might·y: possessing great and impressive power or strength

tow·er: a place of defense; a protection

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Mother's Day Reinvented

Mother’s Day. Some people love it, some people hate it. Some pretend like it’s any other day. For me, I’ve gone back and forth on my feelings about this day of honor, but I think I’ve finally figured out what it means to me.

I spent so many years thinking that Mother’s Day was supposed to be a day dedicated to me. I thought that for it to be a good Mother’s Day things had to go just right. When, inevitably, my children would fight, or the dishes were piled in the sink, or I would become frustrated at something my husband said I would think, “fail!”

This continued on for a couple of years, me with my high expectations and my family trying their hardest to make it a great day. I finally decided that the best way to have a happy Mother’s Day was to treat it like any other regular day. No expectations means no disappointment, right? Oh, how I was wrong. I went from being frustrated at not getting what I “thought” Mother’s Day was all about to being frustrated when people would wish me a happy Mother’s Day or see other moms and families celebrating in their own way.

Last week I was expressing my thoughts on this holiday to my mother, lamenting that no matter what I do I just can’t seem to get through it without frustration. In her wise motherly way she said, “Try going to church 10 Mother’s Days in a row wanting so badly to be a mom and yet not being blessed with that desire.” As usual my mom knew just what to say, this time, sharing her own experience of trying to become pregnant the first 10 years of her married life.

I too have had and still have friends who, despite their best efforts, are not moms in the traditional sense of the word. I have had conversations with them about how hard it is to attend church and see all the moms with their families and hear the talks about motherhood. Some of my friends choose not to attend church that day at all because it is simply too hard.

In that moment I realized that my idea of what Mother’s Day was all about went completely against what a mother is. Mothers are selfless, giving, loving, and understanding. We work what many would call a thankless job, all hours of the day all days of the week. We don’t get paid in money but rather hugs, kisses, and I love you’s.

Mother’s Day is not about making me happy. It’s not about flowers, or treats, or breakfast in bed. It’s all about how I make them happy. It’s a time for my family to say, “we know you love us so much and work hard to take care of us and we want to say thank you.” It is a day of love.

My mother continued by saying, “So you take those two children who are loud and fighting with each other and you hug them and love them and enjoy your day.” That is what Mother’s Day is all about because that is what being a mother is all about. Being happy and loving each other through the good and the not so good.

I used to think that my perfect Mother’s Day gift would be a day to myself. Maybe a trip to the spa or a day trip to a local city all on my own. While moms definitely need a break and time for themselves, I now have a different perfect Mother’s Day.

This year on Mother’s Day, I’m going to tell the dishes they can wait. This year, I’m going to say no to extra responsibilities. This year, I’m going to keep my phone put away. Because this year, I’m going to celebrate Mother’s Day by being a mother. I’m going to put the housework and email and all that on hold and really embrace what I love about being a mother to my beautiful children.

This year on Mother’s Day I’m going to snuggle with them in the morning. This year, I’m going to read their favorite books to them. This year, I’m going to paint nails with my daughter. This year, I’m going to laugh and sing and play with no distractions, no commitments, just my mother heart. This year I’m going to do those things that fill me as a mother and remind myself that while I am still a person and need to take care of myself, my greatest joy comes from nurturing and loving my children. This year is going to be the best Mother’s Day ever.

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