A Response To “How not to be disappointed this Mother’s Day”
May 9, 2014
I’ve seen this post show up in my Facebook feed no less than 10 times in the last 24 hours. Moms have loved it, liked it, related to it, embraced it and cried over it. Even I thought there were some neat ideas on her UPside Down Mother’s Day Gift List.
But the whole premise of the article just didn’t sit well with me. As a mom, I don’t need another list of things to do. Moms don’t need more tasks to complete for others. We need some attention and self care. That’s what this day should be about, if you ask me!
Lord knows I’m guilty of having unrealistic expectations and I’ve made great strides in trying to have a more laid-back and uncluttered approach to these matters. My husband is not the best gift giver or mind reader when it comes to holidays and Mother’s Day is no different. It took me a few years to learn and accept that fact. Now, I just apply a lot of grace and receive whatever is provided for me with a grateful and joyful heart.
However, the LJB post makes it sound like we should just forget the whole thing. That we should expect nothing on Mother’s Day. Dads and kids are off the hook. Instead, it seems, the only way to find joy is doing what mother’s do best – forget ourselves and do things for everybody else. Granted, this is my interpretation, which could easily be the opposite of what she was trying to share. But, I just call ’em like I read ’em.
Being a parent is tough. It’s been said that being a mom is the world’s toughest job. I personally think moms have it worse than dads mainly because of that darn “mommy guilt” phenomenon. It’s like a natural instinct that you don’t want but you gain anyway as soon as you sign up for this gig. It strikes you when you least expect it over, well, pretty much everything.
Being a mom has caused me to question, pretty much, everything in and about my life. Having a child ROCKED. MY. WORLD. and not in a good way. Or at least it didn’t seem so at the time. Seven years later and I can honestly say that it has made me into a better person. I’m less selfish and more patient. I’m proactive yet flexible. My type A has even moved into A- status. I’m a multi-tasking fool. I require less sleep. I even became a homeschool mom, which I had swore off in my 20s like I swore off having babies in my teenage years. Children push us to be better even when we don’t want to be. I’m convinced that the Lord has used my child more effectively than any other sharpening tool. I’m closer to Him because of her. That may or may not have anything to do with the fact that I’ve prayed more over this child than anything else in my entire lifetime.
And it’s exhausting. I’ve always said that parenting is only10% fun. The rest of it is split up between the day-to-day instructing, worrying, and logistics. Heaven help, the logistics! Don’t you think all moms should receive an honorary logistics degree? For real.
So when the calendar rolls around to the 2nd Sunday in May, I would appreciate a little appreciation for my efforts in successfully rearing this child and holding this household together. I mean, if I can get 200 Facebook messages just for being born (which I basically had no control over) then, yeah, I think it is only appropriate to be recognized for what we DO on an everyday basis. Maybe instead of lowering our expectations, we should let our people know that we expect them to step up their game on Mother’s Day. If they want clean underwear and matching socks, that is. 😉
I’m not expecting a complete day off where all of my responsibilities are done for me. I’m not expecting an elaborate gift or flowers or breakfast in bed. I’m not even expecting handmade cards from my little person.
However, I am expecting my people to at least think about what mom does and how much I mean to them. I am expecting them to express some sort of thanks in their own heart-felt way. Let’s face it, their way is probably something I would least expect. Ha! But you know what? That’s what makes me love this mommy gig so much. I have unique peeps and I accept and appreciate their individuality and creativity, or lack thereof sometimes.
So, let me be clear. My people are NOT off the hook this Mother’s Day. If I can learn to speak their “love language” the least they can do is attempt to speak mine for one day a year. I am expecting some effort be put forth to recognize my contributions to motherhood and I am open to their interpretation of this. That’s where the grace and gratefulness comes in. 😉
We all know that moms get no sick days, no vacation days, and rarely a moment to ourselves because that darn mommy guilt racks our brain about as much as men think about sex. So, this Mother’s Day I’m also aiming to do a little self care. This can look different for everyone. For you, it may be a pedicure. Maybe it’s a nap. For me, the summer-loving introvert, it’s alone time outdoors. It may even involve a book and a milkshake. Okay, okay. It most definitely will involve a milkshake. Since this is self care, I’m not expecting my people to do this for me. I don’t expect them to buy me a new book or make me a milkshake. I can do those things for myself but I am expecting them to give me a teensy bit of space and a lot of love.
Moms, wanting to be appreciated and taking care of yourself is not entitlement. It’s a plain and simple need in life. Plus, it helps us be better moms!
This Mother’s Day, if you are going to check off a list, make sure that it’s a list for you. After all, they named an annual holiday after us and that’s got to count for something!
P.S. Anybody else find it strange that Mother’s Day is before Father’s Day? I kinda wish they were reversed so we could give them a good example to follow each year. 😉
P.S.S. To anyone who is reading this. For the love of Pete, this Sunday, please make a point to at least call the woman you raised you or find some way to let her know that her years of mothering were not in vain. Because, some days, we think “why?” a lot. Help her remember.