are more than a mother than I could ever be. All of your passion, your relentless efforts and your desperate attempts prove this very truth. Because the reality is that I didn't try half as hard at being one than you did. I didn't spend endless hours praying for, hoping for, begging for a child to hold in my arms. I hold you up on the pedestal of greatness, of love, of merciful strength. And if I would define motherhood, the very depths of what it is, I would describe you.
I am not more of a woman simply because I was able to have kids. Oh, no. I have done nothing to earn the Victor's Cup... Nothing. And here's the most important truth of all. You have done nothing to earn your empty womb. That is what upsets me the most. The gift of being a parent is not conditional upon being a person worthy of having a child. Just look at all the millions of unwanted children all over this world, whose parents were able to conceive and had no desire to have these discarded innocent children. The deepest twisted paradox of humanity is this very thing. Beautiful women (and men) who so passionately want to have a child, and can't, and the men and women who create children without a thought, a desire, a plan. Oh, this world is broken. So very broken.
How I wish so badly I had the power to change it.
Your medal of honor and badge of strength is earned through the long endured road of palpable pain and fervent hope. You may not have the Victor's Cup with a swaddled baby wrapped in your arms... and for that, I break off a piece of my mama heart for you, each and every day. But please know, you are the greatest example of a mom and woman you could ever give yourself the right to be. If life was fair, and just, and logical by any and all reasoning, and if this world wouldn't waver on random heartbreaks and unpredictable hopelessness, if the privilege of motherhood was based on reward or worth or earning...
I would give anything to watch you take the Victor's cup, full of swaddled babies all wrapped in your arms. I couldn't think of anyone who deserves it more.
So when you cringe at another update from me, please oh please, know that I cringe with you, I cry with you, I mourn with you...
Every single time.
This post was originally published at TheMomCafe.com.
HuffPost Women sends stories about relationships, politics, sex, work, culture and body image, straight to your inbox three days a week. Learn more