I struggle with Mother's Day.
I mean, isn't every
mother's dream just to have a little recognition that you are the best
thing that ever happened to your children?
Or is that just me?
isn't that I expect diamonds or fancy meals or huge bouquets of
flowers. Or teary speeches about the impact I have made in my kids'
It is just that I want a fun day. A day of peace. A day of love.
Let me explain.
Fantasy Mother's Day:
I wake up to find my husband standing
there with bags packed. We kiss our four well-behaved children on the
cheek, wave good-bye, then drive to the airport where the private jet is
waiting to whisk us away to the beach. My husband has packed a brand
new dress that looks amazing on me. We dine on fresh seafood right
there on the beach, watching the sun set.
Can you hear it? The waves crashing against the sand? The call of sea gulls in the distance?
The Wishful Thinking Mother's Day:
wake up, feeling refreshed. Not because a child woke me up. Or the dog
demanded to eat at 6 a.m. I wake up just because I am rested.
I am greeted with Mother's Day greetings and a bouquet of spring flowers.
Then my family brings me breakfast in bed. (Just to be fair, that has happened before)
children all walk in, presentable for church. We don't have to ask
anyone to change into something more appropriate. And the kids sweetly
get along. All the way to church.
After church, we
come home, change our clothes, and head out on a hike. All of us. Not
one person reminds us that they don't understand the point of being in
the woods. We just go and truly enjoy one another. Oh, and since this
is wishful thinking, I get some amazing pictures. Not one person
complains that I am taking yet another picture.
enjoying nature, we come home for a delicious meal that is NOT prepared
by me. I get to just sit, enjoy my ice cold Coca-Cola, and eat. Then
my children jump up to eagerly clear off the table and clean off.
We finish the night with snow cones on the back patio.
And I drift off to sleep with a smile on my face.
Now, the Reality Mother's Day:
dog wakes me up to tell me she is hungry. An hour earlier than any
other day. Our youngest child pops in the room with a made up reason
for being up early.
Finally I drag myself out of bed
only to hear children complaining that it is Sunday and I didn't make a
thing for breakfast. Gasp.
We get ready for church,
sending at least one child back to try again on their outfit. Then we
head to church, arguing in the background.
After church, I will try to nap. The arguing of children will keep me awake.
during the day, with a little prompting, the kids will say "Happy
Mother's Day". One will give me a card she made at school. The other
will forget that he ever made something or will have left it at school; I
may or may not ever see it. One child will promise to buy me something
the next time I take him to Sonic or the snow cone place. And one child
will search her room for something to wrap and give me.
Somehow we will have dinner.
And then the day will be over.
And I will avoid Facebook all day so I don't have to see how perfect everyone else's day was.
truth is, some of my Mother's Days have been "perfect" (including a
couple where Mark took the kids somewhere else and let me stay at home
alone as well as one weekend away to one of my favorite hiking spots in
Arkansas). And some have been less than stellar (having "I hate you!"
thrown at me by at least two children and then last year when we were
still waiting for the results of Mark's MRI).
read some good posts recently about Mother's Day. I have struggled with
that desire for the "wishful thinking Mother's Day" (and the
disappointment that will always follow). And I have come to realize
It isn't the gifts. Or the breakfast in bed. Or the ideal day to post on Facebook to show everyone how loved I am.
really boils down to needing reassurance. Knowing that I am not
botching this motherhood gig. Wanting to not feel like a failure.
Because I do.
I feel like it every single day.
night as I sink into my bed, the many ways I have failed run through my
head. Over and over. Like they are stuck on repeat.
Sometimes my kids tell me. Unashamedly. Other times I can see it on their faces. But more often than that, I just know.
maybe what I really want for Mother's Day is peace. Freedom from those
thoughts. A sense of accomplishment rather than failure. And the
promise that one day, I may get this right. Maybe.