It Was the Best of Times and it Was the Worst of Times… yes, I have just read The Tale of Two Cities. And that has to be the opening line for Mother’s Day all over the world. This is one of those days when the whole world goes quite crazy with ridiculous expectations. In fact, fraught with expectations. The media tells us to expect to be rewarded for all the mothering we do… We should expect breakfast in bed, and if your kids are not old enough then our husbands should have organised breakfast out… we are told what to expect and that we deserve it and then even more that we need to have a glorious day laden with special gifts and full of surprises… because we are worth it. And yet we know that “needs” and “wants” are not quite the same thing… but marketers would prefer you not to know that.
The truth is we have all loved and lost, and marketers don’t touch on this either. But this is a difficult day for potential moms and friends who wish with all their hearts to be moms, it is a terribly difficult day for moms who have lost babies no matter how old they are, not to mention all those folk without moms. And it is a horrible day for mom’s who wish with all their hearts that they were in a better position to look after their kids. While marketers are all about what I need for Mother’s Day… there are moms around the world who would love to be giving their kids just one meal today and they won’t be. It’s not all beautiful picnics and pretty potted plants, it is not all floral gift wrap and shiny packages. In fact, all things considered, Mother’s Day is a bit of an awkward day to get through.
My kids are not going to make me breakfast in bed… heaven forbid, I can’t stand the crumbs. They are going to squabble in the car about who gets to sit where, they are going to get to church and be reminded that it is Mother’s Day, and then we will pop past their grannies because it is Sunday. And we will wish them happy Mother’s Day… because as I get older and I realise Mother’s Day belongs to them and I am in awe of them for getting their kids to be grown ups, we will dash home for a Sunday after noon nap and then I will stay home and make supper, while the older kids head for church. It is just an ordinary Sunday… just the way I like it. Except this Sunday when we stop by our grannies we will most likely have a chocolate with us… because whatever the marketers say… they do deserve it.
Honestly, I want my kids to appreciate me, I do… I want their hugs, but I also just want them to be the best little people they can be… despite what the local store says they have to buy me… and to all the moms out there, whose day isn’t a marketers dream… I want to say hang in there, it does get easier. Enjoy the good moments, move on from the awful ones… and let your children love you and appreciate you everyday. Don’t be distraught when you don’t get an entire years worth of loving on one day, don’t be distraught when they don’t even remember. And if you have something in mind that will make your Mother’s Day special… make it happen. If you want a special afternoon tea… your kids would love to make and bake with you, if you want an afternoon nap… tell them that an afternoon nap will make this day special for you… even if it is “five point three” seconds before they prize open your eyes to check if you are in there.
Gift your kids with the chance to try. You have poured hours and hours of your heart and soul into your kids, and you are going to be doing a lot more of that. If they have forgotten Mother’s Day, gently remind them. There is really nothing worse than at the end of the day telling your kids, “I wish you had made me a card.” I know I have had years of no expectations and years when I needed some sort of acknowledgement. Tell them what you actually need, and it probably is just a hug and “I love you mom.” Don’t fall into the trap of waiting all day for them to surprise you and then at the end of the day being devastated that they didn’t. If your day is filled with all sorts of unavoidable commitments… let your kids know in a quiet moment that you love them with all your heart… because it is Mother’s Day and it would totally make your day that your kids know that. In fact, what we really want for Mother’s Day is for our kids to know that we love each of them fiercely with all our hearts… everything else is just fluff.