When mother's day is a Muddled Mess

Jenna Brown


In case you are wondering, yes, that is exactly what I screamed at the top of my lungs to my three year old this morning.

The same three year old that made me an official (by the worlds standards) a "mommy"

The same three year old that I had been with non stop for the past three days.

The same three year old that was up ALL night long with pain everywhere, a fever, and screaming to snuggle me.


... And all I wanted to do was run away from him.


Yes. In case you are wondering, this is coming from Jenna, the founder of this very organization called, The Mother's Nest... and sometimes I wonder how  I can even call myself that.

When I just feel so inadequate.

I know, at the heart of it.. that I am a great mom.

But days like today... the days where I literally have to strap my kids in a stroller & walk as fast as I humanly can, crying because I literally cannot take it anymore... silently scream something different to me.

I desperately prayed on this walk for God to give me clarity, as to what was going on inside of me. There had to be something deeper. It's always something deeper when it comes out like this.

And so I cried, and I asked that same three year old to forgive his mommy for yelling at him.

And I just sat there on the front porch without saying a word.

I refused to move, or talk.. until I had some clarity.

And then.. there it was.


My heart is grieving.

I am so unbelievably grateful for my children, and yes.. I will get to that point of feeling that joy tomorrow saying happy mothers day to my mom  & the others moms in my life... but first. I have. to. acknowledge the grief.

The grief of one of my dearest friends & mentors.. spending her first mothers day without her baby in her arms.

The grief of a dear friend who just miscarried this week.

The grief for the children in my friends' care as foster children... wondering when and if they'll see their birth mom. And the grief for the moms that hold them in their arms.

the grief of my dear friends who no longer have a mother this side of heaven to love tomorrow.


The grief for the women who SO desperately want to be mothers, but cannot conceive.

The grief for the ones who have lost babies that the world will never know about, but they cant help but ponder what a mothers day would look like with that angel baby here this side of heaven.

The grief of my own mom who spends mothers day in the Alzheimer unit with her mother who is dying the most slow and painful death I have ever seen, and not to even be acknowledged as her daughter.

The grief my husband experiences with his own estranged relationship with his mother.

Yes, I am getting to the joy. But for just this moment, I have to acknowledge the grief.

And maybe for me, its so hard because this day.. tomorrow.. is just another reminder of one of the deepest darkest parts of my heart.

The part where becoming a mother, almost took my life. And maybe that all came out today when I yelled at that same three year old. The one whom I've fought SO hard to love.. and honestly SO hard to LIKE. The one who I grieve daily the "what could have beens" and "what should have beens" even when I know that I cant go there mentally.

The part where I remember that being a mother is literally such a gift, it takes my breath away. That we are NEVER guaranteed this life.. and that within one moments notice, my children could be motherless.

So what makes me want to run away?

The grief.

Because I've been there before.

The part where it swallows you whole.

And I Would be lying if I said a part of my heart isn't there right now.


A few weeks back, in our revive and refresh event we went around the circle of volunteers at the mothers nest, explaining and sharing our highs and lows in life right now. I saw so many tears, so many hugs.. and my heart was overjoyed seeing unity, community & love take place.

And I shared my grief.

One that so few understand. And Honestly, how can I blame them.. when I can barely understand it.

But it seems to follow me around daily.

Its lurking behind the refrigerator doors, the doors of the attic of my boys, the basement filled with childhood toys of theirs that are now in our possession. 

The grief of spending this year's mothers day without the two kids that

ACTUALLY made me a mom.

No, I didn't birth them.

And No, I actually didn't even legally adopt them.

But you better believe, I busted my ass to try and raise them.


There were SO many things I did wrong. So many mistakes that I made along the way.

If I could turn back time, I am sure I would do a million things differently.

Ah.. there it is.. the grief that sets in.

My oldest is gone, and while he's out pursuing his dream & faith.. and I literally, could not be more proud. My heart hurts. Because I miss him.

And I remember the past five mothers days.

Where my heart grieved for both of them, when I looked into their eyes.

The pain that it brought up each holiday as a reminder that their bio parent wasn't there with them.

The pain that it ignited in my heart, that no matter what.. I would never be called their "mom".

The utter agony that I felt for them, in their lives & how they had slowly but surely tried to pick up the pieces.


The grief.


And this year, Its a whole new story of grief.

In this past year, one of my boys has gone and moved away.. to start his dream & his life.

 And one of my boys, doesn't even acknowledge us, our existence, and part of my heart is forever gaping.

You see, when we brought them in. We weren't even married.

We were young, and so immature, and literally knew NOTHING about parenting.

The mistakes we've made are in the thousands I'm sure.. but there is one thing I am completely sure of.

A piece of my "pride" died every day I loved those boys.

Because for me, that task was never easy.

Giving up my idea of what "family" looked like, was never easy.

Loving them, has never been easy.


But 100%, and I mean this with every fiber of my being... was the best thing that I've ever done.

They made my heart a momma heart.

They made me know what it means to sacrifice and love unconditionally.


So this mothers day, As This year brings so many "new" things for me.

A new precious, amazing baby girl

An amazing spunky, never stopping three year old. 

An "empty nest" with both of my teenagers gone

and an empty part of my heart.. where I will forever be "missing" one of my ducklings unless he decides to come back home....


I grieve

I rejoice

I cry happy tears

and Lord knows, I cry sad tears


Because my heart is broken

For so many around me, who motherhood has brought so much deep pain, brokenness, frustration with God.. and so much.

And yet at the same time, it is full.

Because this year.. first handedly I have seen redemption through motherhood. The deepest darkest places of my heart were healed in ways I didn't even know they needed to be, with the birth of my daughter.

This girl has brought so much life to my weary soul.

And to be honest, I am reminded every single day.. that God knows every part of this journey of motherhood for each of us.

The wandering, the confusion, the pain, the grief, the mourning, the joy, the gratitude.

And he is not separate from it.

He is in it.

He knows me.

He knows you.


And if this song is any comfort to you.. It is the same song I woke up to on the night my daughter was born.. singing out loud. 

"nothing is hidden from your sight
where I go, you'll find me.
You know every detail of my life.
You are GOD
and you dont miss a thing."


And I have never known that to be more true.

So in the messiness of my yelling, my grief, my joy, my gratitude. 

I just rest.

That he is God.

And he doesn't miss a thing.