This past Sunday was Mother’s Day. A day that we celebrate all the women out there that have chosen to take on the exhausting, exhilarating, heart stopping, wonderful roller coaster known as motherhood. A day in which we collectively recognize, “You are raising a tiny human. I’ve heard of many others doing this. We shall rejoice together, huzzah!” Well, at least in my mind that’s the way it goes. I haven’t seen that Hallmark card though.
For each mother this sacred day means something different. Some moms want to spend the whole day with their children and partner. Some want a gift certificate to a spa at 7 am with the first mud wrap at 8 am. Some want a nice breakfast and then Sunday as usual. Some have hopes of Ryan Reynolds and Joseph Gordon-Levitt carrying them around all day in a throne carrying device thing. All these interpretations of the day are great because much like your birthday, moms get to decide what that day means to them. And honestly, they get to have that determination dang it! It’s their day. It’s. Their. Day.
Now, there are a million situations out there through the whole world, fun fact: Mother’s Day is a world wide celebration held on different dates through the year. There are married moms who have a husband to look to. There are two moms for a family. There are single moms. There are legal guardians who have stepped up and became a mom. There are moms who foster. There are moms who adopted. There are moms who have no kids but have become a mom to someone. There are so many definitions of and scenarios of mom that it’s hard to realize what Mother’s Day means to you as a mom.
I am part of some mom groups on Facebook. A social support network to get through this crazy journey. On Sunday my feeds we chock a block full of moms describing a situation or posting a picture of husbands or partners asleep still, or sitting on the couch, or asking “What are we doing for breakfast?”. Your typical, “Are you kidding me, dude” posts. It really made me begin to wonder after seeing the 10th post about it before noon, what is Mother’s Day? What do we expect? Please know, I’m not judging these flares of irritation. You aren’t married and have children without being annoyed with your husband’s chewing. If you say you aren’t, you are lying to yourself.
Really, though. What do we expect? I looked up the history of Mother’s Day in America. I looked it up on the Pedia of Wiki so we know it’s legit. Apparently a woman named Anna Jarvis made a memorial for her mother Ann Jarvis at their local church because her mother was a peace activist during the Civil War and set up Mother’s Day club that helped people in lower classes care for their children prenatally and after. Anna believed that her mother and all mothers deserved a day of recognition and went to congress with the proposal in 1908. Fast forward to 1916 Woodrow Wilson signed the proclamation that Mother’s Day would be the second Sunday of May annually. Later on Hallmark and other commercialized people things took over the holiday and re-enforced that nothing says Mother’s Day like flowers, cards, and something nice. Anna Jarvis was furious at this commercialization and actually sued companies who were profiting off Mother’s Day. Clearly, Ms. Jarvis’ fights didn’t stick.
It makes one think though, is that what mothers want? Flowers, candy, and something nice? Husbands, children, partners, those who felt the love of mother all scramble to find that perfect thing. When asked though a lot of mom will say, “Some peace and quiet and a minute to myself.” Maybe a mani/pedi. If a mother has adult kids, they usually would like a dinner or a simple phone call that day. All in all, we just want acknowledgment. Like Anna Jarvis said, a mother is “the person who has done more for you than anyone in the world”. Tonight Eva bumped her head on something and asked me to kiss it. A mother’s kiss to make it all better. That is something I instilled in her. A security that I can make anything better by just being here, being near her, and recognizing that she needed a little extra at that minute.
At some point we all need a little extra in that minute. Mothers do so much for their kids and family. We organize schedules. We make appointments. We are nurses. We are discipl….you know what. We do a lot. It’s too much to list. Now, fathers also do so much for their kids and families but this is a Mother’s Day thing, so chill out until June 17th. The point is, mothers make it work. We can tell you the exact place of that blue ball point pen you put somewhere two months ago, no not that pen, the other one. We are the music makers and the dreamers of dreams. And we just want the people closest to us to understand that. We know that you can’t get mad for not being thanked in a thankless job. To be the foundation of a house is overwhelming and heavy. You never feel like you can crack.
So yes, it’s annoying that you just wanted that one day to hear thank you for 24 hours and you look over and that person who you feel should acknowledge that is asleep on the couch. It’s frustrating that you’ve cooked meals roughly 1,000 times this past year and get asked one more time, “What are we doing for food?” It’s insanity inducing to not even hear, “Happy Mother’s Day” until 2:00 pm because that’s when it was finally remembered. Moms spend their whole life being there for someone else. They are constantly told to remember self care or to take a minute for themselves. The reality of that though is a tough one. Especially for those different scenarios where you don’t really have someone to give you those five minutes to just breathe.
It’s not too late though. Mothers are forgiving creatures. It comes with the territory because there is no point of holding onto the negative. Your two year old takes care of that because you made her wear sunscreen on a 80° day and direct sunshine…but I digress. If you feel like you could have been that photo of a husband sleeping, or didn’t call or text or Facebook or twit or whatever your own mom, there’s still time. There’s always a chance to say, “I see you. Thank you for all you do. Take a minute. Breathe. I got this.” It may just be a day, but it can mean so much more. Happy Mother’s Day to all those women out there who have taken on this role. It’s not an easy one, but it’s truly a great one.