I still remember my first Mother’s Day. I had visions of breakfast in bed, not lifting a finger all day and finally being given the credit I deserved for wiping bums and noses all year. This was going to be the day I was showered with love, affection, and gifts. It was going to be better than Chrismas, and my birthday.
I worked hard, and somebody better acknowlege it, by golly.
I want to preface the rest of this post by saying that this is not a post to rag on my husband. While he has made some grievous errors in the past in regards to Mother’s Day, this post is really about what Mother’s Day is really, truly about.
That may lead you to guess that my first Mother’s Day was not what I expected. I’m pretty sure I got a card and some flowers and the traditional plant at church. (Why they give mothers something else that needs tending to on Mother’s Day is beyond me. I kill my plant every year.) And the day was a normal day. I still changed diapers, wiped noses and I think, but I’m not sure, that I still helped with dinner.
Not quite what I expected. And I’m pretty sure I cried on more than a Mother’s Day or two.
I wanted grand adulation, dang it.
While my older children were still too young to give me all the applause I thought I needed, I still recieved colored pictures, handprints with poems, and the traditional card from the husband along with flowers or chocolates. But somehow, I always felt let down.
And then came the year when my older children were finally old enough to really appreciate all the crap I do. And I got some cards a distant and mumbled “Happy Mother’s Day” from my eldest who had decided that hugging mom was no longer acceptable. And I still wiped noses and changed diapers and I think, but I’m not certain, that I still helped with dinner and probably even the dishes.
This Mother’s Day thing was crap.
So I started to dread Mother’s Day. The media’s portrayal of what the day was all about was a load of crap.
But then something changed.
One year, my middle son brought me breakfast in bed at the crack of dawn which consisted of a bowl of cereal on a cookie sheet. I was given cards and flowers and chocolates. And I still had to change diapers and wipe noses, and help with dinner and get the kids ready for church.
And somehow it was enough. I had finally realized that Mother’s Day was not about showering me with gifts and applauding all the crap I do every day. Mother’s Day was about appreciating the fact that I was a mother, that I had a mother. It was about the little faces beaming up at me for which Mother’s Day was the two seconds in which they gave me their little cards and then proceeded to need something from me.
Mother’s Day was not about getting away from everything that made me a mother, it was about me embracing and appreciating all those things.
It WAS about changing diapers, wiping noses, getting children to church and helping with dinner. Mother’s Day was not a day in which I was showered with gifts and adulation because I was showered with those things continuously.
Mother’s Day was every day. My adulation came when little arms wrapped around my neck to tell me they loved me. They came in the form of phoenetically spelled notes telling me that I was the best mom ever after a particularly grueling day. It came every time I watched a child grow and learn. It came in the giggles when I forced my eldest son to hug me. It came at the birth of each child. (I know I was cheering.)
So this Mother’s Day, when you recieve your card and are awakened at the crack of stupid by the baby, take a moment to revel in those moments. Close your eyes and smell the soft smell of your children. Don’t lift a finger and smile at the mess. Because without these little people, there would be no mess, no diapers to change, no rush to get people to church, no noses to wipe or dinner to prepare.
Don’t feel ripped off because you aren’t having a spa day. Take a deep breath and smile. You are a mom and today is the day that you get to revel in everything that made you a mom.
Happy Mother’s Day, now go change that diaper.