Here’s a belated message for all the mothers I know, but especially to my own mother, Priscilla; my mother-in-law, Tina; my sister, Rachel; and my sisters-in-law, Meggan, Leah, Katie, and Nikki:
Happy Mother’s Day! I love you!
Mother’s Day is not always happy, happy, joy, joy. For many people, men and women alike, Mother’s Day is a difficult one, full of regrets, sadness, and wishing for what might have been or what may yet still be to come. I was grateful for our church’s handling of Mother’s Day yesterday. Rather than offering flowers or ribbons just to those who are mothers, there were ribbons for everyone to wear in honor of their own mother: colored for those who have living mothers and white for those whose mothers have passed away. So Nik, Ellie, Mark, and I all had the fun of wearing ribbons to honor our mothers.
Allow me just complain for a minute. The problem with a holiday like this is that it creates expectations that really can’t be met. (It’s why I don’t like Valentine’s Day either.) What’s supposed to happen on Mother’s Day? Your kids bring you breakfast in bed; you have a nice, relaxed morning; everyone is lovey-dovey; we all go off singing into the sunset. What really happens every Mother’s Day for me? Well, Mother’s Day is always the second Sunday of May. Nik is in charge of the PowerPoint at church every second Sunday of the month. He has to be there by 7:15 and doesn’t get home until close to 1:00. So what does that mean for me? Rather than an easier day, it’s a much harder day for me – I have to get the kids to church by myself, be in charge of them during the service by myself, bring them home by myself, and do lunch and naps by myself. I’m used to it. It’s no big deal. I don’t mind at all. We’re glad that Nik is able to serve at church like that. And thankfully, yesterday, there weren’t any slides for Nik to be in charge of during the sermon so Nik was able to take Mark during that and he was able to come home much earlier. But the rest of the time? The kids were particularly exhausted and grumpy, cried/screamed the whole way home, and I must admit, I was not happy. I am entitled to a perfect Mother’s Day, right? It’s not fair!
Don’t be too worried – once Nik got home, life got much better. The kids took unusually long naps and woke up much happier. Nik’s brother, sister-in-law, and kids came for a fun afternoon of hiking and fancy waffles (whipped cream! blueberry sauce!) with Yiayia at our house and it finished out as a great day.
But really, would I have been so annoyed by the morning if the marketing machine that is the flowers, chocolate, and greeting card industries hadn’t conspired to convince that I am entitled (ENTITLED!!) to one perfect day? Probably not! I would have been far more likely to take it in stride. Kids are grumpy sometimes. That’s just the way it goes.
I think I’d rather have the “I love you, Mama” messages come a little more spontaneously and surprisingly. Then, I wouldn’t have any expectations of anything and whatever happened to me would be perfect!
End of complaining. Thanks for listening.
If you didn’t watch it last year, make sure you go to my post for Mother’s Day last year and watch that video. It’s awesome. And here’s my tribute to my own mother from a couple years ago: How I learned to sew.