March has been a month of preparation, new beginnings and a horrible amount of university work. I have been emailing designers left, right and centre, trying to coerce them into joining The Pants Project family and becoming part of the coolest club in the world, striving to save humanity one pair of pants at a time. We have a few goodies on the way, with an online summer collection of brand new designers and undies that I intend to run from June to the end of August. I also started my little foray into the world of YouTube, and am currently two videos in, one explaining why on earth I have decided to embarrass myself weekly on the horribly public space of the internet, and the other on my gap year, and how it changed my life (gap yah jokes aside, I really did grow into who I am today because I travelled, so I guess thank you world, for giving me the space to do that?). I would say I am surviving as an extremely mediocre videographer, and am extremely slowly (like as slow as a sleeping sloth) getting to grips with things. Give me a few years and I might be the next Zoella, you never know… gotta dream big, right mum? For the rest of March I have had a numb bum from too many hours in the library and wonky eyes from too much reading. I have also started learning to drive (better late than never) so watch out fellow road racers, I might just be the next Schumacher. In all seriousness, I started this month on a heavy note, feeling a little lost after the incredible highs of February, but I am ending it on a much more confident note, in the knowledge that each day I continue to grow and learn and become more than just my ‘gap’, so for anyone else who might be suffering from an identity crises or feel a bit bogged down, try something new and watch yourself blossom.
*(Just a lil disclaimer, at this point during writing I was genuinely tearful, surprised at how emotional I was finding the prospect of mothers day to be, so bare with me if this gets a little raw. I’ll abort mission if it ends up reading like my brain has become the interior of a Cadbury’s creme egg)*
I am beating around the bush a bit, so enough about March in general. Today is Mother’s Day, Sunday the 26th of March, so we might as well get to it. This is a day I never thought would be an issue. A day I sailed through in naive bliss every year, jumping at the opportunity to suck up to my favourite human on this planet and go nuts in the art box to make her a homemade card covered in sequins and feathers. I thought today would be about celebrating my mother, my grandmother, my step-mother, all the various ‘mother figures’ in my life, until I was a mother, and then I would get to celebrate myself too. And it is all these things, to some extent. It is another day when I get free reign to gush about the incredible women who have made me who I am today. My mother is the strongest, most inspiring person – let alone mother – I have ever met. She is beautiful, and natural, and wise, and incredibly multitalented, and persistent, and powerful, and tenacious, and kind, and intelligent, and just about every single positive adjective in the dictionary. I adore her and she is both my rock and daily inspiration, and there is no way I would’ve gotten through the last few years without her, so thank you mum.
Recently however, in the latest years of my life, this day has become tinged with a heavy sadness, and a sadness that I know is definitely not unique to me. This sadness is the realisation that consistent reminder that my path to motherhood is not going to be as easy or possible as I originally assumed it would. Luckily however, I am only 20 years old and am in no rush whatsoever to have children, and hence the pain that stems from infertility on mothers day, although surprisingly heartbreaking, is a little easier to repress. However, for those infertile women who are at a time in their lives when children are the next step, I can’t imagine how hard this day must be. It is also worth remembering, that it is not only those with infertility who suffer and struggle through a day (and a month of advertisements prior to the actual day because we live in a society built on blind consumerism) of gushy Instagram posts featuring a million and one ‘best mums in the world’. There is a club of us, who find this day one of the hardest to get through of all, and it includes people who have lost their mothers, mothers who have lost their children, or women who are childless due to life circumstances, as well as us infertile folk.
So today, The Pants Project stands with you. Happy Mother’s Day, to all of us, the infertile, the childless, the motherless, the neglected, the discarded, the abandoned, the weary, the sad. This day is for you too. It will undoubtedly bring pain, and perhaps a few tears and that is why we need to be patient with our tender little hearts. We need to invest in a great deal of self-care and allow ourselves to feel what we feel, without guilt or shame. If I was at home, as opposed to being locked up in a library finishing an essay (if anyone wants to rescue me, please go ahead, I will not object), I would go to my favourite hill in the whole world with my dogs, I’d sit, and see, and feel, and think, and then I’d probably trundle home to make myself a ginormous cup of tea and pour a bottle of strawberry bubbles into a bath, balance my laptop precariously on the toilet and binge watch Big Little Lies (my latest obsession). I will celebrate the incredible woman that stands by my side every single day no matter hell or high water, who gave birth to me, gave me life and who I am privileged to call my very own mother. She is wonder woman, super girl, and QFE (queen of fucking everything) all rolled into one and if sometimes angels masquerade as people, then she is one of them. Thank you mum, for absolutely everything.
If Mother’s Day is difficult for you for any reason, remember that your feelings are valid. Don’t allow anyone to make you feel bad for feeling bad. Give yourself the same empathy and compassion you would give your best friend. Celebrate, or don’t, however you choose this day. For this one day, it is all about you and your tender heart. Protect it.