Mother’s Day – A Day of Relaxation (Unless Of Course You’re an Actual Mother)

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Image Credit – My Endless Laundry – You’re Always There for Me

Moms aren’t typically allowed to voice these words, but thankfully Hallmark has authorized me to tell the responsibilities of the adult world to stick it and do whatever I want – reality be damned!  So here it is…

Mother’s Day can be a mother of a day.  This “holiday” has been a major source of stress for me for years.  It’s yet another thing jammed into an already maxed out calendar.  I have to shove aside an endless list of ongoing tasks (that surprisingly never manage to include items such as “relax at the spa” or “eat bon bons while being dramatically fanned by a beefy dude with a palm leaf” or “do absolutely nothing”) in an attempt to focus on people who are important in my life.  The problem is that even though I really do aim for a special weekend for all, the whole Mother’s Day scene inevitably becomes a balancing act that I fumble through with striking ineptitude and extreme frustration.

I genuinely want the extraordinary moms in my life to understand how precious they are to me.  I dream about doing something amazing and special and wow-worthy so they might get a sliver of a glimpse at how incredibly much they mean to me.  Sadly the odds are uncomfortably high (and not ever in my favor) that I was unable to scrape together enough time or energy to shower every day over the previous week, let alone put together all the required parts of a grandiose plan that would adequately display my sincere love and appreciation.  To give you a sense of how fantastically together I am on the personal planning front, I can share that I am currently quite excited because my Christmas cards that should have gone out five months ago may at last be in the mail sometime in the next few days.  Or weeks.  Or sometime in June.  Probably July.  Ideally at the latest by Christmas of this year.

And then there’s my own Mother’s Day.  If that’s going to be an actual thing, I will probably need to plan that, too. The mamas also residing in the Land of Reality know what I’m talking about.  Should I make a reservation in advance somewhere fancy or should I save time and just call Denny’s or IHOP to confirm that they haven’t instituted a dress code since last Mother’s Day?  Do I buy my own gift and have my husband tell the kids to give it to me to reinforce the importance of honoring significant people in your life?  Should I just glue my own popsicle sticks into the shape of a frame and declare the holiday complete?

This isn’t intended as an indictment of my family or some narcissistic need to be put up on a pedestal for a day.  I donated all pedestals to Goodwill years ago because nobody ever used them, and we needed the space for our dust-covered treadmill instead.  At least we can stack laundry baskets on that.

I’m blessed with beautiful loving children whom I adore (even more so after caffeine and doubly so when they refrain from doing age appropriate nonsense that makes me want to lock them in Harry Potter’s cupboard under the stairs) and a husband who is pretty fantastic when it comes to most things related to house, kids and family life.  He’s not perfect, but we wouldn’t be a good match if he was.  He’s human but he’s a kind man, a wonderful man really (except when he’s really not, but again, we are a quite alike in that department).  In addition, he genuinely tries to modify his approach when he recognizes that something he does or doesn’t do upsets me.  There is a strong possibility that a significant portion of his willingness to change may be directly correlated with the tone and/or volume of my request, but nevertheless it is clear that he sincerely wants me to be happy and feel appreciated and loved.

I needed to talk to him (I snapped) so I decided to share my feelings (I went over the freakin’ edge) and told him (I totally flipped out) before (minutes before) the Mother’s Day weekend began that the way we had handled the weekend in past years was hard for me (it drove me utterly bananas).  I explained that it made me truly happy to plan and buy and do year after year for our moms but that happiness came to a screeching halt when with the planning and buying and doing year after year was on my own behalf.  It was two-fer – hurt feelings with the added bonus of getting to do extra work in the guise of “celebrating” my day.

One day later, he had come up with ideas and options and had even made phone calls to actual humans at real places that served food that wasn’t necessarily prepared on a griddle!  (In all fairness, my favorite meals are prepared on a griddle, and I sincerely believe that breakfast should be legally designated as the best dinner option in the universe.  Also dessert should be the first course, but I digress.)

The funny part is that the moment he started talking about options and ideas based on the places he had called, I no longer cared if we went anywhere at all.  It was like a switch flipped and the hurt feelings were gone.  I realized that the only thing I had truly wanted was to feel worthy of a little effort just for the sake of saying thank you.  We all want to know that we matter to someone and that this someone sees and loves and appreciates us.

As mothers, we show our love in countless unseen ways every day.  We work and cook and shop and clean and volunteer at school and help with homework (on concepts we have to teach ourselves again in spite of our foolish beliefs that we would never do them again after we graduated).  We arrange everything under the sun and do projects and intervene and drive and drive and drive.  And the list goes on.   Sometimes you are rewarded with a hug and sometimes you are rewarded with a headache.  But those hug moments make every bit of the madness worthwhile.

This past year was a challenge for many of us, and on this Mother’s Day,  I am reminded that I am thankful for the moms who have helped me to survive and to flourish.  I have amazing mothers in my family (moms, grandmothers, sisters) and countless others who continue to catch me whenever I fall and help me up whenever I fail.  They are my partners in laughter and tears and worst of all – tee ball.  I celebrate all of you.  I am in awe of you, and I thank you for the endless ways you inspire me to be a better spouse, parent, daughter, sister and friend.

