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.  I genuinely want the extraordinary moms in my life to understand how precious they are to me.  Although I dream about doing something amazing and special and wow-worthy, 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, or 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 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.  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 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 make it if he was.  He’s a kind man, a wonderful man really.  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.

So I decided to get in front of the issue in advance and have a talk with my husband before the Mothers Day weekend actually started. I explained to my husband (I snapped) and shared my feelings (I totally flipped out) about my concerns surrounding how we had handled that “holiday” in past years.  I needed him to understand 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 was on my own behalf.  Hurt feelings with the added bonus of getting to do extra work in the guise of “celebrating” my day never made for a happy wife happy life (or at least not on that weekend).

When the next day rolled around, he had ideas and options and had even made phone calls to actual humans at real places that served food not 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 first, not last.)

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 had been flipped, and my hurt feelings disappeared in an instant.  I realized that the only thing I had truly wanted was to feel worthy of a little effort that showed me that they appreciated me.  That he appreciated me.

In the end, my Mother’s Day weekend included all the reality it could muster – dog barf, a pile of laundry so high that I needed a Sherpa and an oxygen tank to reach the summit, an early morning accident in a bed, five thousand sticky pieces of rice in hair / clothes / table / floor, thousands of my kids’ school papers, several temper tantrums (including my own), and countless other activities that 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.  Being allowed to stop your grown up tasks is how being a mom on Mother’s Day or your birthday works NEVER.)

But my Mother’s Day also included big fat hugs and sweet wishes from my husband and children.  Each one told me how much they loved me as they wished me a happy Mother’s Day.  Well 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!  My husband and kids tackled the remaining dishes that appear at random like ceramic gremlins.  We all did laundry and then we went out to dinner.  A few minutes ago I 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 was a low-key beautiful day that was unexpectedly exactly what I wanted – laundry and all.

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.

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, friends) and countless others who continue to catch me when I fall and help me when 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 that you inspire me to be a better spouse, parent, daughter, sister and friend.

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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