For the Woman Who Desperately Wants to be Called ‘Mama’

A powerful, encouraging word for National Infertility Awareness Week from a woman who knows the struggle and emotion.

By Emily Stimpson Chapman Published on April 24, 2020

For the woman who desperately wants to be called “Mama,” please know:

You are not alone. You are not a failure. You are not less of a woman because you can’t conceive. You are not less of a wife because you can’t give birth. You are not less lovable or beautiful or valuable because no baby grows in your womb.

God has not forgotten you. God is not punishing you. God doesn’t love you less than He loves women with children.

He Sees You

He sees you. He grieves with you. He feels every stab of pain in your childless heart and wants nothing more than for you to feel peace and joy again.

But for you, now, this is the way to peace. This is the way to joy.

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I know that sounds like cold comfort, when all you want is a baby kicking in your womb. And I don’t pretend to understand why you and I carry this cross. I don’t know why this cross and not another. I can’t give you a reason for why we have to ache and long and break ourselves to achieve what others do with the ease of breathing, all the while feeling alone, unseen, never enough.

But I do know God brings beauty out of brokenness. He uses everything. He wastes nothing. If we let Him, He takes every hurt, every loss, every struggle and weaves it into the story of our salvation. He makes it part of our journey to a home where there is no brokenness. Only life.

God Knew

I also know I wouldn’t be the mother of a black-haired toddler, with eyes like the sea, without this cross. Infertility led me to him. He wasn’t the baby I expected. But God knew he was the baby I needed. God also knew I was the mother he needed and the friend his birth parents needed.

I don’t know what you need. But God does. Cry, weep, and beg for a baby. Rachel and Hannah did. You can too. But don’t despair. He knows what He is about. If you hold tight to Him, in time, you‘ll know, too. And it will be perfect.


“A writer by both habit and trade,” Emily Stimpson Chapman has written several books, including The Catholic Girl’s Guide to the Single Year and a guide to Christian hospitality, The Catholic Table. You can read her reflections on hospitality, marriage, rehabbing a house, infertility, adopting a baby, and other subjects on her website The Catholic Table.

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