As for my own Mother’s Day weekend… Well it began with the sweet sounds of my son waking me with these magic words – “Mooooom, the dog threw up in the laundry room.”  To be precise, the dog threw up four times, and it wasn’t only in the laundry room.  Since that little gem of a starter, I have attempted to tackle a pile of laundry so high that I needed a Sherpa and an oxygen tank to help me reach the summit, dealt with an early morning accident in a bed, removed five thousand sticky pieces of rice from hair/clothes/table/floor, cleaned the dog yard, gone through the thousandth round of school papers, scoped out some work items on the list, muddled through several temper tantrums (including my own), and various other reality activities so many Mother’s Day cards tell you that you don’t have to do because it’s your special day!!  (I have two main theories on those particular cards – 1.  They are written by someone who is not an actual mother but is an actual moron.  2.  They are written by real live mothers who pee their pants laughing when card companies agree to print the cards because they know that other real live moms will get the joke since being allowed to stop your grown up tasks is how being a mom on Mother’s Day or your birthday works NEVER.)

But this is also how my Mother’s Weekend went…  After the dog barf scenario (that my sweet husband helped clean up and actually didn’t want me to deal with at all), all my children gave me big fat hugs and told me that they loved me as they wished me happy Mother’s Day.  All except the littlest who became quite angry and insisted on wishing me happy birthday instead.  She is nothing if not committed to absolute accuracy even when she is absolutely inaccurate.  In between rounds of temper tantrums, we were able to spend time with one of my precious moms and some of my amazing sisters and their (our) families whom I adore.  Before and after the various rounds of cleaning, I’ve had lovely conversations with other important mamas and will be seeing some of them in the next few days whenever we can make it happen in a no stress kind of way.

Ultimately I got the breakfast I really wanted – breakfast tacos made by someone else and wrapped in paper.  It was a dish-free dream!  Science has yet to determine the cause,  but dishes appear throughout the day in our home – even when paper-wrapped tacos are directly employed to combat the problem.  Thankfully, my husband and kids did the dishes took care of them.  We all did some laundry and I took some time to myself to write this.  We went out to dinner and are shutting down for the night.  I just sang “Baby Mine” to my youngest child – my darling angel who will turn on you in a moment’s notice if you mess with her and quite often even if you don’t. It has been a low-key beautiful day and it has unexpectedly been exactly what I wanted – laundry and all.

My point is this – I should have told my family how I felt a long time ago. I wanted them to just get it, to know how to prove to me that they saw me, to understand that a small plan requiring a little initiative by them and no effort by me would make me feel very valued as a mom and a wife.  But I never said it like that. Actually I never said it at all.  Not even to myself.

I’ve never been short on words, but I have felt like I have been unable to find my voice for quite some time.  Maybe this is the start of my finding it again.  I wanted my family to see me, but I finally recognize that I needed to see me first.  We often feel so small, but we are doing spectacular things. We are literally creating the future. Each of us shapes the life experiences of every person we contact.

You matter and you are valued.  There is no day on any calendar that will ever be able to convey how precious and treasured you are.  Hold onto the hugs.  Eat dessert first.  Vote for pancakes for dinner.  And if you can, find your voice.

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And this is the magic and why it’s all so worth it!

***MoJo***

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. momentumofjoy
    May 20, 2017 @ 15:20:33

    I almost cried when I saw your name here. Girl I so miss you and think of you often. Really. We need to catch up sometime in the next few days. I want all the updates on the countless ways you are making the world shine! Xoxox

    Reply

    • misifusa
      May 25, 2017 @ 09:48:30

      I have missed you so much! It’s such a big smile maker when I see you’ve posted! Good to have you back! Yes, let’s catch up! Let me know when you can chat! xo

      Reply

  2. momentumofjoy
    May 20, 2017 @ 15:41:17

    Hello darling! Yes I have been following your notes about Dean and definitely have you on my mind and in my heart. I’m always so moved by the beautiful way you move through it all. I miss you honey!

    Reply

  3. yogaleigh
    May 20, 2017 @ 21:03:20

    Wow, it was such a nice surprise to see a post from you in my reader list! Glad you found your voice re Mother’s Day.

    Reply

  4. Trackback: The Things We Don’t Say | Momentum of Jo
  5. Playamart - Zeebra Designs
    Sep 23, 2017 @ 21:51:43

    I’m in one place – with internet – for the next four or five days, so I’m about to catch up! What a lovely post – so very candid yet fresh – especially with the ‘dog barfed’ in the laundry room’-start to your day! the precious photo at the end of the post is the perfect reminder that helps keep it all in perspective..

    Reply

    • MoJo
      Sep 24, 2017 @ 17:22:37

      I actually haven’t read that post in months so I totally forgot about the dog barf. Yes – such a perfect example of mom life! You’re so sweet to read my posts. I desperately need to park for a day and catch up on everyone else’s posts. How are you lovebug??

      Reply

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