Mother's Day is that one day a year that we are kinda forced to pay attention to our mothers, give them a little appreciation for something they do all year without a second thought. We buy cards and little gifts, inadequate tokens to show how much we love them and are thankful that they agreed to go through the horrors of childbirth only to then spend the next (at least) eighteen years raising us. Sometimes it is the only time that some of us stop and appreciate all they do. I fully believe that this day does not do mothers justice! It is both necessary (we really do need to stop and realize what others do for us every now and then) and insufficient (seriously, for all mom's do, one day is so not cutting it). And I say all this from the point of view of a daughter.
As a mother I really do like having a day that my husband forces my kids to be nice for as long as he can. I love that all my non-mother friends tag me in their little posts, reminding me that they are ok with my endless posts about my children that clog up their newsfeed throughout the year. I like getting the phone calls the next day from my two best friend to tell me what their kids did for them and my other best friend (who is not a mom) to tell me what her and her siblings did for the woman I see as a long distance mother myself. I adore the cute little videos that try to capture what a mother is and all they do, the ones that make everyone cry, almost making me as a very emotional mother seem normal with my constant tears. And I thoroughly enjoy the almost painful laugh I get at the yearly vids of men going through that labor simulator (thanks Try Guys)!
But what about the rest of the year? The other 364 days when we are up early to get everyone else ready for their day. I don't get my first cup of coffee until I have been up for an hour, what about you? Or that constant cycle of cleaning because no one is capable of cleaning up after themselves? The late nights and long days? The taxi service and chef's kitchen? I've poured and set out snacks for five other boys running through my house because Jareth invited them over. Birthday planning, dinner hosting, lunch packing, two-cart grocery shopping! Chocolate covered cherry secret moments and laughter filled truffle time. Morning cuddles with a full bed of two kids, two dogs, and a husband still asleep enough to think he gets to stay in bed. Random hugs. Yelling matches. Spankings and temper tantrums and "it's not fair"s. Begging for this toy or that snack. Only Mom can hold me because I am sick, clingy, and want only her. Mom does it this way. Mom said I could. When will Mom be home? All of this comes with being a Mom and we do it all on demand because we have to. And that's all ok!
The thing is, being a Mom is pretty tiring. It's hard. It's stressful. And sometimes I really mess it up. There are days when I barely roll out of bed, only doing so because if I don't there is no one else to get Jareth up for school. When my husband stays the night with a buddy so the drive to work is a little shorter and he can get a little more sleep, Livia and I spend the whole day in bed watching YouTube. Some days I wake him up an hour early because I really don't think I can handle the kids by myself any longer. I don't cook very often, partly because I can't and partly because when I can the smallest negative comment says to me that I can't do anything right. I hate playdough because the colors mix and it sticks and my OCD just can't take it (Livia is 3 and loves it and I am just now fighting myself to let her play with it). Jareth could make his own lunches when he was 5 because there were mornings I couldn't get myself to do it for him. Livia eats pepperonis every day for lunch, because she loves them and because they are easy to serve. Wild Banshee Wednesdays originally started because I needed a day to turn the music up too loud and drown out the outside world and push myself to play with my son. Jareth asks for hugs, waiting a moment for me to turn and open my arms, because he knows I don't always like to be touched and I have to prepare myself. I cried the day Jareth turned to me and said "Mommy, I love your laugh, it's pretty. I don't think you have laughed all day. I am glad you did now."
Why am I telling you how bad I can get? Because it is ok. This is my Mother's Day gift to myself: being ok with the bad moments. I am allowing myself to have off days. I want you to know that I know I am not perfect and I am coming to terms with that. I have my issues, I am dealing with them, and that's just how it is. And it's really ok if you are the same way. It's going to be just fine if you can't handle everything all the time. The thing about Mother's Day, we aren't being reminded to love our mothers, we are being reminded to let them know that we do. My kids love me through the hard times. Livia sits with me all day in bed, rubbing my ear, giving me a hug or cuddle, and still wants me to spend the day with her again tomorrow. Jareth curls up on the couch with me, asks how I am doing, and watches my show because he gets it. My husband goes without a little sleep, helps a lot more than he should, and makes sure to give me an extra tight hug when he can. If they are ok with me, the three people that matter the most, than I need to be ok with me, too.
So today don't forget to tell your Mom that you love her, that she rocks, that she is the coolest Mom ever! And if you're a mom, take it easy for a day! I get that you probably can't have the Hallmark Day of Relaxation, but you can take a breath, give yourself a thumbs up, and remind yourself that you rock! Being a mom is tough, you can't call in sick, you can't take a personal day, but you can allow yourself some slack on the whole being perfect thing. Share my gift with me, be ok with being just ok. You're doing a great job!
So what did you get or do today? Let me know that you are ok!