I have never been taken out to brunch for Mother’s Day. It’s not that I’m not loved enough to be taken out for that meal in between breakfast and lunch. It’s that I just can’t stand the thought of my family spending that much money on me for an overpriced meal that we can make at home.
And that’s what we do. We always start the day out with a big breakfast, and with the gift that the kids picked out for me all by themselves.
For me, Mother’s Day is not about what the kids got me or how delicious breakfast is. Mother’s Day is just a Sunday when the kids might take extra efforts to be nice to me (and to each other), and when the pride in their faces means a million times more to me than the gift they’ve just handed me.
The truth is, every day feels like Mother’s Day.
However, it wasn’t always this way.
When the kids were small, being a mom was a lot of hard work. I had to be on all the time. All. The. Time. If the kids were bored, it was on me to entertain them. If they were hungry, I was the one to provide them with food. If their clothes were dirty, good ol’ mom was there with the spray ‘n’ wash. If their sports coach called a practice, I was their chauffeur. If the kids were fighting, I was referee. If they got hurt, which was often in my clumsy family, I was the nurse.
By the time evening hit, I was ready to fall into bed, only to wake up early the next morning to do it all over again.
It’s not like these things were a surprise. I think the majority of us realize that having a kid is hard work. However, there are very few breaks when the kids are small, and there are times when you just want to lock yourself in your room and let them try to figure it out on their own.
Except you can’t (most of the time). And they won’t (most of the time).
That is, until they get older.
My kids are now 13, 16, and 18. Parenting my kids now is much different from what it once was. For the most part, it’s a pleasure. Don’t believe everything you hear about teenagers – they are generally wonderful human beings (just like we are all generally good parents, right?). They have their moments of moodiness. We all do. But they are also fully capable of doing their own laundry, making their own food, getting themselves to practice, helping out (with a bit of prompting) around the house….and on occasion, being a joy to hang around.
When I see young parents getting frazzled with the constant demand of parenting, I try to slip in a few words of encouragement, and hints about the light at the end of the tunnel. Just keep going. Believe what you’re doing is right. Know that one day your child will tie their own shoes, make their own sandwich, catch their own bus, drive their own car… Your kids will get along one day as sister and brother. They will eventually think of others before themselves. They will do their own school project….
One day your child will start to lean more toward being a friend than being a dependent. And as much as you’ll love having the time to do all those things you had to put on hold while you were being a parent, you’ll also miss when they needed to hold your hand to cross the street. You’ll miss when they needed you to make them feel safe. But in return, you’ll know that you raised a really awesome human being, instilling all of your values in them as best as you could.
I wish you all a very happy, full of love Mother’s Day – a day to celebrate how motherhood has changed you, and how it will continue to change you.
You’re doing a good job. xoxo