All week long my besties and I have been sending each other reels about Mother’s Day and all the Dos and Don’ts for partners that surround this holiday*. I sent a few to B as well – some that made us laugh and others that made us go, “OK, but how??” and it’s that question right there that has me wondering how anyone can ever live up to the hype and expectation of this day (*commercialized circus/reason for every business and their dog to email me with a sale link) that rarely takes into consideration how hard this day is for so many for so many reasons.
There’s way too much emphasis loaded on this one rotating day each May, as if May itself isn’t a freaking tornado already without all this Make Everything Perfect for Mom pressure slapped in the middle of it. But guess what – nothing is ever perfect and even when you have the best laid intentions of making the day “magical,” those plans are as likely as not to go off the rails.
To be fair, maybe the reason for this derailment is because I’m still in The Tunnel/in the (very) Active Mothering Years. While we’ve crossed the fabulous milestones of everyone being able to buckle themselves in the car (what a game changer!) and almost everyone always being able to use the bathroom solo (TMI but also a real achievement), there is still SO much energy and effort required on a daily basis in my life as a mom, including on Mother’s Day.
To be fair again, Ben tried. He planned to give me some time and space today to just be (and hopefully not have to feed anyone or tend to anyone’s bathroom needs) but then Littlest Girl woke up with ear pain this morning and several of our plans went right out the door. She did still go to Sunday School (because, bless it, she wanted to make me the Mother’s Day craft she knew they’d be working on) but we didn’t go to church all together like I had wanted because we needed to get her to Convenient Care ASAP. Good thing we did because it turns out she has a double ear infection, but in the midst of finding that out, I managed to ruin my own lunch (because apparently reading directions is hard) and then had to abandon it anyway to go pick up the pizza that was ordered for the kids before all this went down. So, no church, a cold lunch, and a bunch of swears later, I finally got to sit down with an iced coffee and a book (and blankets in the back yard) while the kids did screens this afternoon.
From there the day picked up mood wise (thanks, oat milk caramel latte – lol), but let’s face it, a lot of normal happened today. I did several loads of laundry, including leading the kids through our new-ish ritual of helping them sort all of their clothes into their own self-folded piles. I swept the kitchen and did the dishes (although that was mostly because I wanted to listen to my Pride and Prejudice podcast “Live from Pemberly”). I (tried to) put out a half dozen arguments between kids. And I helped feed kids and wipes butts because, again, life. It just happens and if I didn’t attend to these things, then they’d just be here tomorrow; avoiding them today doesn’t get me too far.
I realize I sound cranky and ungrateful (I’m really just kind of one of those), but I don’t actually want the day to go away entirely; my kids are sweet and they like to show me in their own ways how they love me, so today is a good excuse for that. And Ben was good about continuing the tradition of plants, both for in the house and outside, which we took time to plant this afternoon. But this dang day needs to be taken off the pedestal of expectation, if nowhere else, in my own brain that it is actually going to contain A Break. Short of kicking everyone out of the house for the day (trust me, I’ve considered saying, “I love you. Thanks for making me a mom. Now leave!” on this day for a few years now), that’s just not going to happen.
The irony of this wanting space/not getting enough space is that now I suddenly have TOO MUCH SPACE, at least from one of them. The one last thing I want from this day is a picture with all five of my kids, but HD ended up riding his bike to a friend’s house this afternoon to hang out and managed to invite himself to their Mother’s Day dinner out and he may not make it home before Little Miss Ear Infection needs to go to bed. Thankfully Math Man came to the rescue and suggested we take individual pics with each kid, so I’ll just fix this when he gets home:
I guess if nothing else, this Mother’s Day was a Schmother’s Day to remember!