I Am a Momma, I Love Being a Mom, But We Can Skip Mother’s Day
May 2, 2021
I woke up this morning and made the realization I have NO IDEA when Mother’s Day is. NONE! It is in May. I know that. Always on a Sunday, okay I know that one too. But which Sunday in May, no idea. The only reason the day entered my mind at all is due to my husband bringing it up as he completed another of our massive DIY projects. (I received major renovations for at least the last 5 years.) I am a Momma, shouldn’t I be looking forward to this day with all sorts of anticipation? If your confused, me too. Time to unpack this conundrum.
Love Being a Mom
I love being a Mom! My sweet and snarky rugrats are often the reason I get up in the morning. They keep me going, smiling, and also make me lose my mind. It is all about controlled chaos and balance. The thing is, I love being a Mom every day. The idea that we need to mark a special day on the calendar and commemorate it, make it all about me, buy gifts is really not my thing. Being the center of attention, no thanks. Showered with gifts, yeah it is nice but not necessary. My husband and children do nice things, tell me they love me, and buy me things all year round. It works. I don’t need more.
Too Much Pressure
A confession, Mother’s Day turns this place into a pressure cooker of “be nice to momma, it’s her day”. It is not relaxing. More to the point, depending on the mood of the people that live in this house it can be all out stressful as they try to perform the way it is expected on Mother’s Day. I would rather the day be chill and whatever happens, happens; then have people arguing and in tears because we are not doing it right. Be nice to me the way you are nice to me normally. If at all possible, make a little extra effort to actually listen to me the first time I say something. Do this, momma is happy!
Emotions are Complicated
Mother’s Day has always been about my own mom, which makes this day very complicated now. 2021 is the second year we will celebrate Mother’s Day without Mom. If I thought, by some miracle, the second time would be easier than the first, I was wrong. (By the way, I was not under this impression. I think I am in for hard for the long haul.) From the moment I was old enough to take charge, I busily worked on the Mother’s Day menus and planning. What are we eating? Where are we celebrating? I loved it! Now I feel like I’m floating in the middle of the lake with no direction to go. What are we supposed to do on Mother’s Day?
Defer to Others
As I sit writing these words, I’ve decided I am going to defer to others on what we are doing for Mother’s Day. If it is my day, I can decide not to make any decisions, right? Permission to not make decisions actually sounds like an amazing gift! I will talk to my husband, my brother, my sister-in-law, my dad and see what everyone wants to do. My gift to myself is to not decide, not plan, and not stress about all the “should be”. I will be in the moment and let the day unfold.
Permission to Grieve
Another thing I have permission to do is grieve. Grief does not fit into a little box you can put up on shelf neatly out of the way. It comes out in the day to day. As you live life, it pops its head in to remind you things are different. It is the tears that start flowing as you work on your landscaping. Why? Because mom and I both loved working in the yard. My normal is to finish 4 hours in the yard and then text a progress picture to my mom. Mom would absolutely LOVE all the progress we are making right now. I can hear her voice, “Well look at this. It no longer looks like the circus is coming to town around here.” Her idea to extend the garden beds the length of the yard on the neighbor’s side – genius. It looks amazing and really gives the yard nice definition. Grief can look like landscaping.
Remember Love Never Leaves
My therapist reminds me love never leaves. Mom is still present and I can still talk to her. I just need to learn to listen differently. It requires stillness and presence to all the emotions I really don’t necessarily want to let loose. But it can also be found in silly little things if you take the time to look. For example, I have been looking for a Weeping Cherry Tree for my front yard for at least 3 years. We had one at our old house and I want another. But we keep missing the sale, missing the 5 seconds they are in stock at Costco. I was beginning to feel that it just wasn’t going to happen.
On a random Wednesday morning, I ran out of printer ink while working. I could work without printing, but it would be so much easier to print. Sometimes I just need my life to be easier, so I ran to Costco to buy ink. Just ink, nothing else, so I did not grab a cart. Walking to the cash register I see the perfect Weeping Cherry Tree right before my eyes. There are only 4 of them, so I know they will not be here if I come back later. So, I grab it and push it all the way up to the register. Yes – I was the crazy woman buying a tree without a cart to put it in. I can choose to believe that it was just a coincidence that this all took place. Or I can see it as mom nudging me in the right direction because she knew I really wanted that tree. I choose the latter.
Take It As It Comes
Here I sit with all my very complicated emotions attempting to put an end to this post. If Mother’s Day is hard for you, that’s okay. Take it as it comes, be present, and give yourself permission to be any combination of feelings that are swirling around. I will be focusing on all the love in my life – past and present. I am surrounded by love on a daily basis by my husband and kiddos. They keep me going, even on the days I prefer the idea of hiding under the covers. I was raised by a wonderful, loving, patient, strong, amazing woman. My life is a reflection hers. I will honor my happiness and my sadness as I think of her on Mother’s Day. Finally, it is just one day; I can focus most of my energy on the other 364. To all the mom’s out there – Happy Mother’s Day and Everyday.