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?
Photo by Alisha Funkhouser