Friday, May 9, 2014

Taking back Mother's Day

Mother's Day is a big deal. Sometimes, it's too big a deal. Mothers work hard all year long, and somehow we hope that in this one day, all that effort will be recognized with breakfast in bed, dinner made for us, dishes done, house cleaned and perfect harmony all around.

mother's day still 13


Shockingly, this dream almost never materializes for us. The breakfast is burned, the pancakes are filled with eggshells, dinner doesn't happen, we end up doing all the dishes and cleaning the entire house in a fit of martyrdom, and worst of all, the kids fly at each other and fight like roosters possessed of banshees.

I've always tried to keep my expectations low for Mother's Day. Most years, a box of See's chocolates and homemade cards are all I want, but sometimes I don't even get that—and sometimes, even holding those sweet notes (and sweet treats) isn't enough to make it feel worthwhile while the children scream and fight all around me.

I'm tired of the expectations, the dashed dreams, the hollow hope of harmony. I'm tired of focusing on me and hoping the kids will do the same, and being disappointed when—gasp!—they're the same kids they were yesterday, not bad at all, but no more obedient or kind or clean than they were last week.

So I'm taking back Mother's Day. Instead of focusing on what they can do for me and how they can make me feel appreciated, I'm going to think about what being a mother means to me. I'm planning to surprise each of them with a handwritten note on things I love about them, how I feel about being their mother, and how much I love them.

In the end, motherhood isn't about me. We mothers do work hard, but nothing our kids do (other than giving us grandkids!) can truly repay us. I hope to teach my children to be grateful more than one day a year—that's way too much pressure!—but for Mother's Day, I want to focus on what it means to be a mom to me.

What would you do to take back Mother's Day?

1 comment :

Just Jaime said...

Yes yes and yes!! I've been thinking about this, since it's my first Mother's Day as a mom.

1. I'm SO Thankful to be a mother. I love it so much,. I just read this quote on Twitter:"How grateful I am to the Lord for trusting women with the divine mission of #motherhood." --Julie B. Beck. I plan on writing my baby a letter about how thankful I am to be her mother.

2. Mother's Day is so stressful for everyone. I remember as a child feeling like what we did for Mom was ruined by our inability to get along. If one thing went wrong, then we were ungrateful and terrible children. But we are humans and kids at the time, and of course things went wrong. But hat didn't mean we didn't love and appreciate our mom.

I have some more thoughts but they are getting preachy/soapboxy so I'll save 'em. Thanks for sharing!

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