This morning, a week before Mother’s Day, I found myself asking the Twitter-verse if I could just write an article about how much I dislike Mother’s Day. Okay, I used the word hate, and I may have over saturated myself in terrible articles that were indirectly related to the celebration of this annual holiday. I have some intense personal reasons for feeling a little emotionally vulnerable during this time of year, but either way, I can’t stand what Mother’s Day has become.
Yes, I do not like Mother’s Day. It’s a contrived holiday that we just seem to spend more money on each year, and less time actually paying real tribute to what Mother’s are really about.
I dislike it because I set expectations of my husband that I normally don’t request. I’m a firm believer that we should be showing our deep appreciate every
day, to anyone in our life that has played an important role. I detest it because we all have these aforementioned expectations of each other; We need the cards, the flowers, the presents, the pretty things, and all the acts of gratitude, in one day, to show that we love our Mothers.
Last year, we went simple. I wanted simple. I wanted family time. A homemade something from the kids, nothing from The Hubby. Maybe have Starbucks instead of my home brewed coffee. I wanted recognition from The Kiddo’s parents. I wanted to know I was loved, and shown in the most simplistic ways possible. I wanted to know that my family saw the work I did, that they respected me, loved me and wanted me to know, without any dramatic performance.
You know what though? I want that all year. We all want that, all year.
I want to know that my role in my children’s life, in my relationship with my partner as the Mother to his children is seen, understood, and loved. That they appreciate when I push myself to the brink in order to get our house, our lives, and everything else, organized. When I give up the last bites of my favorite greek yogurt from my breakfast because they like sharing with me. When I play silly games with my kids, when I have a million and one things to do, but they just need my attention. When I single parent as my husband works hard in his own right, working long days, and goes out of town on business trips. I want to know that The Kiddo’s parents see me, and still respect the integral role I played in helping them start their family, and the relationship I will likely share with my son years from now. I don’t want to know only once a year that I am important; that I am integral part of the function of our family. I want to know that every day.
I don’t need a greeting card to tell me that I am a good Mom. I don’t need overpriced flowers, (the rocks Potato collects for me on his walks make me smile more). I don’t need a glitzy gift, or an expensive show of materialistic affection to tell me I am important or that I am a Mother. In fact, those things don’t tell me you understand my importance; it tells me you figured you were obligated to say thank you, even if you aren’t sure for what exactly, and you went to a store, where someone else told you how to thank me.
Maybe if we focused on the small things, on the every day things, on saying thank you and taking the time during our every day routine to say, “Wow, you are amazing for doing this for us, for me”, we wouldn’t feel this insatiable need to turn Mother’s Day into this grandiose event where we expect all of the love we deserve throughout the year be heaped on us for one single day.
I won’t get an overpriced gift this year; not because my husband didn’t plan something or didn’t want to do something, but because I don’t want that. If my kids draw me a picture and hug me a little tighter, I’ll feel blessed. When we gather with our extended family, ones we haven’t seen for months now, with women I respect and love, I’ll be thankful that we can visit and share a glass of wine and amazing food. I’ll be happy to be hugged and told, “Happy Mother’s Day, Danielle”, then go about the day, as if it was any other day in my life.
Motherhood is not glamorous It’s bags under your eyes, running from this place to the next, sleepless nights as infants, and more worrying that you aren’t doing enough, or being enough. It’s about the mother’s who don’t have anyone to thank them fully for the hard work they do because they don’t have a partner to remind the kids. It’s about women who wish the day away because they crave being a mother and have yet to be given the opportunity for whatever reason to do so. It’s about those mother’s who have lost children, however they have, and no one will say anything for fear of hurting them, or reminding them. It’s about the simplicity of being a mother, of having a mother who is here or not, or having women in your life who have helped mold you into the woman, or mother you are.
Celebrate or don’t, but let go of the societal norm that we have to told our worth as a mother based on commercialism, or the fact that someone else got more than you did. Don’t be the greedy child on Christmas who counts her presents and brags to her friends so she can show everyone how much stuff she got, and obviously, feel better that she was given more.
Simply, Mother’s Day cannot fully encompass all it is to be a mother, or the want to be a mother. If you don’t get the expensive gift, or the over the top treatment has that other woman in your social media feed on Sunday, you are not being ripped off or not being recognized for your role. It’s one day, one day where we don’t have to buy into the commercialism or the weird competition it seems to bring about.
For me, every day is Mother’s Day. It’s when my son wanders into the room I’m in, and gives me a silly grin, then says, “I love you, Mom”, before he runs away. It’s when my daughter walks into the kitchen in the early sunlight and lights up when I call her name and demand she hug a little tighter, so I can imprint the memory of her tiny arms around my neck. It’s when my husband rolls over in the bed, just before he falls asleep and says, “Thank you for helping me deal with that situation today, I don’t know what I would do without you”. It’s in the every day, simple things, when we notice how our family quietly shows how much they truly recognize how we contribute to the family, and to their own well-being.
That’s Mother’s Day. It’s simple. It’s quiet. And it’s not at all dressed up with fancy bows or packaging. Because, Motherhood is not like that. Motherhood comes to us in the quiet of night, and remains with us forever. Whether someone remembers to wish me a good day on Sunday or not.