This morning my husband (nicely) inquired: “What do you want for Mother’s Day?” during breakfast in front of my girls. I rolled my eyes, kinda scoffed and said “Oh please. Don’t even. I hate Mother’s Day.” And then my LadyP snapped her head at me with her mouth open and said “You hate Mother’s Day? Don’t hate Mother’s Day!”
Aw man. Then I felt bad. Jaded Mommy Alert. I spoke before realizing who was listening, despite my recent revelation about how powerful words are. (Way to scar the 5 year old.) “Oh no, I don’t hate Mother’s Day,” I damage controlled. “I love being a Mommy. I love being YOUR Mommy!” And I do. I LOVE being a mom.
But I do have a semi-dysfunctional love/hate relationship with Mother’s Day.
I have no reason to be cranky about it: I had a wonderful childhood with a fabulous mother who I still want and need to talk to every day. (Grateful.) I have a 96 year old Grandma who’s still kickin’ and driving around town to get her hair done once a week. (Grateful.) And as you know from this blog, motherhood proved to be my own personal gateway to total confidence, renewed motivation and a surprising career reinvention that has been so rewarding and thrilling. (Grateful for my little ladies for showing up when they did!)
So why not much love for Mother’s Day? Because I’m more advanced in the stages of being a mom now (I think). Mother’s Day feels contrived, seems like a tease and unintentionally makes a mockery of all the other days of the year. Oh gee, thanks for the DAY. A day of expectations that rarely measure up, a day of finite & forced appreciation, a day of rushing around trying to coordinate everything and make everyone else around you happy. And then it’s over.
A few years ago, I dug deep and decided to cash in on ‘The Day’ by taking off to a nearby hotel pool for a few hours of much-needed alone time in the morning… with a cocktail. It was satisfying, but not without the little voice in my head saying “Why aren’t you with your adorable kids, lady.” I then joined my family that afternoon for a big family dinner — while wondering if my in-laws thought I was the devil for arriving separately, fresh from a personal day at a pool.
I got exactly what I asked for that year, but it still felt strange. A part of me felt like I was handcuffed to a ticking time-bomb that I had to take advantage of before the clock struck midnight and I had to return to business as usual. Kind of like when you go to Disneyland and only buy a one-day pass, thinking that you just rush around like a fool to ‘smash in everything’ in the name of not wasting a moment. It’s exhausting. Not to mention you can’t even remember what rides you rode. And then it’s done and you wonder why you felt manic on ‘The Day’ that’s supposed to be a leisure-fest just for you.
Mother’s Day. Please. Can we stop the facade?
Take last year: We had a fabulous brunch with family, but only after an entire week of major back-and-forth and what-shall-we-do and can-we-get-a-reservation-for-that-many-people drama. You wanna know who was trying to coordinate it all? US MOMS. Not the husbands, not the kids, not anyone else. Because that’s how it is. That’s not a complaint, it’s reality. And when you look back and think about tackling the ins-and-outs again for the sake of ‘celebrating’ Mother’s Day…. oy. I coordinate every all the time. I don’t want to be in charge of Mother’s Day. Figure it out and tell me where to show up.
I say thank you every single day for being a mom (and I mean it). I say thank you every day for getting to enjoy all the mothers in my life (and I mean it). I say thank you for life being really, really good in all areas of health, career and happiness at this junction (and I mean it).
So what am I hoping for this year? This. (Again.) And those cute homemade cards my small ladies have a knack for drawing. And those random hugs that my girls give out of nowhere that catch me off guard and make me instantly cry (because they’re so sweet). A cocktail would be nice, but if it doesn’t happen I’m fine with it. Because being a mother, even with all it’s complicated moments, really does make me happy. Even if ‘The Day’ annoys me.
Told you it was dysfunctional. Do I hate Mother’s Day? (Do you?)