After breaking up with her partner and losing her role as stepmum in the process, newly single Bianca Dye writes for Stellar about the many hats she has worn.
Happy Mother’s Day, whatever that means for you. For so many of us it’s not the traditional day it once was.
For so long Mother’s Day was a funny one for me – besides taking my own mum for the obligatory lunch at the local RSL (“one with a view please, Bianca”) and spoiling her with a bottle of perfume, it was always a day that I felt I was on the outside looking in.
It’s a weird feeling as a “non-mum” on Mother’s Day.
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You’re so happy for your mates who are mums, and you genuinely celebrate that, but then the ache inside of you to be a part of that “club” taps on your shoulder.
I always kept busy with my own mum or nanas so that the silence of no calls from my own kids or the empty letterbox of cards was pushed down, and I couldn’t feel the dull thud of shame that kept nudging at me along with the ridiculous notion that others would be judging me because they assumed I had not made being a mother a priority in my early years and was now paying the ultimate price.
This year is another challenging one for me. I’ve just come through a relationship break-up with a man who had a child who lived with us as well. For the first time in three years, I’m having another Mother’s Day where I’m not sure which hat to wear. Who am I this Mother’s Day? Where do I belong?
I’m no longer the co-parent/stepmum, which is hard. I miss that role and that little human who I loved unconditionally. What a true gift stepmum life is. It’s like I got all the fun bits of co-parenting without the stretch marks, nappies or toddler tantrums.
I know it’s cheating but, hey, I’ll take what I can get.
Maybe I’m still the “mum to be”? I do have two frozen embryos left that I share with another ex from seven years ago that are still a possibility. (It’s really complicated; welcome to my life.) I know what you’re thinking.
I’m 47 now, so trust me when I say that I’m not holding my breath on that angle, OK? Who knows if this endometriosis-ridden uterus can carry a human anymore? But hey, stranger things have happened (hello Cameron Diaz and Sonia Kruger).
If using my own embryos doesn’t work out, I can order it all online. Just like my yoga socks or flights from the Gold Coast to Sydney – it’s all there at the press of button.
Or maybe I can head to Greece like so many have and get my embryos there. It’s a huge risk and will cost me my savings (again), but a human life is worth it, no?
I’ve even spent one Mother’s Day pregnant and it was heaven. It was very early days, but you couldn’t wipe the smile off my chubby cheeks, and I felt like I was floating.
I was brought back down with a resounding thud when I had the ultrasound no-one wants just two weeks later – no heartbeat… I was broken.
But us women are truly amazing. I bounced back and kept trying like so many of us do after loss. We are made of strong stuff, and the sisterhood of love and support always blows my mind. I feel blessed that I at least got to spend one Mother’s Day as a “mum”, sort of, and then three as a stepmum. I truly loved that.
As my own beautiful mum ages, the roles are turning.
I’m now mothering her and making sure she is OK as things get harder for her. I see it as a gift that I still have her around as so many of my friends have lost their mums. I know that having her (even when she loses her glasses for the sixth time at lunch) is a gift that won’t last forever.
Maybe like me, you wear many “hats” this Mother’s Day?
Today I am wearing the hat of a woman of hope and self-love, the hat of someone who is giving herself a bloody break, the hat of someone who was almost a mum, sort of a mum and was a stepmum, and the hat of a “mother” of sorts to many who take my advice on dealing with mental-health issues and life lessons via my social-media platforms and my breakfast radio show on the Gold Coast’s Hit90.9.
And maybe, just maybe, next Mother’s Day I will have a little miracle. I’ll give it one last go and who knows what could happen? For now, I’ve made peace with what will be, I love my life and I’m excited for the future.
So to all the “mums” out there, however that looks, I hope you feel hope and a wee buzz of inner excitement, too. Life’s too short to not give it a go, but it’s also too short to have any regrets.
This article originally appeared in Stellar and was republished here with permission.